Sync options explained ?

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Tom
Posts: 6
Joined: Mon Sep 30, 2019 5:22 am

Sync options explained ?

Post by Tom » Mon Sep 30, 2019 6:18 am

Sorry, forgot to ask this too...
My iPhone/iPad's Dive log install's are in French...but what is the subtle difference between the second and fourth cloud sync option?
- Sync iCloud iOS
- Sync Dive Log book
When clicking on the fourth option, I have the option again to 'sync', which brings me to my iCloud file explorer...but what next ??

Thanks again

support
Posts: 705
Joined: Wed Mar 31, 2010 4:35 pm

Re: Sync options explained ?

Post by support » Mon Sep 30, 2019 7:41 am

Hi Tom,

First, I apologize for the confusion that the different Synchronization options have caused for you. Dive Log has been around for a long time (since the App Store first opened) and, as a result, has incorporated various iOS technologies over time only to have Apple introduce new ways of doing things. However, since many of our users were already using the initial "iCloud" services that Apple offered we didn't want to take those features away when Apple introduced the newer "iCloud Drive" approach. To make matters more confusing, Apple chose to brand the newer approach the same as the older approach (both called iCloud) making it harder to explain the distinctions.

Dive Log supports two different approaches to syncing via "cloud services". The first (which it appears you used) is labeled "iOS iCloud Synchronization" ("Synchronisation iCloud iOS" in the French interface). This approach only works between iOS devices that are running Dive Log as it uses a Dive Log private area of iCloud Drive that is only accessible to instances of Dive Log (which only runs on iOS). There are some advantages to using this facility as Dive Log is able to directly manage the files so that the user does not have to select the file from the file browser each time they want to open it. Further, since Dive Log already has access to all these files we can inspect them and provide some more information before you commence an operation. The disadvantage though is that these files do not show up in the "public" (i.e. not private to Dive Log, but still private to you) area of iCloud Drive and can not be accessed on non-iOS devices like PC's and Macs.

The second approach (which is accesses via the "Export"/"Import"/"Synchronize Dive Log Logbook" ("Exporter"/"Importer"/"Synchroniser le carnet Dive Log" in the French interface) items on the Synchronization tab) uses any configured "cloud service" in your device such as iCloud Drive, Dropbox, OneDrive, etc and allows you to exchange your logbook with any device or application that has access to that same cloud area. This approach requires the user to specifically select a file before Dive Log can gain access to it to perform the requested operation (this is how Apple ensures that app don't just randomly access files in your "cloud drives"). Each of the items (Import, Export, Synchronize Dive Log Logbook) opens a new screen that provides additional options which is why you see "Synchronize Dive Log logbook" again after you initially tap on the "Synchronize Dive Log Logbook" (when you first access this screen that will be on the only option, but once you've actually performed a synchronization you will see a new option appear that allows you to revert to your previous logbook in case you were not happy with the synchronization results).

Both of the approaches have a similar scheme that you follow, namely to get started you:

1) Export a logbook from one device to the "cloud"
2) Import that logbook on the second device from the "cloud"
3) From that point forward, Synchronize each device with the logbook in the "cloud" as you make changes

In the case of the "iOS iCloud Synchronization" you "export" by tapping the name of your logbook under the "UPLOAD ACTIVE LOGBOOK TO ICLOUD" section. In the "Export" case you tap on the "Export -> Export active logbook" and then select the location to save the logbook.

In the case of the "iOS iCloud Synchronization" you "import" by tapping the name of your logbook under the "LOGBOOKS TO IMPORT/RESTORE" section. In the "Import" case you tap on the "Import -> Import Dive Log logbook" and then select the logbook file you exported in step 1.

In the case of the "iOS iCloud Synchronization" you "synchronize" by tapping the name of your logbook under the "MATCHING LOGBOOKS AVAILABLE FOR SYNCHRONIZATION" section. In the "Synchronize Dive Log Logbook" case you tap on the "Synchronize Dive Log Logbook -> Synchronize Dive Log logbook" and then select the logbook file you exported in step 1.

The two approaches store the logbook in different locations, so while you can "mix and match" the approaches you can not see the files from the "iOS iCloud Synchronization" approach using the "Export"/"Import"/"Synchronize Dive Log Logbook" approach and visa versa (again, due to Apple's approach to security). However, both approaches do maintain some accounting information in the exported/synchronized logbook files that needs to be present to allow for successful synchronization (this accounting information is required to ensure that we don't try to synchronize two incompatible logbooks and so that we can deal with "conflict" files that can result fro the asynchronous and often unavailable nature of networks). To get this accounting information in place it is necessary to get the same initial logbook in both your iPhone and iPad (as well as on your PC in Diving Log 6.0). That is why you need to initially start with the export and import operations before you can synchronize you logbooks.

Hopefully that explains the background of the two different ways to use "cloud" synchronization in Dive Log. I'll respond to your first post to hopefully explain the error you are seeing and how to proceed to get your logbook on both your iPhone and iPad and keep them in sync.

Cheers,

Greg

CarrieG
Posts: 2
Joined: Sun Nov 17, 2019 9:55 am

Re: Sync options explained ?

