Issues with Together and iCloud for iOS

Together for iPad and iPhone has been well-received, but while it’s working perfectly for some, issues with iCloud are making it very difficult for others to open their libraries.

At the moment, the main problems are currently one of these two things:

Existing iCloud Libraries are Never Found

Together keeps an index file of its libraries, but sometimes this can fail to download from iCloud, despite a good connection, so the app just sits there “Looking for iCloud Libraries”. Why the file doesn’t download is unclear, but following Apple’s instructions to Reset Documents & Data typically solves it. Sometimes, it’s also necessary to reinstall the app, so full instructions to do this are available on the Together for iPad and iPhone Support Page.

Libraries Do Not Open

In other cases, the library appears, but cannot be opened. Similar to the above problem, Together just sits there showing “Opening iCloud Library” while waiting for iCloud.

In this case, it’s sometimes the above issue, where it’s necessary to follow Apple’s instructions to Reset Documents & Data, and sometimes it’s because the library is large, having been freshly moved to iCloud or with data imported from another app, such as Yojimbo or Evernote.

In this case, a more gradual approach appears to work, where you first create an empty library, open that on iPhone/iPad and then import the data. Again, full instructions to do this are available on the Together for iPad and iPhone Support Page.

Differences Between Mac and iOS

Together for Mac has been syncing successfully with iCloud for over a year now, and although not flawless, the only real issue that sometimes occurs is that syncing stops. In this case, moving the library out of and back into iCloud usually solves it.

iCloud on iOS works differently to Mac. On Mac, everything is downloaded automatically, whereas on iOS things are only downloaded on demand. In theory, this makes sense and isn’t much of a difference provided you have a reliable internet connection. The reality has been very different for some people.

So far I’ve managed to help everyone who’s written to me for help (at least who haven’t walked away), and sometimes the problems just seem to clear up, suddenly and mysteriously.

While the app has its inevitable 1.0 teething problems, at the moment there aren’t actually any bugs to fix related to the above problems, but now I am aware of the unique ways iCloud on iOS can go wrong and finding reliable solutions, I can at least advise people quickly and tweak the app to handle some of these unexpected scenarios better.

I intend to submit updates to both apps next week to deal with the issues reported so far that I can fix, along with changes to better handle the above scenarios.

If you are experiencing any difficulties, please get in touch. It’s especially important to do so if the instructions do not work for you, as this will mean it’s something I haven’t yet encountered.

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