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Why can't sync happen locally if this app can do it? Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Hello, I was one of the many waiting in anticipation for the iPhone OmniFocus, and I'm really quite pleased with the app. However, the syncing requires either some Unix-Fu that is beyond me or shelling out for MobileMe (which I've done, at least for the 60 day trial in the hopes something can be developed before then).

I realize that the walled garden of the iPhone presents some problems with regard to syncing, but if an app like FileMagnet can wirelessly sync with a desktop client, then why can't iPhone OmniFocus sync wirelessly with desktop OmniFocus?
Believe it or not, I don't think this would work as well as the WebDAV approach the Omni folks have taken. FileMagnet connects to the desktop over WiFi, just like the Apple Remote app. In order to find your desktop, the app would need to know the IP address or, if it has one, the host name for the desktop. Assuming you're using a laptop (like most folks these days), as you move from network to network (home, Starbucks, work, etc.), the address changes, and the app will need to be told each time how to connect to your desktop.

With the WebDAV approach, the server name only needs to be put in once, and both the desktop and iPhone app can find it no matter what network you are on. Plus, the WebDAV approach works on both the cellular and WiFi networks. Unless your desktop is on some publicly-acccessible network, the phone won't be able to reach it when it's on cellular (EDGE/3G).
Originally Posted by jimf View Post
Assuming you're using a laptop (like most folks these days), as you move from network to network (home, Starbucks, work, etc.), the address changes, and the app will need to be told each time how to connect to your desktop.
This is incorrect. Consider for example that AirPort express units used for AirTunes without static IP addresses (DHCP addresses which change) can always be found by a Mac via Bonjour protocols. Discovery of such resources with varying IP addresses is harder than a simple host name look up, but a solved problem in many environments.
I admit that I have not used FileMagnet, so I don't know how it performs in actual use.

However, it does describe it's connection as using Bonjour, which would lead me to believe it wouldn't require any setup beyond the initial pairing and ensuring that both the iPhone and Mac were on the same network.

I imagine that this could be setup to operate very much like iSync does, with either a manual initiation or automated through any sort of scripting desired (I used to have my W810i sync every day at midnight).

This setup would actually work quite a bit easier (or cheaper) than the current options for laptop users as well as desktop users. Perhaps I am unusual, but I tend to only use 2 networks a day (home/office), carrying my laptop between the two, and I think this would be easier for me than the alternative.

On a separate notion, would it be extravagantly expensive for Omni to provide a sync server on their end? I honestly have no idea, but I wouldn't think that this would require all that much bandwidth or storage at all. We have all paid $100 for this task management set up and I have to say that is quite a bit of money for something that is not very "streamlined" at present. The only option for most people to have a simple, reliable sync as things stand is to shell out an additional $100 a year for MobileMe, which is starting to look like a very expensive setup for tracking my todos.

Last edited by hakstooy; 2008-07-22 at 10:24 AM..
WebDAV support was our highest priority for syncing because many people need to be able to sync between remote locations that cannot directly talk to each other, and WebDAV (which is actually what we use for the iDisk syncing as well) provides a solution for those people as well as for people whose machines & devices can communicate directly.

Having said that, we would like to provide a solution that doesn't require people to purchase a WebDAV account. I can't make specific promises or give a time frame, but it's certainly something we're exploring.
Andrew, thanks for the response.

I figured the rationale for WebDAV was along those lines. I realize that for a good deal of people WebDAV is probably the best option, especially the road warriors.

Good to hear you're looking into options for those who might not be as hooked into the "tubes" for their daily routines.

Keep up the great work!
Hello Andrew,

One question. At the moment, after using Things for some time I switched to Omnifocus and I'm testing it. I like the program a lot and I'd like to buy it together with the Iphone version for being able to syncronize the task between my mac at work and the iphone and realise a complete GTD system.

Problem: at work I can use a mac but I cannot access my MobileMe account because it is blocked by the company firewall.

My understanding is that at the moment the syncing is done only through MobileMe and a WebDAVServer and cannot be done on a local basis. But this is preventing me and I guess many other people that cannot access MobileMe when they are at their workplace....

Is it right so I should wait for a further implementation of a local syncing or is there some way to overcome the blocked access to MobileMe ?

Thank you in advance
ufresia: Does your employer's firewall block all WebDAV services, or just MobileMe? If other WebDAV connections are permitted, you could see which other ones are mentioned here on the forums as working, and use one of those. Or maybe you could get your employer to set up a WebDAV service you could connect all your OmniFocus apps to, since this IS a productivity app? (I know that's a long shot with most companies.)

If you were only interested in syncing between Macs (no iPhones), you could use the Disk syncing option to sync to a USB drive, and carry that back and forth between your machines.
Hello Lizard,

Thank you for your kind reply. I will check better the company policy with our IT guys but as far as I know everything is routed through the company proxy.

Anyway as far as you know do you have any plan to implement a local syncing between the iphone app and the desktop app independent of an external server ?

We're looking into some options for local syncing, but can't be specific yet.

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