iCloud Sync

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kewms
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Mon Jun 24, 2019 5:39 pm Post

JoRo wrote:Apple has changed both the design language of apps and the ease-of-use that makes people choose Apple devices across OS platforms. For many users – and that’s a growing number of users in my experience – that means apps that mirror Apple’s design ethos and which use iCloud. Against that backdrop, Scrivener is increasingly seen as being behind the curve.


"Increasingly seen" by whom?

The plural of anecdote is not data, and in this case even real data doesn't tell you very much.

The "average writer," if there is such a thing, is using Word. On a PC.

Scrivener's core market has always been a niche within a niche. Without real numbers -- which I don't personally have, and couldn't share if I did -- any observations about Scrivener's past, current, or potential market performance are entirely speculative.

Katherine
Scrivener Support Team

am
amounra
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Tue Jun 25, 2019 4:00 am Post

I love Scrivener :) I'm a software developer, writer, and designer, and I use it for organizational tasks as well as creative writing.

I switched from Evernote to Scrivener several years ago when their subscription got ridiculous. I've used both Dropbox and iCloud for many years, and although I personally prefer iCloud and would like to see better integration, it's not really that big of a deal to use Dropbox for this one task (and, honestly, the only reason I still use Dropbox is because of Scrivener).

I was really disappointed when I learned that Dropbox was putting a device limit on their standard accounts. This is the same sort of thing that got me away from Evernote in the first place. I spend a lot of time coding and traveling, so I tend to use a lot of different devices on a daily basis, and having a three device limit is somewhat stifling. Paying 12$ a month simply to maintain that accessibility is even more ridiculous, especially when 12$ to Apple for an entire year buys me more cloud storage than I need. Why would I spend nearly 150$ a year additionally to comfortably use a product that I didn't pay that much for in the first place? I was very sad for a moment, because: I love Scrivener :)

I was not only sad for myself, but for all the other users that will doubtless be impacted by this. Maybe I'm naive about L&L's userbase, but I can't see this as being a good thing for their business. I really respect the fact that this company is small and makes such a unique and versatile product. I work in a similar environment, so it's refreshing to be able to use and support a product that is "home-grown", so to speak.

I remained a bit sad while I read through these forum posts, looking for some sort of compromise that would bring back my original workflow that I'd been so happy with for the last several years. I can understand both sides of the story here, it's like reading so many other Mac vs. PC debates, or Analog vs. Digital, etc. Everyone has a preference, and quite frankly I think it's a very emotional thing, one that is not swayed by any amount of argument . But I was hopeful, that somewhere I'd find something that worked, or a glimmer of hope that a solution was coming from the developer....

And now I'm considerably happier about the whole thing upon realizing a simple, workable solution: Just create a second Dropbox account, share the files you need between your two accounts, and use the second account to link your excessive devices. I did a cursory test and it seems to work well. Still a bit of an annoyance. Well, okay, maybe more than a bit of one.....

Actually, I've been using multiple Dropbox accounts for years in order to circumvent the meager storage restrictions on their free accounts, and its a huge pain dealing with multiple accounts. Since I only use Dropbox for Scrivener these days, it's not something I'd needed to face for a while. But sobeit. Until the Universe reveals the next way it wishes to thwart me, this will get me by.

I think eventually L&L will need to come up with a synchronization solution that encompasses Apple's iCloud API methods, even if that solution is less than ideal from a practical standpoint. Doubtless they're going to lose users if they don't. I know what a large time investment that is for single developer, but I suspect they've come to this conclusion on some level anyway. Hopefully we see some more useful methods with iOS13. That said, I personally don't expect to see anything for a while...but I really do hope to see something in the future that removes the need to maintain a Dropbox account in order to use Scrivener across multiple devices. I'm pretty well over Dropbox at this point.

In the meantime, hopefully this tidbit helps someone else in a similarly sad place back to the happy zone.

a

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kewms
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Tue Jun 25, 2019 4:37 am Post

There's already a mechanism to use Scrivener across multiple devices without Dropbox: iTunes sharing, or AirDrop.

