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

je
jeffnesh
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Thu Jan 30, 2020 3:23 pm Post

Whoa there, @amcmo, I apologize if I'm 'up your nose' or implied a guilt or threat, but I'd like to step back a notch. As I said, I fully understand the API issues and path L&L has taken for multiple device syncing. And I, too, am the CIO of a large college and often field customer requests, both legitimate and uninformed.

'Entitlement thinking' is quite an assumption. I don't know your use cases, but from the start I would assume yours are as valid as mine. Scriv has been my primary writing tool of choice for over a decade. It's flexibility, 'writerly organization' and output options are the best available hands down (not to mention the amount of history and data I have in the tool). I write personally (poetry and journaling, mostly) and professionally (report after report and article after article, and on and on).

My workplace limits the options of devices (and what can connect to our network) on a policy basis. Both personally and professionally, I am in environments where one device is available for my writing but another is not with me. The real-world number of devices I use is more than 3. I don't believe that's entitlement. Devices have become ubiquitous and the growing value-add is ease of access. I also like getting my email on the device at hand as well.

I've purchased licenses for over a decade. I've purchased my own personal licenses and have additional licenses for work. I've purchased device licenses and upgrades every step of the way. I don't need anything for free. And I'm not sure I even asked for action in my post.

I'd simply like us to consider that (one of) the value proposition(s) of Scrivener is ownership vs subscription model. By limiting an industry standard piece of functionality (multi-device syncing) to one provider, who then further limits functionality in essence makes Scriv a subscription product to take full advantage of that feature.

Dropbox is moving in the opposite direction of the industry both in value and limitations. Their model and trajectory is clearly targeted at businesses over personal use. The workarounds and stringing together of accounts, etc. is not a real solution. The only solution is subscribing to yet another cloud provider (DropBox) when others are cheaper with fewer limits. It is worth considering and I am just expressing a concern that this is an untenable model for implementing a feature.

I made the feature request for more options long ago. I understand the difficulty and I understand if L&L can't/won't move in the direction I particularly desire. That's okay, but it's a conversation worth having.That's all.

This is an incredibly supportive community of artists and practitioners. Both the L&L team and this community are responsive, constructive, thoughtful and, frankly, amazing. Sorry for rambling on, but perhaps I should have provided more context in the first time.

Again, sincere apologies if I implied guilt and threat. It is my hope that we can continue to have civil conversations here.

Thanks,
Jeff
jeffnesheim.com
highway30.org

Am
Amcmo

Fri Jan 31, 2020 12:00 am Post

jeffnesh wrote:Whoa there, @amcmo, I apologize if I'm 'up your nose' or implied a guilt or threat, but I'd like to step back a notch. As I said, I fully understand the API issues and path L&L has taken for multiple device syncing. And I, too, am the CIO of a large college and often field customer requests, both legitimate and uninformed. The real-world number of devices I use is more than 3. I don't believe that's entitlement. Devices have become ubiquitous and the growing value-add
Thanks,
Jeff


Hey Jeff,

Lots of info in the reply. In your role you obviously do come across the kicking and screaming 'I wanna' brigade.

My comment on the number of devices connectable with Dropbox was not about the number owned. Hey, I have 2 MBP's an Air, Mini, 4 high spec Win machines (I keep saying I'm going to donate to the Men's Shed when I get time) 2 iPhones in the house, 3 iPads (2 mini, 1 12.9 Pro) On top of that a couple of company provided machines. OK, I only get to connect 3 to a Dropbox account (I do have two accounts). I even paid for a full year of business when running my own business in parallel to my employment. In terms of Dropbox's direction, they have no other income stream, I believe. Everyone else has multiple streams to subsidize and use as 'traps' to get people on their platform.

My 'entitlement' comment was aimed at those who threw a hissy because Dropbox imposed a 3 device limit on the free tier and the number of people wailing here and elsewhere about their 'right' to have as many machines as they want on their free account. As I have said many times, it's free and we should be thankful for the option, after all they are in business to make money..

I have free accounts at Dropbox, box, Google and One Drive and a paid tier at iCloud. I use the Google and one drive for zipped backups, box and iCloud for high security documents and Dropbox 8GB free (I have nice friends) for my writing and research.

