Another request for Cloud Syncing

After yet more frustrations with syncing using bonjour/wifi - may I please add another request for cloud syncing.


  1. Bonjour is not supported by many routers

  2. The time I want the syncing to happen is rarely when I have both phone and laptop to hand - when I have the laptop open, I don’t need DTTG -

The usage model just does’t work for me.

Meanwhile i have other apps, such as YNAB, that work really well - using dropbox.

I’ve tried to look up an FAQ to see what your plans are, but found only dead links, and yes I do know that there are lots of threads talking about users frustrations with the current sync approach - this is another one in the list.

Love the desktop version.

The only logical assumption at this point is that Devon Technologies is afraid of becoming too successful. They must realize that if they fix sync then Devon Technologies, as a company, would grow exponentially. Because of either the negative brand sentiment created by the terrible sync problems or the fact that even the most loyal, dedicated users absolutely require functional sync, Devon Technologies is missing out on a huge share of the market. It’s actually fascinating, and even feels strange to have the knowledge, that this company could, nee, would, beat Evernote and others. Even Dropbox, a company with almost $1 billion in funding, would lose some market share to Devonthink. Even if full file sync is not a space that Devon Technologies wants to play in, there are Dropbox users that would switch for the AI abilities of Devonthink.

So, the only conclusion that I can logically come to is that Devon Technologies is intentionally not solving the problem, or able to solve it, or not communicating their own frustrations in trying to solve it, or all of these, in order to not maintain customer good will and brand recognition for fear of becoming too successful. And it’s a shame.

Devon Technologies, you have a tremendous piece of technology that solves a computing need for a large segment of the population of this world. Please overcome your fear, or ineptitude if my assumption that you are scared is incorrect, and make Devonthink a usable solution for 2014’s mobile, multiple device user. You are missing out on much success and on making many people’s lives better.

Fascinating theory :exclamation: I am only a simple guy but whilst I agree that Sync is a necessity for many, many people I can see that to get it right is a massive job with such a sophisticated application as DevonThink.

I do not believe that “Devon Technologies is intentionally not solving the problem”, I do believe that they genuinely do want and are trying to solve the problem, and I do believe that it is a massive job to do.

So I say patience is a virtue, but you are right to express your concerns!

I would have agreed a few years ago, thus the outlandish and somewhat facetious theory.

This thread from a user in 2010 [url]iPhone/iPad App ETA? Critical to my continued use of DEVONth] has comments like,


. Even more ironically given your response, it also contains this comment:

The user closes the post with,

The thread continues with the user apologizing for not seeing all the announcements and blogs posts regarding iOS development of DTTG. Again this thread was in July of 2010 and it is now May of 2014, meaning these user comments are from almost four years ago! Aside from the debate over roadmap disclosure and talk of “moving parts” like MobileMe, iDisk, and all of the challenges, it’s obvious that if you look at the big picture, that Devon Technologies has failed at executing on a vision it advertised to its customer base. This failure speaks to the integrity of the company and the overall missed opportunity in putting a dent in the universe. Thus, my theory: they’re either scared or just incompetent.

So, I repeat this comment, directed towards Devon Technologies, from my previous post (with a correction in blue): Please overcome your fear, or ineptitude if my theory that you are scared is incorrect, and make Devonthink a usable solution for 2014’s mobile, multiple device user. You are missing out on much success and on making many people’s lives better.

I’ve noticed that walking into someone’s living area and poking them repeatedly in the eye is not usually a good way to get them to do what you want.

Absolutely wonderful! +1 from me :smiley:

Especially true when poking with a straw man’s stick!

We need not to lose the OP’s request …

I’m very much in favor of “cloud syncing” … but I’m also very much in favor of my own use case where I need big datasets on my mobile device(s) when I’m at a client or traveling. If DTTG 2 permitted indexing folders on cloud sources I think that would work out. The case would be that also index those folders on the desktop. “Indexing folders on cloud sources” might not be feasible with iOS 7.x – not sure.

It’s amazing that long-time, dedicated users of Devonthink disagree with the fact that if they weren’t either scared or lacking a sound business model that they would be wildly successful with stable mobile apps and solid sync, cloud or local.

And the purpose of these posts aren’t to, “get what I want”, but rather to openly discuss the issue. And the issue is why a company with such incredible technology is failing, and has failed for years, to gain market position by simply keeping up with actual user requirements that many, many other, lesser companies have succeeded in doing.

You want to claim you are opening a discussion but then proceed to make unsubstantiated claims. So…

  1. This company is not failing. Indeed, the longevity of this company in a market where “lesser companies” are folding (seemingly weekly) is a testament to the focus we have on our products and not just pushing product to make a buck.