Does it helpfully keep track of which files need to be changed on which devices? No. But if you want a secure, robust method to get projects from one device to another, that's your solution.

Katherine
Scrivener Support Team

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sidderke
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Tue Jun 25, 2019 2:37 pm Post

Katherine, since last week I activated the Documents and Desktop feature of macOS. So far so good. I'm planning on not optimizing storage on my iMac, since I have enough storage there, and I do use the feature on my Macbook Air. (disclaimer: at this point: my most active projects are still in Dropbox)

Considering that I'm doubting to get rid of my Macbook Air and go for an iPad Pro for multiple reasons, I tried to go to Files, and open a Scrivener Project. Files (on iOS 12) doesn't handle Scrivener projects as folders, but as Files. I only tried a small 10MB project. I clicked on it, and it just opened up Scrivener. Then I could pick to put it on Dropbox or on the 'on my iPad account'. So I am guessing it makes a copy when doing that.
(Which I can imagine would not be so easy when I'm working on my 8GB projects)

If I'm not mistaken, this is the same workflow as with Airdrop, and on Scrivener iOS I can send a zipped copy to Files again, right? And Files will be able to unzip files in iOS 13.
This is not iCloud Sync at all, because the user needs to do manual work instead of having the projects sync automatically, but it does give a way of working without Dropbox, with all your documents on iCloud Drive. Am I missing something, or is there other warning signs that I am not aware of? (knowing the fact that I'm pretty neurotic and I'm not someone who would easily leave copies of projects open, or forget where is the last version I worked on)

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kewms
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Tue Jun 25, 2019 4:21 pm Post

That all sounds fine. I'd recommend making frequent backups and using a naming convention that makes it clear which version is which, but I'd recommend those things in any case.

Katherine
Scrivener Support Team

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sidderke
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Wed Jun 26, 2019 9:28 pm Post

My method described above doesn't seem to work for a multi GB file. When I click it in Files, Scrivener iOS opens and shows a dialog box:

Could not import project. The project could not be found (it may need downloading) or Scrivener does not the permission to open it from current location.

I guess maybe with pinned files in iOS 13 it could be a solution.

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AmberV
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Thu Jun 27, 2019 10:22 am Post

I guess maybe with pinned files in iOS 13 it could be a solution.


I think that is key. As I understand it, it is presently very difficult to manually tell iCloud Drive to do anything. It’s good they are finally adding the ability to be able to fully download (and keep synced) a resource.

I’m still bemused over the whole concept of using the Internet to move 8gb folders around, though—but we’ve already been over that and back again. ;)
.:.
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sidderke
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Thu Jun 27, 2019 11:25 am Post

AmberV wrote:
I guess maybe with pinned files in iOS 13 it could be a solution.


I think that is key. As I understand it, it is presently very difficult to manually tell iCloud Drive to do anything. It’s good they are finally adding the ability to be able to fully download (and keep synced) a resource.

I’m still bemused over the whole concept of using the Internet to move 8gb folders around, though—but we’ve already been over that and back again. ;)


Airdrop could be an alternative, with iCloud Files. I'm going from iPad Air + Macbook Air & iMac, to a combination of iPad Pro and iMac. So I'm checking workflow-wise what are my best options, what works and what doesn't.

Wa
Warrickw
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Fri Jun 28, 2019 11:29 pm Post

My first post after I found this forum trying to work out how to ditch Dropbox and keep the ONE thing I need it for, which is Scrivener.
Dropbox changing its terms and limiting devices to three doesn’t work for me, or lots of others by the sound of it. I pay for Office 365 and get the MS apps and 1tb of synced data, so why would I pay for Dropbox as well? I love Scrivener to be able to use an alternative method of syncing.
I suspect that, medium term, limiting easy syncing to one platform is a risk for Scrivener,

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devinganger
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Fri Jun 28, 2019 11:47 pm Post

Warrickw wrote:I pay for Office 365 and get the MS apps and 1tb of synced data, so why would I pay for Dropbox as well?