There are many threads here on this and other subjects where some refuse to a accept the statements from L&L on why certain things are and continue to badger, almost pushing for a policy change just to accommodate their wishes which gets up my nose, and that of a few others, so my mouth off was aimed at a wider audience, not just picking on you.

As I mentioned, my background of dealing with that sort of attitude over many years has made for an occasionally 'Grumpy Rob'. That said, I always relish the opportunity for discussion with other 'un-entitled' beings.

Hopefully other cloud providers or developments within iOS will open up access for other synch options, but until then it is what it is.

Bl
Bluetrainers
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Joined: Sun Feb 09, 2020 6:02 pm
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Sun Feb 09, 2020 6:21 pm Post

Dear L&L

I am a brand new user of Scrivener for MacOS. Excellent product and superbly written tutorial. Much better for my compositional needs than Ulysses which I have been using across apple devices for about a year. Based on this good result I paid for and downloaded the iOS version today.

In sharp contrast to Ulysses, I am truly lost in attempting to synchronise iOS and macOS work. I can see that there is quite a lot of forum traffic on this point but I lack the technical competence to venture anything of substance. However I did read that your product works across platforms and it is a reasonable request to ensure that sync functionality is available and tested with authors rather than software specialists before releasing. I am patient but I did spend a non trivial amount of money (for a teacher) on the iOS version and I do hope to enable the sync with my MacBook soon. Thank you :D

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kewms
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Sun Feb 09, 2020 6:51 pm Post

A guide to setting up Dropbox synchronization can be found here:
https://scrivener.tenderapp.com/help/kb ... g-with-ios

A troubleshooting guide can be found here:
https://scrivener.tenderapp.com/help/kb ... os-syncing

Katherine
Scrivener Support Team

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theswede
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Platform: Mac, Win + iOS

Wed Feb 26, 2020 1:34 pm Post

jeffnesh wrote: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.


The 3 device limit is for the full Dropbox client. On iPhone and iPad you do not need that. You can sync only from Scrivener, which does not count towards the limit.

That leaves you two devices for laptop and desktop, and one free for something else.
Jesper Anderson SA5NEO
Computer scientist. Software engineer. Scifi writer. Scuba diver.

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kewms
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Wed Feb 26, 2020 4:54 pm Post

theswede wrote:The 3 device limit is for the full Dropbox client. On iPhone and iPad you do not need that. You can sync only from Scrivener, which does not count towards the limit.

That leaves you two devices for laptop and desktop, and one free for something else.


Have you personally tested this?

Katherine
Scrivener Support Team

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theswede
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Thu Feb 27, 2020 5:35 pm Post

kewms wrote:Have you personally tested this?


I'm unable to do so as I have a paid Dropbox account, and I also make use of the Dropbox application on my devices for automated uploads.
Jesper Anderson SA5NEO
Computer scientist. Software engineer. Scifi writer. Scuba diver.

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rdale
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Thu Feb 27, 2020 10:32 pm Post

kewms wrote:
theswede wrote:The 3 device limit is for the full Dropbox client. On iPhone and iPad you do not need that. You can sync only from Scrivener, which does not count towards the limit.

That leaves you two devices for laptop and desktop, and one free for something else.


Have you personally tested this?

Katherine

I can confirm. I just have the free account. I de-authorized my iphone, and then was able to successfully sync using Scrivener. There's a separate section for authorized apps, which are not subject to the 3-device limit, that lists Scrivener as authorized.

Probably this means I can't use the Dropbox app on my iphone, but I have rarely bothered doing that. Since it's not needed, I'll probably delete that and authorize my work PC again. Hooray!
FKA: robertdguthrie
AKA: R Dale Guthrie, Robert, Mr. Obscure, and "Oh, it's you again".

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Scrib64
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Wed Mar 18, 2020 9:13 pm Post

Just a note to the Scrivener Admins on this subject - I love your product! Its amazing!

But - Please, please, please, please, please, please, please add iCloud support for syncing between Mac OS and IOS Scrivener versions.

I use MAC/IOS and iCloud - A LOT - and for large files - I've never had a sync problem. Ever!
I'm also frustrated that I'd have to pay for Dropbox - nearly £10 a month - for some of my larger projects. I don't even pay that for my author website and domain name.
The lack of iCloud support for MAC users frankly tarnishes a superb product.
I use an iMAc and MacBook and Scriver syncs perfectly between the two of them using iCloud - So it works. The only caveat is that I always close a project before opening it on the other device.

