buying DTTG right now?

a quite difficult question in this board (like asking a baker, if his breads are fresh? :wink: does it make sense to buy DTTG right now?
i’m a fresh owner of an ipod touch and as a ambitious user of DT PRO my first appstore-search pointed just to DTTG. but i was very „surprised“ how bad and angry the ratings are? it’s hard to find another app with those critics.
on the one hand i would display maximum patience with every product from devon, but on the other hand i don’t want to trash my money …

thanks and sorry for my non-professional english,

The current version is 1.1. The 7 reviews of it are mixed, with some users quite satisfied, others very dissatisfied. I see most of the messages of users send to Support. Some users write in to express their delight with DT To Go, others report problems with establishing connection for Sync, others report a variety of problems or make suggestions for future versions.

Let’s start with Sync issues. The majority of users have no problem establishing connection between the Mac and the iOS device and initiating Sync. I’m in that group. I use three Macs and three iOS devices (iPad, iPad2 and 2010 iPod Touch) and have two WiFI routers in use. (2010 AirPort Extreme and 2010 Verizon MiFi). Any of my iOS devices immediately establish connection with any of my Macs, every time, without fail.

But when I pulled an older AirPort Extreme out of the closet and tried to set up Sync using it, I sometimes had connection problems and couldn’t set up Sync. I wasn’t surprised, as the reason I had replaced it was that I was getting degraded performance and connection dropouts for Web browsing and file transfers on its network. Checking out Apple’s Support forums, I found this isn’t uncommon (and isn’t uncommon for routers from all manufacturers) - sometimes attributed to degradation over time in some of the parts used.

Switching to a local network created by the Mac very often solves connectivity issues. (Of course, there can be other problems such as an unstable operating system on the Mac, a damaged DEVONthink database or malformed files in a database.)

Later this year a new Sync procedure will be introduced to the DEVONthink applications, and will also replace the current Synch procedure (which is used by other iOS apps as well as by DT To Go), and I expect this will be more robust for connections in DT To Go.

Expectations: We emphasize DT To Go as a companion to DEVONthink databases on a Mac. It enables transfer of content for use on a mobile device, as well as the ability to take plain text notes and capture Web bookmarks and HTML pages, photos and even voice notes and sync them back to the Mac.

DEVONthink To Go is NOT a full implementation of DEVONthink on the Mac. It cannot be, simply because current iOS devices are not “trucks” (to use Steve Jobs’ comparison) like Macs. iOS devices have minuscule RAM compared to any of my Macs, and much less processing power.

My main DT Pro Office database contains about 30,000 documents. I wouldn’t dream of syncing it to my iPad, as the iPad would be terribly stressed and many of the operations that I use on the Mac simply can’t be done on an iPad. Features such as smart templates are not supported in iOS. There’s no memory “room” for See Also. Some of the document types I use cannot be displayed in iOS. Creation and editing of rich text isn’t supported in iOS. AppleScript isn’t available. The rich working environment of DEVONthink on the Mac cannot (yet) be created on an iOS device.

I doubt that I have ever Synced more than 3,000 documents to an iOS device, and normally Sync no more than a few hundred for use on travel or for a project.

But I find using DT To Go to let me carry selected content, add to it and send new content back to my database does extend the usefulness of my information resources, and for me that’s what it’s about.

Plans: Future plans include the ability to reorganize documents and groups, improve viewing of documents (especially PDFs, perhaps with annotation ability) and of course an improved Sync (which will also open alternatives to WiFi-only direct syncing between a local Mac and the iOS device). Tags?

The next maintenance release has a number of bug fixes and improvements and is awaiting Apple’s review and posting on the App Store.

iOS 5 will enhance usability of DT To Go. For example, I’m looking forward to the tabs feature of Safari, with the inclusion of Reader.

Bill, what do you use to annotate PDFs at the moment on your iOS devices? What is your workflow.

It’s a big omission for me not being able not only to annotate, but even to see annotations in PDFs via DTTG.

As a feature request, maybe (while we are waiting for the annotation ability) it’s possible to have some sort of flag to indicate that the document has annotations and then if I have an app on my iPhone to read PDF with annotations, I’d be able to send it into that app?

You asked the wrong person about annotating PDFs. :slight_smile:

As I’ve noted elsewhere, I regard marking up my references as akin to vandalism, like scrawling with a crayon on a Gutenberg Bible.

Besides, PDF notes are not searchable and are plain text.

I do annotate my database documents, but I use linked rich text notes. IOS doesn’t currently support creation or editing of rich text, so in DT To Go I use plain text notes – when synced back to the Mac, I’ll convert them to rich text and add links.

But that’s just me. Jon is working on enhancements to DT To Go. :slight_smile:

dear bill,

thanks a lot! your in-depth explanation is much more, than i have expected with my question. and i think its good help for the users to evaluate the future of DTTG. personally, i’m going to jump in the water and install it …

best regards,

:slight_smile: I’m the same when it comes to paper books, but not when it’s a PDF. It’s easier to work with someone remotely, when you can scribble in PDF and send it back and get more scribbles back from the reviewer. Otherwise, I’d have to either send all of my note files or create a new document every time.
Paper books are sacred to me, but PDFs is just like a napkin :wink:

Learn every day! I didn’t realise that. Thanks for the info!

Bill, I’m curious how do you organise your files on iDevice to be able to find the text notes that is an annotation notes to some PDF? Are you using folders for that or just name them in some particular way?

Your insights into DT is very useful. Thanks a million for sharing!

That was exactly the reason I bought DTTG this week. I’d like to support Jon, who is doing a great work and helping people here in the forum and is very open to new feature requests.

I use rich text notes to annotate references of all filetypes, not just PDFs.

The notes are given the same Name as the referenced document, perhaps with one or more terms added at the end.

A Lookup search by Name will, therefore, display the reference document and my notes on it. For my own convenience, I usually place my notes in the same group as the referenced document. If they are initially scattered around, perhaps some in Global Inbox on the Mac (that were added while in DT To Go), after Sync I can do that little filling chore on the Mac.

DEVONthink Lookup searches (Mac databases): Select a text string and press ‘Command-/’. The full Search window will open with that string already entered. To search as an exact string (phrase), enclose it in quotation marks. This is a great tool. I often use a judiciously chosen string copied into a note that will let me jump to an exact location in the text of documents of any filetype. Such “cue” strings can be used much like a Page Link to a PDF, so that I can jump to a location in a rich text, HTML, WebArchive or other filetype reference via a Lookup search.