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When does the iPhone auto-sync? Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
With background support in iOS 4, I would have thought that the iPhone version of OmniFocus would sync automatically, even when I've not launched the app for several days. But even though I have the auto-sync option turned on, it appears that syncing does not occur unless I explicitly launch the app. Is this true? Is there some way to get it to automatically sync, say, once a day, or once an hour, without having to launch the app every day or every hour? Thanks.

P.S. If it matters, I sync via MobileMe.
 
Only certain kinds of apps / tasks can run in the background. (Music apps and some location-based tasks, for examples.) OmniFocus can (generally) sync up any changes it has made in a few situations: periodically, while running in the foreground; in the background right after switching to another app; and in the background right after the iPhone has been put to sleep. But it has no way of periodically downloading updates from the sync server in other situations, sorry.
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew View Post
Only certain kinds of apps / tasks can run in the background. (Music apps and some location-based tasks, for examples.)
Is this limitation due to Apple policy (i.e. non-music/location apps that run in the background will be rejected)? Or is this due to some kind of technical limitation of the current iOS release?
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by vocaro View Post
Is this limitation due to Apple policy (i.e. non-music/location apps that run in the background will be rejected)? Or is this due to some kind of technical limitation of the current iOS release?
I believe there are specific kinds of APIs for "background" processes and sync completion is something that gets a 10 minute window.

Some apps have tried to leverage the "music background" app by playing a blank sound in the background to allow you to do things... they've been rejected and reported on in the media by my recollections.

What's the real need to have it running in the background all the time? It will sync as soon as you fire it up anyway.
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by CatOne View Post
What's the real need to have it running in the background all the time? It will sync as soon as you fire it up anyway.
I don't fire it up every day. In fact, sometimes I will go days without firing it up because I so often have my laptop with me and I just use that. The iPhone version is simply a backup for when my laptop isn't around. But this can lead to problems if cell coverage is spotty.

For example, on the desktop OmniFocus, I created an action: "Mail package to [address]". A few days later, when I finally made it to the post office, I fired up OmniFocus for iPhone to look up the address. The address wasn't there because I hadn't launched the iPhone version since entering the address on the desktop. So then the app tried to sync, but inside the building I only had 1 or 2 bars of EDGE (thank you AT&T!), and it kept timing out. So I wasn't able to get the address.

If OmniFocus could sync periodically in the background (e.g., overnight), then it would have synced at home where crisp clean WiFi was available, and it would have grabbed the address before I even entered the post office.
 
Syncing over the internet would totally solve this. I guess set it up over WebDAV?

I do wish OmniFocus just had a web service of its own one could subscribe to for syncing and web access to one's tasks.
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by CatOne View Post
What's the real need to have it running in the background all the time? It will sync as soon as you fire it up anyway.
Here's my main reason for wanting background sync, so someone please tell me if I'm missing something.

Scenario: I add a task to my Omnifocus Mac that is a time sensitive reminder to tell me to do something later tonight at 8 pm. The ideal reminder for me is that my Omnifocus iPhone alerts me at 8 pm to remind me. The only way this will happen though is if I go into Omnifocus on the iPhone NOW so it will sync, get that new 8 PM task and remind me. Would be nice if all three of my devices (Mac, iPhone, iPad) were automatically in sync.
 
Yeah, if the app is never put into the foreground, we can't initiate a sync. Covering a use case like this would be possible, but we'd have to run a central server with access to information about your tasks, then use the push notification system to get the alerts to your phone.

(With the usual caveats - if you don't have a network connection, you wouldn't get the alert, for example, and the "central server" is going to be a privacy problem for some folks/tasks.)

We've got feature requests open on that, as well as the web service/interface that Avandelay mentioned; as always, email the support ninjas and we can add you to those feature requests. Thanks!
 
 


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