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

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theswede
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Sun Mar 22, 2020 2:03 pm Post

Scrib64 wrote:There is a potential way round it without using the iCloud API


Which is not acceptable, because not using the API means it WILL BREAK when Apple changes things, which they do all the time.
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cartoonM!ke
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Wed Apr 01, 2020 11:00 pm Post

Well, this whole thread bodes ill for any of us who don't want to go through the process of yet another Username-password service joining just for one single app.
I tried Dropbox once and hated the "integration" that it forced on me. I don't really want to use much of my time for a service that I'm just gonna use for one app.
Maybe contact Affinity (serif) for clues how they did such a good job creating a pair of iOS versions of their Photo and Designer apps -- practically every single feature on the desktop is there on the iOS version. And their documents can be opened by any other affinity app (i.e photo can open a Designer doc that was made using the Desktop and saved to the iCloud and then the Publisher app on the desktop can then open it and so on...) It seems to me that Affinity understands that they are building an Ecosystem, where each part needs to work together on a variety of platforms -- both computing and synching. I feel that isn't how L&L approached things. But I'm just a lowly comic artist, not a programmer. ;)
So maybe this is heretical but I don't think the iOS version is anything really special compared to the desktop, its like a pale shadow of the desktop version. I've used the iOS version maybe a dozen times and each time left it frustrated and disappointed that I basically wasted the money for it.
At least I have Storyist and Pages. I wish that the restrictive syching was mentioned upfront when I bought it. If so, I wouldn't have.
And the comment that we users should contact companies on L&L benefit is more like "your privilege is showing" than me not wanting to use a service that, for my needs, I would have to pay for as my scrivener files contains graphics for comic layouts. Besides, I'm already shelling out bucks for iCloud and I can't afford yet another sub, to paraphrase a asian quote "A death from a thousand subs."

To be clear, I'm not angry, just disappointed. Mostly in myself for letting the hype over the iOS version overtake common sense of waiting to see if it would work. I didn't and there's another app joining the graveyard of the "almost, but not quite" deleted apps.
Who would win in a fight -- Schodinger's Cat or Pavlov's Dog?

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JimRac
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Thu Apr 02, 2020 12:21 am Post

Hi M!ke,

I find the stripped down iOS version perfect for heads down first draft writing--less distractions. But I realize others might prefer to have all the tools of the desktop version at hand.
cartoonM!ke wrote:I wish that the restrictive syching was mentioned upfront when I bought it.
From the App store Scrivener page:

Work Anywhere
• Use Dropbox to sync between devices and with the macOS and Windows versions of Scrivener*
• Copy projects between devices via iTunes

* Requires a Dropbox account (not compatible with iCloud).


It's certainly possible those bullets weren't there when you bought iOS Scrivener, but they're there now.

Best,
Jim
I’m just a customer.

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kewms
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Thu Apr 02, 2020 12:40 am Post

cartoonM!ke wrote:So maybe this is heretical but I don't think the iOS version is anything really special compared to the desktop, its like a pale shadow of the desktop version.


I wouldn't phrase it quite that way, but iOS Scrivener has never claimed to duplicate the full functionality of desktop Scrivener. The platform simply doesn't support it.

Katherine
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Am
Amcmo

Thu Apr 02, 2020 10:35 am Post

I tried Dropbox once and hated the "integration" that it forced on me. I don't really want to use much of my time for a service that I'm just gonna use for one app.


It takes a few minutes to set up Dropbox and then you spend zero time on it.

You just have to remember to sync on the iOS device which is as simple as tapping the icon. I have 8 books synched on DB including two that are extremely image heavy. What I did was check around for friends who might have a storage need for backups, their writing etc and sent the BD invite and ended up with 7+ GB of free storage.

Other than the recent Apple induced synch failures which seem resolved with the latest iOS release it's worked fine for pretty much all users since the first release of iOS Scrivener .

