WiFi Sync: The poor relation should be pensioned off

Posted on by Mike Evans

How I hate applications that sync only via WiFi, insisting your devices are on the same network and relying on manual intervention. There really is no excuse for not having cloud sync these days. The oft-quoted difference between OmniFocus and competitor Things is a case in point. OF have had cloud syncing for years, working via MobileMe or other WebDAV services. Omni Group are even developing their own server which is currently in beta. It works perfectly and I never have to worry about being up to date.

Cultured Code, the developers of Things, on the other hand, are making a meal out of the perceived difficulties of introducing cloud synchronisation. They are the losers as more and more previously devoted fans defect to OmniFocus. I’ve tried Things and I like it, but it is a non-starter until cloud sync comes along.

What surprises me is how many developers have yet to ascend into the cloud. Every time I have to run an application on the Mac, then open it on the iPhone or iPad, accompanied by a press of the sync button, I get more depressed. What a waste of time and effort, and what an opportunity for mayhem. With a database you need to be sure that all your devices are constantly in sync.

Even Apple subsidiary, Filemaker, cannot seem to get their act together with their popular database, Bento. I like Bento very much and use it for packing lists, inventories, exercise logs and many other types of record keeping. Yet I often find my iPhone or iPad out of sync because I’ve forgotten to do the job manually. I’ve taken to placing a recurring task in OmniFocus: Synchronise Bento. This should definitely not be necessary.

I would use Bento much more, and I would enthuse about it mightily, if only they would introduce a seamless sync via MobileMe. Is it too much to ask?

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