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ManDoel

Evernote Background App Refesh/ Background Sync on IOS

Idea

I’m a bit confused about the Background App Refresh/ Background sync of Evernote on IOS. 

I found an article on the Evernote Blog (http://blog.evernote.com/blog/2013/09/18/the-beautiful-new-evernote-for-ios-7/ see 'Keep Everything In Sync‘) that describes the Background app refresh/ background sync as been introduced with the IOS7 App.

 

"For the first time on iOS, Evernote is able to keep your account updated when the app isn’t active. So, whenever you open the app, your Personal notes are all right there. No more waiting. This feature is also important in the following frequently-occurring situations: 
- Offline Notebooks for Premium users
- When you use Evernote on multiple platforms and devices
In all these scenarios, your note list will now be up-to-date at all times. For Premium users, we’ll also make sure that your notes in your offline notebooks are downloaded and available when you don’t have a network connection." 

 

So I am a premium user with Evernote 7.7.5 on IOS 8.3 that has the Background Sync enabled for at least 3-4 month now. And it never worked as described above. Has this feature been secretly disabled with any of the Evernote IOS App updates?

 

I am curious if this (background sync when the app is closed) has ever worked for anybody?!

 

thanks for any insights and experiences
Manuel

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It has not been discretely disabled. Background sync, in general (not related to evernote, specifically) does appear to be somewhat flakey. Its particularly flakey on older devices, I found after upgrading to my iPhone 6 that it was working a fair bit more regularly. 

 

One thing to remember is that this background updating isn't that frequent. Depending on the application, it could be as infrequent as once per hour. I've sometimes found it hard to detect whether it works or not with Evernote because often times its only a few notes that have been added since I last launched, and usually they are not large, so it can be difficult for me to discern whether they were downloaded at launch, or downloaded prior to launch... 

 

Anyway, I don't trust it to flawlessly update my offline notebooks, I always manually verify their contents before I enter into a not-connected area. 

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Hi Scott,

 

thanks for your progress report.

 

I tried to detect if the Background sync has been performed with Evernote using the following setup for several weeks now:

- Evernote app closed while wifi toggled on overnight for about 11 hours

- flight mode toggled on or wifi/mobile data toggled off and launching Evernote (start screen displays "last sync 11 hours ago")

- Close Evernote App and turn on wifi again

 

Its good to know that background sync at all is able to work with third party apps but that is not working smoothly.

Unfortunately for now I have no other ideas what to change or test to get it even infrequently running on my IPhone 5c with IOS 8.3. 

So It seems that i have to keep on syncing the content manually before leaving wifi/mobile data.

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So It seems that i have to keep on syncing the content manually before leaving wifi/mobile data.

I think this is just being prudent, and would suggest it even if background sync did work reliably!

 

(Also, just in case there is any confusion, I am not an Evernote employee, and I have no insider knowledge). 

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In my case if iclose the app during the syncronization then i have to open again the app otherwise in background will not work. The option to work in background is corretly activated in Ios...

This background not works fine for my opinion....

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In my case if iclose the app during the syncronization then i have to open again the app otherwise in background will not work. The option to work in background is corretly activated in Ios...

This background not works fine for my opinion....

On what device is this? I've never had an issue with Evernote finishing a sync after I leave the app or sleep the display on my iPhone 6 (and previously on my iPhone 4s). 

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I have the iphone 6.

When i close the app while is syncing and i re-enter then in the status is written " contacting evernote server" ( or something like) and then it sync again.

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Thats pretty normal. It will sync when you close the app, and it will initiate a sync when yours-open the application.

 

Sync also happens rather quickly and sometimes in (more or less) realtime. Realtime in that if you edit a note and leave that note, that note will sync, so that content won't be synced when you close the app since its already updated. Unless you've made a change to a very large attachment, or added a ton of new content, most of the changes you can make on mobile will be quite small. Quite likely there's actually much less syncing to do when you leave the application than you think. Most notes updated in a given "session" will likely have already been uploaded, and any changes made to a note immediately prior to leaving the application will be minor and, on most internet connection, be done in almost no time at all. 

 

If you aren't losing data then there's likely nothing wrong. 

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This issue seems not fixed even on iOS9.x/iPhone6S.

Does anyone get official response from Evernote? 

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I have several generations of iOS devices (iPad 3, iPad mini, iPhone5) and this seems to be systematic no matter what the OS or hardware. Background app refresh has been available for some time on iOS and IMHO this is something that needs to be addressed by the Evernote team.  I have other non-Apple apps (i.e. Downcast, etc.) that background sync without any issues, so it's not a case of my device not supporting backgrounding or something being misconfigured on my device.