As for

And the comment that we users should contact companies on L&L benefit is more like "your privilege is showing" than me not wanting to use a service that, for my needs,
,

if you read the threads on this subject (pretty much everything you say has been said and answered dozens of times over) you will see that L&L have tried providing feedback to Apple and pretty much the last option is for a groundswell of user feedback to Apple to hopefully convince them of the need. I think that's a totally reasonable suggestion, nothing to do with "your privilege is showing" .

Of course you can always use the L&L documented iTunes synch process if you REALLY don't want to use Dropbox, and there have been a few posts on other possible ways (with warnings) to use other cloud options, but you'd have to take the time to read those previous threads. Probably hundreds of times longer that it takes to set up and implement Dropbox.

iOS Scrivener was never meant to be as full featured as the desktop apps due to the restrictions imposed by iOS.

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wrp_jlm
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Sat Apr 04, 2020 6:46 pm Post

It takes a few minutes to set up Dropbox and then you spend zero time on it.


After finally getting Dropbox to not give me the Invalid Project alert, I worked on it for a while, went to work on my Mac, came back to test the iOS version again, and when I hit the Sync button, my project disappeared. I had to Re-Link to Dropbox to get it to show up again.

I guess my zero is bigger than your zero.

So far, the iOS version of Scrivener has been a waste of my time & money.

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lunk
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Sat Apr 04, 2020 7:35 pm Post

wrp_jlm wrote:when I hit the Sync button, my project disappeared. I

This suggests that the folder your iOS Scriv was linked to didn’t contain the project.
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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wrp_jlm
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Sun Apr 05, 2020 1:42 am Post

lunk wrote:
wrp_jlm wrote:when I hit the Sync button, my project disappeared. I

This suggests that the folder your iOS Scriv was linked to didn’t contain the project.


And I’m obviously not very bright by implication.

I verified it was there on the Mac. I Re-Linked Dropbox on my iPad and it appeared again. Worked for a while, then came back later, hit sync, and it disappeared again. Re-Linked, appeared, synced, disappeared. A total of four times.

It’s not always the users fault.

Am
Amcmo

Sun Apr 05, 2020 4:46 am Post

wrp_jlm wrote:
I verified it was there on the Mac. I Re-Linked Dropbox on my iPad and it appeared again. Worked for a while, then came back later, hit sync, and it disappeared again. Re-Linked, appeared, synced, disappeared. A total of four times.

It’s not always the users fault.


I cannot recall a verified case of Dropbox killing projects as you describe. Certainly not 4 times.

1. Did you make use of this extensive resource? http://scrivener.tenderapp.com/help/kb/ ... g-with-ios
2. Did you reach out to L&L or Dropbox tech support?

Not being nasty, but it USUALLY is the user’s fault in my experience.

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lunk
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Sun Apr 05, 2020 6:43 am Post

Just linking/re-linking iOS Scrivener to Dropbox doesn’t do anything. You have to tap the sync icon for anything to happen. So the project can neither appear or disappear by simply linking.
It would be interesting with screen shots that showed exactly what you mean is happening.
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

wr
wrp_jlm
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Sun Apr 05, 2020 11:15 am Post

lunk wrote:Just linking/re-linking iOS Scrivener to Dropbox doesn’t do anything. You have to tap the sync icon for anything to happen. So the project can neither appear or disappear by simply linking.
It would be interesting with screen shots that showed exactly what you mean is happening.


I verified it was there on the Mac. I Re-Linked Dropbox on my iPad and it appeared again. Worked for a while, then came back later, hit sync, and it disappeared again. Re-Linked, appeared, synced, disappeared. A total of four times.


As you can see, I hit sync. That's what makes the project disappear. I can then hit sync again & again & again and it doesn't come back. The only way I can get it to appear again is to Re-Link to Dropbox.

That is the problem.

What would screen shots of Scrivener without a project, then Scrivener with a project show?

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lunk
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Sun Apr 05, 2020 11:27 am Post

Yes, but just re-linking shouldn’t make it appear, unless you re-link and immediately sync! So what happens if you re-link, sync, and then press sync again? Or if you re-link, sync, open the project, edit something, close the project, and sync?