Go read the (by now) hundreds of other posts on this subject. The simple answer is to many of the rest of us do: use OneDrive to manage the rest of your synced data, including archived Scrivener projects. Use Dropbox to sync only your active Scrivener projects. Limit Dropbox to only the devices you actually use to work on your projects (one PC/mac, one smart phone, one tablet) to stay under the three device limit. That way, you don't have to pay for Dropbox at all.

But you still need to keep DropBox to sync between Scrivener for Mac/PC and iOS, unless you want to use AirDrop or iTunes File Sharing to manually sync your files instead. Those are your options at this time, as far as L&L have told us, and there is no public roadmap on that changing any time soon (unless Apple actually helps address the shortcoming in iCloud that are preventing KB from adding support for that).
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Devin L. Ganger, WA7DLG
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Al
AlexisMasters
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Mon Jul 08, 2019 9:14 pm Post

Hello! I’ve been a Scrivener user on and off since the earliest launch of the product. I’ve moved back and forth between Scrivener and Storyist ONLY because syncing Scrivener to Dropbox is such a hassle and has created conflicts that make me so nervous I can’t really stand it. Syncing Storyist via iCloud is seamless and lovely and almost makes up for the lack of Scrivener’s superior design.

I work almost exclusively on my larger iPad Pro these days and am actually AFRAID to open the program on my Mac, or even on one of my other iOS devices, which definitely inhibits my creative flow. I find it very difficult to understand why syncing to iCloud has still not been implemented. I don’t know what it might take to get this issue pushed to top priority, and I hope I can hold on, because I’m about to start a new novel and really want to use Scrivener for all my manuscripts.

I look forward to an announcement that iCloud syncing is ready for Scrivener users at last :D

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lunk
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Mon Jul 08, 2019 9:25 pm Post

AlexisMasters wrote: I find it very difficult to understand why syncing to iCloud has still not been implemented.

If you read this thread from the start you will learn why it isn’t possible. Hopefully you will then understand that there are technical limitations.
Good luck with Storyist! :)

(I dumped Storyist when iOS Scrivener came into existence)
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 the latest MacOS
* iOS Scrivener 1 on an iPhone 8, iPad Air 9.7”, and iPad Pro 12.9”, all running the latest iOS

Al
AlexisMasters
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Mon Jul 08, 2019 9:31 pm Post

i have read it, actually. More than once. And that is why I wrote. KB said a while back that the matter is being investigated. Did I miss an announcement that iCloud syncing has been abandoned for good? Totally?

I don’t want to go back to Storyist, by the way. I’m still hoping L&L will come through.

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lunk
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Mon Jul 08, 2019 9:41 pm Post

Did you miss then that iCloud sync requires that Apple changes the way iCloud currently works, and that’s not likely to happen anytime soon.
So it’s Dropbox or Storyist then for you. ;)

I have used Dropbox for a long time. No problems, ever. But plenty of problems with iCloud. I definitely prefer Dropbox.
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 the latest MacOS
* iOS Scrivener 1 on an iPhone 8, iPad Air 9.7”, and iPad Pro 12.9”, all running the latest iOS

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kewms
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Mon Jul 08, 2019 11:15 pm Post

If you are so concerned about synchronization conflicts that you are "afraid" to switch devices, you should probably take a closer look at your synchronization habits. (And yes, we're happy to help you do that.) I've been working back and forth between iOS and Mac OS since iOS Scrivener was in beta, and I've never lost a syllable. Mine seems to be a much more typical experience than those who report frequent conflicts.

I'd also like to point out that iCloud is not magic, no matter what Apple's marketing people claim. All of the fundamental causes of synchronization conflicts will continue to exist regardless of the platform used: If you disconnect your device from the internet with unsynchronized changes, there is no power on Earth that will cause those changes to appear on your other devices.

Katherine
Scrivener Support Team

 

 

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