Dropbox sync is too restrictive - any other option, even iCloud??

so
southpolecat
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Sun Jan 26, 2020 10:10 pm Post

I am quite perplexed as to why Scrivener on iPad OS does not support Apple - standard iCloud. I've read some old posts about difficulties of syncing with non-Dropbox clouds, but I don't think this is relevant any longer. OneDrive, Google Drive, pCloud work just fine for very complex projects.

The iCloud, while not ideal, is okay as it can be accessed from most platforms. Dropbox, on the other hand, is way too restrictive. As of March 2019, Dropbox free is limited to three devices where one can install a client. In my case, I cannot use my Macbook, because I already have Dropbox on other computers where I need it. The paid plan is expensive and software maker, such as Scrivener, cannot expect users to use paid plans elsewhere. So, back to my question, the iPad version does not have any alternative to Dropbox cloud sync. In my case, it means that I paid for all versions of Scriverner for nothing. I cannot work on the same project from PC, Mac and iPad (not to mention the lack of Android app.)

I apologize for some negativity, but I am quite disappointed that so sophisticated software that positions itself as a tool to go for all writing needs, fails short exactly where it should be rock solid and versatile, - syncing. Give the users the option to use other clouds (for example those accessible through now standard "Files" app on iOS) and let them experiment with it and see how well it works.

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kewms
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Sun Jan 26, 2020 10:23 pm Post

You can certainly use Apple's tools to transfer projects to and from your iOS devices if you prefer.

What you *can't* do is "synchronize" them, by which I mean having the software automatically upload and download as needed to make sure the two versions are identical. For that, it's necessary to walk through all the component files, and only the Dropbox API has the hooks that allow us to do that.

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The Great Edhead
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Sun Jan 26, 2020 11:48 pm Post

I understand your frustration, but it's really iCloud, Onedrive and other cloud storage providers that you should be disappointed in as they are the ones who have not added the capability Scrivener needs to syncronize projects across devices.

That being said there are a couple workarounds to the device limit. The first is free, but it may violate the Terms of Service. Simple sign up for a second dropbox account and share your scrivener folder from the first account with the second one. The second, (which I have no confirmed) involves signing up for a premium account, adding your other devices and then canceling after a month of service. It will set you back a little bit of dough, but it's definitely not a violation of the TOS.

Am
Amcmo

Mon Jan 27, 2020 5:43 am Post

And another is to get friends to sign up to expand the free storage if needed.

As long as not attempted on the same machine/s multiple email addresses within the same location work fine for that.

Don't know about TOC, but just sayin...

mb
mbbntu
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Mon Jan 27, 2020 8:23 am Post

Given the problems I've had with iCloud recently (Apple seems to have done something nasty to it in October on the release of Catalina) I wouldn't use it if it were available. Taking several hours to upload a 7 KB file? No thank you. I have spent the past two days moving as much as I can from iCloud to other services. And as to the technical difficulties of synchronisation, I am not a programmer, but when people who know better say "this is not as easy as it looks" I tend to believe them. If there was a way around the technical problems, Keith would have found them by now. Believe me.
You should judge people not by how close they get to the top, but by how far they have come from the bottom. Some people have a mountain to climb just to get to the place where others start out. (Me, 2010)

Am
Amcmo

Mon Jan 27, 2020 9:15 am Post

I've heard some have had problems with iCloud, but that has not been my experience.

For complete security of very sensitive data I only use iCloud and box. Dropbox for my writing.

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lunk
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Mon Jan 27, 2020 10:15 am Post

Amcmo wrote:I've heard some have had problems with iCloud, but that has not been my experience.

My iCloud Drive stopped updating on my Mac:s early summer 2018 and didn't work at all for 8-9 month, so I moved all important stuff out of iCloud. I tried all suggestions from Apple and everything I found on the net, but nothing worked.

The strange thing was that it worked on my iDevices. Then suddenly early 2019 it started to work like it is supposed to.

Box has occasionally stopped updating, but only temporarily. The same with OneDrive.

But I have never had any problems whatsoever with my Dropbox account. What is it with Dropbox that people are afraid of?
I am a user, writing non-fiction and science, using:
* Mac Scrivener 3 on a Macbook 12”, MacBook Pro 13”, and iMac 27”, all running Mojave.
* iOS Scrivener 1 on an iPhone 11 Pro, iPad Air 9.7”, and iPad Pro 12.9”, all running the latest iOS

Am
Amcmo

Mon Jan 27, 2020 11:01 am Post

But I have never had any problems whatsoever with my Dropbox account. What is it with Dropbox that people are afraid of?


I've had no issues with Dropbox other than a brief issue with synching iOS13, however quickly fixed with removing all but current projects from the synch folder.

I wouldn't rate their security at quite the same level as iCloud and box, though have no concerns. I would like more than 3 devices, but they have to make a $ or we won't have any free offering.

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lunk
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Mon Jan 27, 2020 1:34 pm Post

Amcmo wrote:I wouldn't rate their security at quite the same level as iCloud and box, though have no concerns. I would like more than 3 devices, but they have to make a $ or we won't have any free offering.