But there are three computers involved, and all three must be included in the analyses:
Your Mac, the DB server, your iPad.
Therefore, the DB app on your Mac is involved, uploading and downloading between the Mac and the DB server, and the "syncing" (i.e upload and download) between your iPad and the DB server handled by Scrivener.
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

wr
wrp_jlm
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Sun Apr 05, 2020 11:44 am Post

Amcmo wrote:
I cannot recall a verified case of Dropbox killing projects as you describe. Certainly not 4 times.

1. Did you make use of this extensive resource? http://scrivener.tenderapp.com/help/kb/ ... g-with-ios
2. Did you reach out to L&L or Dropbox tech support?


Dropbox is not "killing" the project, the project is simply disappearing within Scrivener. I can go into the iOS Files or Dropbox apps and see the project fine. I can go on the Mac & see the project fine. It is only a Scrivener issue.

I looked through that knowledge base, particularly when I had the Invalid Project problem at the start. Its suggestions were of no use. I knew my files had finished syncing because Dropbox shows you when its syncing or not. I fixed that problem by moving my project out of Apps/Scrivener, as someone else suggested here, and it was no longer invalid. I linked to that new destination. Then the disappearing project became an issue.

I just bought Scrivener for iOS and so figured others have had this problem, so haven't gotten to the point of contacting anyone, as I want to make sure I'm not doing anything wrong. I worked on the software for the most advanced helicopter in the Navy for over a decade, so I know how to test and make problems repeatable. I am able to repeat this problem easily. Just hit sync until it disappears, re-link to get it to come back.

I've decided it's not worth the effort to futz with this anymore. I've found a way to use iCloud for my syncing that is no more complicated than using Dropbox, plus it seems pretty reliable, so that's what I'm going with.

Just disappointed that I had to pay for the iOS software first to find all this out. Makes me hesitant about committing to pay for and switching over to Scrivener on the Mac, or to continue using Ulysses, which has its own issues that drive me nuts but at least I'm used to them. This is were I am at now, still testing Scrivener on the Mac.

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lunk
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Sun Apr 05, 2020 1:55 pm Post

wrp_jlm wrote:[I've found a way to use iCloud for my syncing that is no more complicated than using Dropbox

If using iCloud seems as uncomplicated as using Dropbox you’re probably doing something wrong, because syncing with DB should take one tap and you’re done. I have been using iOS Scriv since it became available and have never had any problems what so ever, and I can definitely not repeat what you describe.
But the only way for us to understand what happens is if you describe exactly what you do. Every single tap or click in every app that you involve in the process, on both iPad and Mac.
By the way, have you updated to the latest version of iOS on the iPad?
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

wr
wrp_jlm
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Mon Apr 06, 2020 12:19 pm Post

Finally got this working & stable using Dropbox. I was watching the video for Scrivener on iOS to figure out how to get index card mode back while working on a copy stored locally on my iPad using the iCloud method, and decided to go through the steps of setting up Dropbox again, which I had signed out of on both my iPad & my Mac.

The only thing I did differently this time is that I set up Dropbox using the Dropbox iOS app; before, I had set it up from within the Scrivener app (asking my to log in), though I'm not sure if that's why it's working now (though it may be). Another thing that has changes is that I can use the App/Scrivener folder and I no longer get the Invalid Project.

My guess, by the way it's behaving, is that there's some setting in either Scrivener or the Dropbox app that gets set which is required for things to work properly, but when you first set it up, it's not set, causing some issues. It does get set and it remains that way so that when I tried setting this up again, it found what it needs and everything is honky-dory. This is also why someone saying "I've been using it for years and never had this issue" is non-relevant to someone who is setting it up for the first time.

Once it's set, of course, the problems go away, so it's darn near impossible to track the bug down without using a completely wiped machine.

So if someone is setting this up for the first time and has problems with disappearing projects or Invalid Project or anything else wonky, my suggestion is to pull everything back to the original state and try again. It might just work for you.