I'm sure the Scrivener MAC customer base would appreciate iCloud support being added (I'm not asking for DropBox to be removed, just a feature added). I've worked in software development and I know that under the covers things might be as straightforward as they seem to 'users'. However, I also know that most software problems can be resolved and you might make more profit. For example: I know of writers who don't use Scrivener because:

a) Don't want their work in DropBox for various reasons.
b) Like me, refuse to pay for Dropbox when there is a perfectly good native sync solution (iCloud) for free/or already paid for. Personally I pay for iCloud extra storage, but I don't want to have to pay again for DropBox.

Please consider this in a future release - you'd have one happy customer! - Rant over.

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lunk
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Wed Mar 18, 2020 11:23 pm Post

Scrib64 wrote: Please, please, please, please, please, please, please add iCloud support for syncing between Mac OS and IOS Scrivener versions.

You haven’t read through this thread, have you? The reason why iCloud isn’t supported has been explained soooo many times. Now go back to the start and read.
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

Sc
Scrib64
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Thu Mar 19, 2020 11:30 am Post

lunk wrote:
Scrib64 wrote: Please, please, please, please, please, please, please add iCloud support for syncing between Mac OS and IOS Scrivener versions.

You haven’t read through this thread, have you? The reason why iCloud isn’t supported has been explained soooo many times. Now go back to the start and read.


Yes, I've read the info, but I'm still not convinced:

1. I can drop files into my iCloud folder, or subfolder and it appears (syncs) to my other devices - two IOS (iPhone and IPad) and two MAC OS (iMac and Macbook Air) - almost instantly. I've tested this with small, large files and using IOS and MAC OS as the source - All works (syncs) perfectly.

2. I've tested Scrivener sharing a project (one at a time), via iCloud, on two MAC OS devices - Guess what it works.
Caveat: I close one before I open the other, because I've not aware of Scrivener using lock files/technology in this configuration. However, this is how I'd operate anyway, i.e. work at home on my iMac, close Scrivener, open the same project in the coffee shop on my iPad., go home, repeat, etc

I'm guessing the real reason (from my SW development experience) is that time and effort has been put into developing a syncing solution using DropBox - probably before iCloud matured, as it wasn't always so stable. So I understand the developers don't want to spend more time reinventing the wheel .

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lunk
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Thu Mar 19, 2020 12:05 pm Post

Scrib64 wrote:I'm guessing the real reason (from my SW development experience) is that time and effort has been put into developing a syncing solution using DropBox - probably before iCloud matured, as it wasn't always so stable. So I understand the developers don't want to spend more time reinventing the wheel .

... which shows you haven’t read the whole thread, or haven’t understood what you read. Only Dropbox have provided a sufficiently detailed API to allow a third party developer like L&L to handle syncing of such a complex project structure that a Scrivener project is. Apple hasn’t provided that to developers.

Why don’t you contact Apple and demand that they provide a detailed API so L&L can do what you want? And do publish the answer you get in here.
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

Sc
Scrib64
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Thu Mar 19, 2020 12:57 pm Post

lunk wrote:
Scrib64 wrote:I'm guessing the real reason (from my SW development experience) is that time and effort has been put into developing a syncing solution using DropBox - probably before iCloud matured, as it wasn't always so stable. So I understand the developers don't want to spend more time reinventing the wheel .

... which shows you haven’t read the whole thread, or haven’t understood what you read. Only Dropbox have provided a sufficiently detailed API to allow a third party developer like L&L to handle syncing of such a complex project structure that a Scrivener project is. Apple hasn’t provided that to developers.

Why don’t you contact Apple and demand that they provide a detailed API so L&L can do what you want? And do publish the answer you get in here.


There is a potential way round it without using the iCloud API, but much more basic so probably not a good idea. I'd need to know more about the code. Are there any details on the specific API calls involved in the issue?

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lunk
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Thu Mar 19, 2020 2:30 pm Post

I trust that Keith knows what he is doing and that other sync alternatives will be added when it can be done.
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

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kewms
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Thu Mar 19, 2020 4:13 pm Post

FWIW, Keith has had extensive conversations with Apple's developer support group. We're not ignoring the question by any means. But -- as has been explained at length -- the combination of things that Scrivener does is fairly unique.

Katherine
Scrivener Support Team