Don't worry, I am nowadays one of those that pay them, so that other can have their free space. :)
I am a user, writing non-fiction and science, using:
* Mac Scrivener 3 on a Macbook 12”, MacBook Pro 13”, and iMac 27”, all running Mojave.
* iOS Scrivener 1 on an iPhone 11 Pro, iPad Air 9.7”, and iPad Pro 12.9”, all running the latest iOS

do
donnyboy
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Mon Jan 27, 2020 2:09 pm Post

I don't actually use the Dropbox sync feature as intended. I simply save my projects in a folder in DB. The backup folder is in there too. I don't understand how using sync in Scrivener would do a better job.

So with that in mind, can't you just save the files to any cloud app you want. Every time you hit save, that file will update. Then you can access it from any device you want.

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lunk
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Mon Jan 27, 2020 3:54 pm Post

A project isn’t a file, it’s a folder with potentially hundreds or thousands of subfolders and files.

We sync to access the project from iPad or iPhone, iOS Scrivener.

And there is no need to hit Save. Scrivener saves automatically whenever you pause a few seconds.
I am a user, writing non-fiction and science, using:
* Mac Scrivener 3 on a Macbook 12”, MacBook Pro 13”, and iMac 27”, all running Mojave.
* iOS Scrivener 1 on an iPhone 11 Pro, iPad Air 9.7”, and iPad Pro 12.9”, all running the latest iOS

je
jeffnesh
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Wed Jan 29, 2020 5:25 pm Post

While fully understanding the often cited API issues that have tied Scrivener to DropBox for device syncing, I'm going to pile on as this being an untenable solution.

I've used Scrivener for 13 years, but the 3-device limit (albeit Dropbox's restriction, not Scrivener's) has become a severe limitation. I frequently use an iPhone, iPad, laptop, and desktop Mac. Yep, the phone is important (I'm a poet, the form factor is effective!). Upgrading any of the devices, and trying to add in a work desktop for my writing practice breaks the DropBox limit.

I have plenty of other options (OneDrive and iCloud primarily) for everything else. I'm down to Scrivener syncing as my only use for DropBox. This effectively turns Scrivener into a subscription service and it's forcing me to evaluate other options :(
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so
southpolecat
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Wed Jan 29, 2020 6:56 pm Post

jeffnesh wrote:While fully understanding the often cited API issues that have tied Scrivener to DropBox for device syncing, I'm going to pile on as this being an untenable solution.

I've used Scrivener for 13 years, but the 3-device limit (albeit Dropbox's restriction, not Scrivener's) has become a severe limitation. I frequently use an iPhone, iPad, laptop, and desktop Mac. Yep, the phone is important (I'm a poet, the form factor is effective!). Upgrading any of the devices, and trying to add in a work desktop for my writing practice breaks the DropBox limit.

I have plenty of other options (OneDrive and iCloud primarily) for everything else. I'm down to Scrivener syncing as my only use for DropBox. This effectively turns Scrivener into a subscription service and it's forcing me to evaluate other options :(


Wow, I did not expect my post to trigger such avalanche of responses. Thanks, everybody for sharing, I've learned a lot reading your responses. However, I quote @jeffnesh here as he describes the problem very clearly.

The iPad (or iPhone) version of Scrivener does not have ANY other than DropBox cloud option. It is either local or Dropbox and I see a huge problem in this approach as we are forced to use paid subscription services. As you all know, novels sometimes take long time, years, to write and one must rest assured that all files are okay as they are (please, don't start with the importance of backups etc, this is not the point here.)

Am
Amcmo

Wed Jan 29, 2020 8:41 pm Post

I have plenty of other options (OneDrive and iCloud primarily) for everything else. I'm down to Scrivener syncing as my only use for DropBox. This effectively turns Scrivener into a subscription service and it's forcing me to evaluate other options :(


As indicated, there are other ways to share across multiple devices, and other ways to get around the 3 device limit.

I’m ready to get dumped on in a big way, but IMHO, this going on about the 3 device limit is an example of entitlement thinking. Dropbox on up to 3 devices is a FREE service ffs. Either adapt your process to work within the 3 device limit or pay up! L&L have given endless explanations of why Dropbox is the only option.

Attempting to guilt or not so subtly threaten to go elsewhere gets up my nose. I see it every day in my role.

Customers threatening members of my support team they will give bad feedback /go to the competition (and get their friends and family to do likewise) if we don’t give them a free device or repair after they spilt orange juice/dropped it down the stairs/gave it to baby to keep them quiet and baby threw it in the pavement/left it on the roof of the car... the list is endless.

Now you know why I get grumpy when anyone puts the demands on L&L to cover for their mistakes, change beta process to save them 5 minutes a month, display entitlement. It’s why I closed my forum account last year and why I’m close to doing so again.

Apart from that, I’m old and after a lifetime of cleaning up other’s messes I’m entitled to be grumpy!

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lunk
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Wed Jan 29, 2020 9:05 pm Post

Amcmo wrote:I’m ready to get dumped on in a big way, but IMHO, this going on about the 3 device limit is an example of entitlement thinking. Dropbox on up to 3 devices is a FREE service ffs. Either adapt your process to work within the 3 device limit or pay up! L&L have given endless explanations of why Dropbox is the only option.

Yes!
:D

"Entitlement thinking" is a naive, immature, childish behavior.
I am a user, writing non-fiction and science, using:
* Mac Scrivener 3 on a Macbook 12”, MacBook Pro 13”, and iMac 27”, all running Mojave.
* iOS Scrivener 1 on an iPhone 11 Pro, iPad Air 9.7”, and iPad Pro 12.9”, all running the latest iOS