How does DTTG actually work (without buying it to check)?

DTTG seems to have sparse documentation, and it’s all inside the application. There is no way to download a trial version of DTTG to read the documentation or find out how it works.

So…. how do I figure out it’s basic functionality? I’ve looked for a video tutorial or a sticky note in this forum — it does not seem to exist. Here is what I have figured out so far; is it correct?
Speculated Procedure for DTTG:
On the Mac:
Log your Mac in to your home network.
Start DT on the Mac
Create a special group in the database on the Mac called “Synch” or something similar
(What if I want to synch from several DTP databases?)

Now start DTTG on your iPad.
Log your iPad in to the same home network.
Hit a button on DTTG labeled “synch”.
Apparently, the files in the Synch folder (on the Mac) will eventually show up in DTTG on the iPad.
Once on the iPad, they can be read. It’s not clear to me if you can do anything else with them, such as open PDFs in a PDF editor program. ?
What if I make changes on the iPad - whatever sorts of changes are allowed. How do they get back to the Mac version?

Other questions:
How long does Synching take? Say 50 files of 1 MB each.
How do I take files from several groups in my main (on the Mac) database? If I move them into a special Group called Synch, then do I lose there original location forever? Or, can I replicate them into the Synch Group?
What happens with synching multiple databases? Do they all get jumbled together on the iPad?

Sorry to ask basic questions. I could just spend the $15 and play with it, but for the money I might waste, I could buy 4 used books on Amazon instead.


Every database has a special group alread in existence named “Mobile Sync”. You replicate documents in each database to Mobile Sync for that database. Don’t copy or move. Replicate. The Global Inbox acts like one large Mobile Sync group.

You launch DTTG on the iPad or iPhone. Assuming it is configured (one time) you pick the desktop DEVONthink instance you want to sync with, and the databases you want to sync. You then sync. The first time, the documents are copied from the Global Inbox plus each database’s Mobile Sync group to DTTG. You can add new files on the iOS device and sync them back to the desktop DEVONthink databases. There are more sophisticated things – but that’s the gist of it. If a document is removed from a Mobile Sync group for a database, it’s removed from the iOS device. If a document is added to a “database” on DTTG, it is synced to the desktop Mobile Sync group for that database and can be moved from there to anywhere. Sync is not automatic (yet - maybe never).

Depends. On your network and how much data. 50MB would go pretty fast over here. But … YMMV

You don’t move. You replicate. If you need to understand replication, read DEVONthink Help or the Manual.

Not jumbled. Kept separate.

Your choice. If I was not certain and didn’t have a strong case to regularly sync documents from the desktop DEVONthink to an iPad, I would buy the books instead. IMO, no point in buying anything in this category of software without a compelling reason. Owning the software is not going to give you a reason.

Thanks. :smiley: Someone should make your explanation a sticky.

the lack of documentation is, indeed, a bummer. i was very leery of paying so much sight-unseen, and the reviews were (at the time) really harsh.

but, i’m glad i did get it. i use it every day and i am quite keen on it. my use case requires the secure transfer of data from one device to another, and the app works beautifully in this regard. in fact, it might well be the best / only app in the appstore that can do this (voodoopad on the ipad comes close to this kind of functionality, but i won’t count it, because it crashes or fails to work properly more often than not – a problem for years now that has only gotten worse with the glacial pace of updates).

usually, i sync via wifi (as korm explained, you replicate to mobile sync and then start the process). the initial sync can take a little while, depending on conditions, and i suppose it isn’t blindingly fast. still, for a few gigabytes, i’ve had evernote take hours and hours on a very fast connection (bottlekneck isn’t network speed – server or app design issue), and i consider evernote to be one of the best syncing cloud services. it takes minutes rather than hours for the same amount of data on dt.

i am traveling now without wifi a lot of the time, and also without my own wifi hotspot. sometimes i can access the internet, but usually only on networks where my computer and ipad cannot find one another. no wifi sync is possible. what do i do? bluetooth sync. it’s brilliant. a little slower, to be sure, but no problem at all. they have really thought this thing through and it is beautifully crafted for solid, reliable, and flexible performance. who else has taken the time to build in multiple non-cloud options for syncing? no one. they deserve a lot of credit for stepping up and taking care of user security while most (all other?) developers ignore the issue out of disinterest, laziness, or an unwillingness to invest time/resources into it.

subsequent syncs (after the initial one) take seconds rather than minutes.

yes, version 2 is delayed. yes, the app is a little dated. yes, the search is anemic. there are any number of areas that could benefit from updates or overhauls. however, it works, and this is the only app of this kind that i can depend upon day in and day out to get the job done.

and, if you pay the $15 dollars, you don’t have to worry about paying again for version 2 when it is released. it’s a nice deal.

I’m only on day 2 and I do like the product.

I did some initial tests where I sent a Word doc to my iPad, made changes, then sync’d back to my mac.

I also did a pressure test and sync’d 15GB of email and it took about 10-15 minutes. Not bad over wifi. Most of the times the sync is 30 seconds or less. Obviously it depends on how much you’re moving.

I have 18 databases that I sync with various file types. I love that I can have my reference material with me at all times.

I have had some issues though. I have had data not removed from my iPad/Phone. I found a workaround but it’s not perfect. I’ve opened a ticket and waiting for a resolution.

I am very happy with my purchase.
Good Luck

We’re glad that you are happy with your purchase. There are flaws in the current sync mechanism that can lead to artifacts like the ones described.

Be assured that we’re working hard on our new sync technology that will not only unify Mac-to-Mac and Mac-to-iOS syncs but also do away with hopefully all side effects.

This is really helpful inforamtion. I am looking at DTTG but my main criteria is being able to markup PDF documents. I cannot seem to find if this is possible?

No, this is not possible. Here is what i do: install iAnnotate. Then use the “open in” function in DTTG to export the doc to iAnnotate. It has excellent markup capabilities. After you are done, you can use the “share” function to send the doc back to DTTG. This is obviously more cumbersome than having markup capabilities in DTTG, but generally dedicated programs, one-trick ponies so to speak, are simply superior in what they do. DT will not have the resources to implement the capabilities of iAnnotate or Goodreader. Using iOS is a little like the original Unix philosophy.

Exactly. I have been using this combination for years and I like it. I can keep a “Read-Review” group in the Sync section of DT and throw everything I need to read in it. Sync twice a day DTTG with DTPO.

With flags, I can mark “critical” (read ASAP), “not important” (read when I have time), “completed” (file has come back from iAnnotate) and “on going” (as in iAnnotate for review at this time).

I can’t wait to DTTG to get PDF annotation :wink:

I’m the OP. Thanks, everyone, for the advice. I went ahead and purchased DTTG, and am using a workflow similar to this. Thanks for the suggestion of using flags to keep track of status like this.

BTW I am in the process of shifting my Kindle books to PDFs, to make them easier to work with. Is it a bad idea to put an entire into DT as a single document? Suddenly that book has “a little of everything,” and if the similarity algorithm does not adjust for the length of the work, it will be similar to many other docs. An alternative is to break it up by sections, of course.

thanks again.