  2. Your concept of “market position” is your own. You don’t know what the goals and intentions of this company are. We aren’t jumping on every bandwagon that comes by as that is the long-term failure of many of these other companies. Yeah, you may be able to make a bunch of money riding others’ coattails, but it’s not sustainable, shows little to no innovation, and won’t provide revenue in the long-term. We have to look closely at what is happening now with where we think things will go and where we want to be down the road.

  3. You have no idea what is happening behind the scenes in this company. We are not sitting around daintily sipping tea and counting coins. We are hard at work on current products and future projects.

Open discussion is always welcome, but truthfully your approach was less than ideal. If I came to your workplace and suggested ways to make your product better, that’s fine. But if I continued on and told you why you weren’t doing it and how you were foolish or idiotic for not listening, I think you’d be less inclined to listen. Thanks.

I must say that from my user’s viewpoint the company is far “from failing” especially considering the things that are important to me, eg. Customer support and facilitating as well as contributing to these boards. In fact I can not think of any developer who is as good at this as the people from Devontechnologies are. Support is paramount, surely?

I suppose “failing” can be a relative term. Again, the failure is obvious when comparing DT to what it could have been or could be, and not when comparing to failed startups for the purposes of rationalizing the failure to develop what could have made DT a game-changer for millions of people. Again, this is a discussion based on the multitude of threads regarding stable sync, cloud or otherwise, that’s gone on for years while others have succeeded. Perhaps a solid explanation of the years of delay would advance the conversation.


Unrelated to the flame war (about the business principles and viability of the company) that has emerged (admittedly I do sometimes wonder at night, whether the boutique productivity developers that I support (DEVONtechnologies, OmniGroup, …) will be able to survive, in light of the commodification/‘dumbing down’ nature of productivity apps (Clear, Evernote, …), but that’s beside the point here.), I want to ask whether the announcement of iCloud Drive ( has changed the minds of DEVONtechnologies in regards to not storing databases on iCloud (previously developers such as Jumsoft had issues with the CoreData system).

Manual sync is an annoying computer maintenance task - why isn’t cloud sync already here? Is there a technical problem?

Recently a competitor of DEVONthink’s updated their desktop client and added an iOS client for iCloud syncing of that software’s equivalent of DEVONthink’s database. In fact, a much simpler equivalent. I can report that the whole user experience is horrible – and assume it is due to extreme shortcomings in iCloud. I’m only adding this babble-note to mention this as a datapoint. Not dispositive, but not encouraging. I’m a fan of the thought of “cloud syncing”, but also cautionary. What you get is not always what you see.

One of my favorite things about DEVONthink is that it does NOT rely on the cloud to work, and it is one of the few apps that can reliably sync a large database through Wifi to my iPad. In fact, this is one of its most important features for me.

If DEVONthink can develop a reliable and secure cloud syncing feature, that would be great, but iCloud and Dropbox on their own are not secure (DEVONthink does have a way to sync the encrypted database using Dropbox, so Mac to Mac works pretty well). SpiderOak is a secure cloud storage solution, but I don’t know of any app that uses it to sync data. If you work in any kind of industry that deals with sensitive personal data (teachers, doctors, lawyers, etc.) then you often cannot use the cloud because of ethical and legal concerns.

I would urge DEVONthink to maintain its tough stance on security / privacy, even if a lot of other companies (and users) are willing to trade security / privacy for convenience.

As for making the sync process more smooth, that would be great, but I am not in a hurry. My main concern is reliability and security. If they could get that iOS update out the door soon, that would be much appreciated, though! If there is any beta testing to do, please let me know :slight_smile:

We are hard at work on that right now. :smiley:

Someone else brought up storage and sync services like SpiderOak and mentioned that they’re not widely used by third parties — I’ve observed the same thing and think it’s pretty unfortunate.

Omni’s implementation of OmniPresence is interesting but with Dropbox being somewhat ubiquitous and DEVONthink having a way to address the privacy concerns with Dropbox or at least mitigate some of the concerns has been nice; I wish services like Zocalo from Amazon were more widely supported. There are some neat things about Zocalo that Dropbox et al don’t offer — and iCloud Drive may be able to address some of the issues people had with iCloud Documents so who knows what things look like in a year.

Omnisync works just fine for my Omnioutliner documents. I wonder why DT hasn’t implemented something similar.

I’ve got dozens of gigabytes of unused iCloud and Google Drive storage (all free) but only 5 gB of dropbox storage, not enough to sync an essential set of working folders in my current DTOP database. Call me cheap if you want, but I’d like to use up some of this free space before I pay for more.

What is the issue with locally encrypting-decrypting files, syncing then to iCloud or Google, and then encrypting-decrypting them on the iOS device? It seems like other developers have done this. This gives me a choice about where I choose to maintain my Cloud storage.

Knowing the awesome competence of the DT development team, a solution must not be trivial. Hope someone will clarify.