Issue #1 Test:

1. Open Evernote and force refresh on all devices.
2. Turn off/sleep devices all continuously connected to wifi
3. Add new note on the desktop client and sync.
4. Leave all devices overnight connected to wifi.
5. In the morning on my commute in the subway none of the devices has the new note added to it.

Issue #2 Test:

1. Add/edit notes on my iPad while on my commute on the subway.
2. Bring device into my house connected to wifi and use the device over the course of the night (but not foregrounding Evernote).
3. In the morning, I will sync my laptop Evernote client and none of the changes will be propagated to the central Evernote server.
4. I have to open EN on my iPad and force sync to push the changes to the EN server.

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So after many hours of testing and back and forth with their support developers I have come to two conclusions:

1.  Push notification sync works from the Evernote server to the iOS device if you have ALL the notification toggles set to on (turning some off can mess with this).  If this isn't working, try deleting Evernote from your iOS device and reinstalling from scratch.  That fixed this issue for me.

2.  Background two-way sync from the device to the server is NOT implemented for iOS as admitted by their support staff after many hours of my personal testing of this feature.  Below is a quote from their support staff:

Quote

"After tracking down the lead developer, it appears that the behavior you're experiencing now is expected. Notes should sync down changes from the server in the background, but changes won't sync up in the background."

Hence, Evernote has push notifications but NOT background sync.  Thus the advertised features in many locations including http://blog.evernote.com/blog/2013/09/18/the-beautiful-new-evernote-for-ios-7/) is massively incorrect:

Quote

"For the first time on iOS, Evernote is able to keep your account updated when the app isn’t active. So, whenever you open the app, your Personal notes are all right there ... When you use Evernote on multiple platforms and devices... your note list will now be up-to-date at all times."

 

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AFAIK, IOS background sync (up) would be of use if you had made modifications to notes when you didn't have an internet connection (or you have wifi only checked) and you wanted to catch up automatically when you acquired the right connection.  Is this your issue?

Otherwise, any note changes on IOS when you have the appropriate connection are processed when the update is completed.  To the best of my knowledge anyway.  And I would agree, the marketing could be a bit more precise.

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@csihilling that's exactly the issue.  When traveling (which I do for a good part of each day) I use Evernote in my tablet to edit and create notes.  When I get back to my office/home I have to remember to get my device, unlock it, open up Evernote and manually sync my notes.  I have to do this every time I leave/return to the office/home.  This issue is exacerbated by the fact that when I edit a note on my computer that has already been edited by my tablet the note will be corrupted during the sync and no warning will be given to the user that there was a note conflict (but that's not the issue of the lack of background sync that is at the root of this thread).

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Yeah, we always say sync when entering/exiting any platform to prevent conflicts.  But that doesn't help if you have been offline; gotta remember to sync when back in range.  At least until EN adds the functionality I suppose.  Thanks for providing the clarity.

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6 hours ago, derekh4 said:

When I get back to my office/home I have to remember to get my device, unlock it, open up Evernote and manually sync my notes.  I have to do this every time I leave/return to the office/home.

I'm not seeing any way around this if you've made changes while you're offline.  For myself, the background syncing is a good feature but I also make a practice of manually syncing; before I shut down, and when I return and know I have un-sync'd changes.  And I still occasionally get caught on a conflict.

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@DTLow

I think @derekh4's point is that background IOS sync (up) would address the issue.  Still a problem of the up sync not getting completed when back in range and you do something on another device, but less of an issue at that point, I suppose.  Safest is still to be sure and sync the last device before you go to the next, not always easy to remember.

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11 minutes ago, csihilling said:

I think @derekh4's point is that background IOS sync (up) would address the issue. 

And my point is that I make sure by doing a manual sync.  I can't trust the timing for background sync if I'm making changes on two devices,

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15 hours ago, DTLow said:

I'm not seeing any way around this if you've made changes while you're offline.

There is a way, hence the request.  Perhaps not the most robust solution, but a request none the less. 

And @derekh4 did point out some of the hyperbole in EN's marketing, adding some caveats might be appropriate.  This is from 2013 but it is still on the web.  Clip below.

 

ScreenClip.png.41cb68cae2538340ebb6fbd16

 

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7 minutes ago, csihilling said:

There is a way, hence the request.  Perhaps not the most robust solution, but a request none the less. 

My remarks were in reference to the current environment. When I make changes and switch devices - I do a manual sync.

Yes - the request route is a good process; I up voted - it's now at 2

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