Can sync happen before I open the app?

I use iCloud to sync my DT3 databases to my iOS devices. Each time I open DTTG on an iOD device I see the little clock-like sync icon showing how much time is left. Sometimes it’s quick, but other times - i.e., when there have been a lot of changes on my Mac to sync - it takes quite a bit longer.

Am I correct in assuming that DTTG does not sync in the background, but must wait for me to open the app in order to begin sync?

And if that’s the case, is there any way the developers can add background sync to a future release?

Thanks in advance.

No you can’t sync if DEVONthink To Go is not open. And it already uses Background App Refresh but that is under the control of iOS, limited to a very short window, and is terminated whenever iOS wants to.

Thanks. One of the reasons I ask is that it seems that Evernote syncs so much more quickly. I’ve considered leaving Evernote entirely for DT3, but the speed of their syncing is keeping me there. Is it faster (or does it seems faster) because they’re not using iCloud, but their own servers?

Yes and they are also syncing very small bits of data compared to DEVONthink.
PS: they’re not actually syncing before the app opens. It just appears that way.

I might also add that iCloud sync is known to be slow and unreliable. I switched my sync provider to Dropbox, and I immediately found it to be much faster. I’ve heard elsewhere on this forum that WebDav syncing is the best.

Welcome @Dostoevsky

I’ve heard elsewhere on this forum that WebDav syncing is the best.

WebDAV can be a good option, but ny remote sync option can be problematic.

Thanks, Jim. I’m a but frustrated by how long it sometimes takes iCloud to sync, so I’m going to try a test with Dropbox. I’m assuming it’s safe to set up a test database and sync it to Dropbox without affecting the other databases that sync via iCloud, yes?

Yes, that’s feasible.
And yes, iCloud is a mixed bag and outside our control. It’s also inconsistent in that some people have no issues with it, others do, and other do on occasion. :roll_eyes:

Hi Jim,

So I just did a test. Created two identical databases (about 350MB), synced one via iCloud, the other by Dropbox. The initial uploading was a bit faster for Dropbox. But when I added a 100MB file to each, the iCloud sync was quite a bit faster. Now, maybe that won’t always happen, but I was pretty surprised by that.

On the whole, are you recommending Dropbox over iCloud? If so, what are the reasons?

Thanks,

Roger

On the whole, are you recommending Dropbox over iCloud? If so, what are the reasons?

No, I am not. In fact, my stance for almost 8 years now has been this:

Any remote sync location has inherent weaknesses due to:

  • Network conditions - local and remote
  • Remote server reachability and response times
  • Maximum concurrent connection limitations imposed by the service
  • Bandwidth throttling measures employed by cloud services

These are limitations sync cannot overcome, any more than your web browser can.

For the optimal experience, you should use a remote sync option when you need to. Just having a Dropbox, iCloud, etc. account does not make it an optimal solution for all situations.
This doesn’t mean you can’t successfully use a remote solution. It just means there are some stumbling blocks that can occur when using them - blocks caused by the conditions mentioned, not our sync engine - and they can inhibit proper syncing.

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Based on that feedback, I am using local sync to a MacBookPro for my iOS devices and having that MacBookPro syncing to iCloud. Then turning on a configured iCloud sync on my iOS devices if I am away for home for more than a day or two. I have done a full initial sync to iCloud on the mobile devices so I don’t have a huge bulk sync when I turn it on while away…

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:+1:

Is it really an iCloud problem? Other Apps using iCloud like Ulysses or Keep it are much faster. DTTG is even slower when only syncing the structure without downloading the content. In Ulysses for example I can change a document and it will sync in seconds. In DEVONThink I have to wait much longer.

My suspicion is that despite all the focus on cloud providers, the real bottleneck with text-heavy databases is processing on the mobile device.

Sync is not a standard and methods are not equal. You can’t compare the simple single file syncing with DEVONthink’s. Also, those apps are dealing with tiny amount of information compared to what people are forcing through the pipeline with DEVONthink.

I’ve used various sync methods:

  • iCloud
  • Dropbox
  • Bonjour (macOS local network)
  • WebDAV (NAS local network)

Of these options, in my experience the last is noticeably the most reliable regarding iOS background and foreground sync.

I also presume iOS prioritizes the frequency of background ‘wake-up’ based on your app use. I.e. if you only use DTTG once in a week, I expect other apps will be higher up the ladder.

My suspicion is that despite all the focus on cloud providers, the real bottleneck with text-heavy databases is processing on the mobile device.

Based on my personal experience I do not agree, as my clients stayed more or less the same.

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