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Is mobile background sync a thing?

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I have an Evernote Personal account. Is it supposed to be possible for my mobile device to sync notebooks in the background? In my experience, my phone never syncs until I open the app.

Here's a specific example of what I'd like to happen:

  1. On my phone, I set my General notebook to offline and wait for it to download, then I put my phone to sleep
  2. On my laptop, I create a new document in my General notebook titled "XYZ"
  3. I get on the train where my phone doesn't have cellular or wifi data
  4. I open Evernote on my phone and the document "XYZ" is there.

What actually happens is that when I open my phone, if it has service then it loads new docs over the next 30 seconds or so, and if it doesn't have service then new docs are not available at all. Is there a way for it to do what I want?

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What's your mobile platform of choice? Apple makes background sync on iOS more challenging, so this is a possible place where Android and iOS differ. I use EN on Android but I don't use offline files so I'm not sure if it works as you desire on Android, but perhaps others will chime in.

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  • Level 5

The trick is that the app does need to be the active app to allow for the download. I have described several times how to do this:

  1. Switch „Autolockscreen“ to never
  2. Put the iOS device to a charger
  3. Make EN the active (foreground) app
  4. Select the notebook(s) to download. If possible avoid „All“ for the initial download - it seems to run faster if there are only 2-3 notebooks selected at any time. After the initial download, you can switch to „All“.
  5. Now keep EN the active app, and let it download. It will run for quite a long time (took 3 nights on my iPad Pro with Gigabit internet), so better start this in the evening, and interrupt the next day when you will use the device again.

iOS does not allow a background download. It seems that Android is similar - there have been threads in this forum where the same advise that works for iOS was as well used on Android.

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Thanks for the instructions! I've seen how mysteriously slow this process is too. Once that initial sync is complete, will the app be able to sync documents in the background even if Evernote is not open? Or can it only ever sync documents when Evernote is in the foreground?

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  • Level 5

To download additional offline content the app must be active - it may be that it syncs a minute or so after use, but then iOS battery saving strategy will cut it off.

From my experience if there are a few notes missing in offline, it takes only a few minutes of app use to get them loaded.

You can check - when in app settings, notebook, offline notebooks a green bar shows above a notebook, it still needs to download content.

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