Scrivener iOS syncing via Dropbox continues to crash the app

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Fri Dec 13, 2019 1:30 pm Post

lunk wrote:In my case, I have lots and lots of Scrivener projects, but only 6 in the folder I sync with my iDevices. The total size is usually less than 50 Mb (only text no images) and the total number of files usually below 1500. No syncing problems.

This is the issue though. Not all of us can or do work this way. I have three projects on the go, so theoretically I could limit my sync folder to these projects only (And I do). But two of them require research, copy and maps/pix from previous projects. To access those projects on my iPad I need to sync to another folder containing my library of projects, which of course crashes Scrivener. However, even before the crash problem, sync was slow and clunky, as others have said. And yes, the ‘problem’ is that my projects are large. But that shouldn’t be my problem. I’ve used Scrivener for years because it was a solution to that problem. Currently, it isn’t. You’re lucky that you can work around the limitations of the app/s, but in my case it’s not possible and it’s impacted my ability to work on the road and in cafes etc.

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Fri Dec 13, 2019 4:53 pm Post

GrahamGrün wrote:Okay, sorry if I made stupid technical assumptions. But it remains true that syncing is tedious, even without the bug. Maybe you just can’t have both: the greatness of Scrivener and an easy, seamless user experience when switching devices.

There's some truth to this, in that the complexity of synchronization is directly related to the complexity of the Scrivener project format, which in turn is essential for what Scrivener does.

Scrivener Support Team

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Fri Dec 13, 2019 9:29 pm Post

@lunk : My scenario had gone badly from day 1 with the Scrivener sync. For a long time I wasn’t able to use the iOS app, had to reimport all files in a new project that then worked for a while. Since iOS 13, Scrivener has not worked on any of my devices and I have decided that sometime next year I will certainly trade, with regret, Scrivener’s power features for a reliable sync on another app.

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Sun Dec 15, 2019 2:01 pm Post

@lunk : Hey, you made your point. You don't have the issue, we got it. We're all glad to know what your seamless sync implies in terms of projects, and what device you use, That's precious debugging intel. But now, the thing is : what are you still doing here ? We understood your situation the first time, why do you keep hammering other people that have the issue with the fact that you don't ? Are you the kind of people that goes into hospitals to tell sick people that you are healthy ? Because that's what you've been doing here for months now. Again : why do you still follow this topic if you're not directly concerned by the issue ?

Now that being said, I've also been having the issue for a while. I've just been following things silently for now but I thought I'd bring my situation in as well :

iPad pro 2019, 11'', latest OS version and latest app version (eagerly updated as soon as possible as you can all imagine). I've been having the same issue as stated before, sync for all my current projects doesn't work. I'd like to spot that the app doesn't seem to crash for real, as it's still open in the background and doesn't need to load back up, but the sync is aborted anyways. I've been trying swapping projects a bit, but it seems that my bigger projects sync without issue until I add the smaller ones as well (and I need them too). I never tried the smaller ones on their own, since my biggest project is the priority for me and I want it safe on my dropbox.

When I say "biggest", I mean 2.29Gb. While the smaller ones are 36Mo and 130,7Mo respectively. This is what doesn't make sense for me at this point.

I also noticed that if I remove the files from my dropbox and ask my tablet to upload them all back as they are on it (not up to date to my current progress), it works. However, when I go check them on my computer, the scrivener file icon seems to be different from the one used for the files created from the said computer, which is also super weird. And if I try modifying them, even the slightest, they won't sync back to the tablet. I have no idea what's going on there.

Reading this topic, it also seems to that the issue is more or less device-bound ; some devices are more likely to have the issue while others never will. I don't get it.

And, please, no need to tell me that I have to remove the smaller projects if my main project works and stop complaining. As I said, I need them too. And as many other people already said here, we purchased this app several times to have a seamless experience between devices and a sync that could take all our projects, which has perfectly worked until recently. There's no point arguing on that part.

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Sun Dec 15, 2019 7:46 pm Post

I'm sorry that hear that our problems have no solution. So I've decided to jump ship for my research part that I had in Scrivener for Devon Think (DT).
The only thing I miss in DT is the capacity to see more than one document at the same time. Otherwise vastly more feature in DT.
Ill still use Scrivener for those projects that work on iPadOs.

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Thu Dec 19, 2019 7:33 am Post

I'm one of the users with this issue. Thanks to support I found a temporary workaround by removing all but one project from the sync folder and that one project remaining syncs correctly.
However, I'm terrified by the idea of doing anything that could alter this random equilibrium, like adding a second project to the folder, or even download the new 1.2.1 version.
Since I found nothing about this version in here, I must suppose the issue hasn't been solved. Will it ever be? When I purchased the iOS version I did it because I knew it would easily sync with Dropbox, because I honestly don't have the skills nor the time to set up anything complicated. I'm not an IT expert and I pay to get services that solve my IT problems with simple solutions. Unfortunately, this is not the case anymore. I find myself with a solution that doesn't work or works partially. And this is becoming frustrating. I had more files in the sync folder because I needed them there, not because I forgot them.

