On my iMac, I have set the sync to every 1 minute. On both my iPad and iphone I have set sync to automatic.
Yesterday evening as it took about 3 hours to sync some 4000 items database (index only) to my iPad - I find wifi connection slows during the evenings - I left the iPad on all night (mains powered) to sync another database, some 12,000 items. This morning, I noticed that the sync progress on the iPad was at circa 23,000 items. (You have already explained the difference in files, etc).
Q1 -Would I be right in thinking that by leaving the sync on iPad and iphone on automatic, the sync process is continually running to check for and update any changes?
Q2 - And if so then would it be better to manual sync those databases I want to use on my iPad and iphone as I go, rather than have them sync all the time?