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Sun Dec 22, 2019 7:36 pm Post

I have the same problem. I had it working with two files, but as soon as I added a third one, it crashed on both my iPhone and iPad. I have the latest devices and the latest versions but there seems to be no cure.

I have read everything in this thread, but I have yet to hear of a solution or clarity around the nature of the problem.

Can a :( nyone provide a resolution?

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Sun Dec 22, 2019 7:51 pm Post

kewms wrote: With that said, I personally think that if you're hauling 10 GB projects around you'll be a lot happier with a MacBook Pro than with any form of iPad. Mac OS remains a much more capable platform. Katherine

My novels are written in a universe. I need to have my old projects on my iPad, so that I can refer to them as I am writing my current novel. My MacBook is too big to work on the tray-table on planes, and I spend a lot of time working on planes. I have been using this workflow ever since the iOS app came out. Now with my new iPad pro, suddenly I have to change?

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Sun Dec 22, 2019 8:09 pm Post

Possibly. Unfortunately it’s a terribly inconsistent issue and thus really hard to diagnose or predict. It seems to be most common with new devices. I had an iphone 7 that worked fine then when I updated to iphone 11 it stopped, despite an ostensibly more powerful device. I have been able to work around it by checking all my projects and finding the one that was causing the sync to fail and longer syncing it.

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Sun Dec 22, 2019 11:48 pm Post

I'm in the same situation as Margrad and frankly find your answer, Katherine, difficult to swallow.
Scrivener is marketed as a powerhouse . We as users are willing to go through the sync hoops in exchange for the additional power the app brings, especially because it allows for complex projects (you reiterated that point again in this thread).
If you tell us we need to use Macs, then there is no need for an iOS app, is there?
If we need to use simpler projects, then Scrivener's power is wasted, is it not? All that talk about Scrivener optimising resources to avoid loading entire projects in memory makes no sense anyway then, does it not?

Please consider also that we are dedicated users that come to these forums in order to establish communication with you and get reassurance that the tool we use to make a living will continue to work reliably. The vast majority of users want things that just work and do not care for explanations like "yeah, but Scrivener is doing really nifty things in the background to avoid loading your entire project in memory". They will just go to Ulysses. (There: I spoke Voldemort's name.)

It's wonderful that it works for some people.
For many others like us, it does not. Not working reliably means not working.
It's been over two months the issue has been reported and we barely have received any news. I think we have been more than patient.

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Mon Dec 23, 2019 2:05 am Post

From the introduction of the iPod, Apple's selling point is that "I just works" in syncing among devices. With Scrivener in its current state, it JUST DOESN'T WORK. Please don't give me hints, workarounds, hacks, etc. Just MAKE IT WORK, that's the idea. Nothing here has given me any joy. Many of us make our living with this. This is absolutely and completely unacceptable, particularly since we've given up our money for it. Do your beta testing before releasing to the public. MAKE IT WORK, that's your job, it is not on us to figure out how to de-bug your software, unless we volunteer for it or you pay US for it.

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Mon Dec 23, 2019 5:07 am Post

kcward wrote:it JUST DOESN'T WORK.


That's why Literature & Latte hasn't SEEN a case of it failing. Until they do, they can't use developer tools to find the problem. Even when they do, they can only report it to Apple.

It's an Apple issue, not a Scrivener issue.
Teeth, without gums, fall loosely in the mouth.

(I'm not a Literature & Latte employee. Just another user.)

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Mon Dec 23, 2019 5:12 am Post

It's a Scrivener issue is sync becomes unreliable because the app has to use workarounds in order to make its sync work on its complicated file format. That's calling for things to ultimately break – and they did.
All the flaunted power of the app is of no use if it cannot be used. Users not on this forum will not care whose issue it is. The issue is there. Other apps work fine. Period.

"Almost everyone" is a fine expression to use on a 19-page long forum thread with numerous different users reporting the problem – and that's not counting the vast numbers who will never register on a support forum.

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Mon Dec 23, 2019 6:11 am Post

It worked fine for me on an old device. It still work on another (2017 iPad Pro). But not on my new phone. That sure looks like a hardware problem to me.

Have you isolated the project (s) that are causing the crash?
If so, have you submitted a copy to L&L for testing?

If not, then why not help try to identify the causes of the issue?

And for what it’s worth , I have 1.3 million words in Ulysses, as it’s my main note repository, but I’d never see it as a substitute for Scrivener for long-form writing.

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Mon Dec 23, 2019 9:44 am Post

Other apps work fine. Period.

Not strictly true. There have been reports of other apps with same issue which suggests an Apple issue. Add to that L&L have been unable to replicate the issue with any of their iOS devices. Demanding an immediate resolution is asking them to guess what the Apple iOS code issue is then asking them to guess at a solution that may or may not work, may cause other problems.

In my case I found 1 old project caused issue. Wasn’t my largest or my smallest. All I can say is it was started on Mac V2 and upgraded to Mac V3.