Post by CarrieG » Sun Nov 17, 2019 3:00 pm

Hi Greg,

I've read your reply to Tom and have tried to piece it together and apply it to my situation but I'm not having any luck. Something strange happened to my iPhone and my passcode was no longer being recognised and the device locked down. I went into the Apple Store and they did a factory reset so I've had a fun afternoon of downloading apps and crossing fingers that all data comes through from the cloud. With regards to Dive Log, I've gone into Sync, and under the second option "logbooks to import/restore" , I've selected the only option there "Unknown Name". It says it's Loading and the icon is whirling around but nothing is happening. Hours later ..... it's still at "Loading". Do you know what I'm doing wrong?

Thanks
Carrie

support
Posts: 705
Joined: Wed Mar 31, 2010 4:35 pm

Re: Sync options explained ?

Post by support » Mon Nov 18, 2019 10:41 am

Hi Carrie,

I'm sorry to hear about your difficulties with your iPhone and the pain of getting things reloaded. That is certainly never fun.

The "spinning" icon indicate that Dive Log is still waiting for Apple's servers to deliver the requested file to the iPhone. There are any number of possible reasons for this that are all (unfortunately) related to iCloud and not Dive Log per se.

I'm assuming that at some point in time in the past you used the 3rd option (tapping the item under "UPLOAD ACTIVE LOGBOOK TO ICLOUD" which would have been titled "Unknown Name" ... btw, this is because at that point in time you had not yet entered your name in the Personal section of Dive Log). So the file listed as "Unknown Name" that you are tapping on would be that file that you previously uploaded.

Given that, there are a number of things to try:

1) It is possible that Apple's servers are currently off line or unavailable due to a local networking issue (for example, if you are not connected to Wi-Fi and you have iCloud set up to not allow downloads over Cellular). You can check your connection status and you may need to wait until Apple's servers are again functioning (it is rare for this to take hours though, so that issue should be resolved by now).

2) It is worth restarting your iPhone (https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201559) which will restart the service on the iPhone that is trying to talk to iCloud (it will also ensure that Dive Log is restarted fully).

3) Verify that you iCloud account is properly configured and is signed in with the correct Apple ID (it needs to be the same Apple ID that you were using when you originally uploaded the logbook to iCloud). You should look at these settings in the Settings App:

- Open the Settings App and tap on the first item (which is your Apple ID) and then tap on iCloud
- Scroll down and make sure that the switch next to "iCloud Drive" is "On" (note if you see "Documents and Data" is available and "On" and iCloud Drive is "Off" let me know before you proceed as this can cause issues on your other devices if you are not running a recent enough version of iOS on all of them)
- Scroll down further and make sure that the switch is "On" next to "Dive Log" (let me know if Dive Log is not even listed)
- Scroll back up and tap on "Manage Storage" and then scroll down and tap on "Dive Log". You should see an entry titled "Documents & Data" that shows a certain size in MB. You should also see a file listed in the lower section that is called "Unknown name <with a long string of numbers and letters>". It would be very helpful if you could take a screenshot of this screen (https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT200289) and email it to me at our support email address (support 'at' moremobilesoftware 'dot' com).
- If the iCloud settings do not look correct you can go back the the main "iCloud Settings" screen and scroll to the bottom and tap "Sign Out". This will remove all local copies of your iCloud data but will not affect the online version of the data. Then sign back in again.

4) It would also be helpful if you could send me a screenshot of the Dive Log "iOS iCloud Synchronization" screen that shows the file that you are trying to import. If you see a button to the right of the "Unknown name" string and the spinning icon is not present please carefully try tapping on that icon (this downloads the file but does not load it). You should see a progress bar replace the download icon. Then once the file is downloaded try tapping on it to load it as the current logbook. Normally you should not need to do this in two steps this way as Dive Log will do the two steps automatically, but this would help us to better understand where things are stuck.

Hopefully at this point you will have been able to download your logbook and get it re-installed. If not, please contact me again (probably best via email at our support email address (support 'at' moremobilesoftware 'dot' com) so we can look at other steps.

I should also mention that if you had a backup of your iPhone via iTunes on your Mac/PC or via iCloud Backup (automatically taken at night when your iPhone is connected to Wi-Fi and power) your logbook should have been restored from that when you reinstalled your iPhone. Unfortunately, if another backup has been taken since you restored your iPhone dive data on the previous backup would have been replaced by the now empty logbook as Apple only keeps on backup of your device by default. I would have expected the Apple Store to have helped you with this process when they reset your iPhone, but that is another possible location for a back up of your logbook.

I hope that helps. Please let me know if you have additional information from the steps above and/or still need help.

Cheers,

Greg

CarrieG
Posts: 2
Joined: Sun Nov 17, 2019 9:55 am

Re: Sync options explained ?

Post by CarrieG » Tue Nov 19, 2019 1:41 pm

Hi Greg,

Thank you for the detailed and clear response. Alas, the "plonker award" goes to me. I wasn't aware that I needed to upload the log to the cloud and blissfully assumed this all happened automatically. Also, unfortunately, I've been remiss with laptop backups due to letting other things take priority. The one big "luck" is that I only had about 50 dives logged in it as I hadn't had time to backfill the other 300. I learned a few other key lessons in this whole iphone experience and am wiser for it.

I love the Dive Log app so will one day enter the old 300 dives and just write off the lost detail for the recent 50 as a small price to pay for my ignorance and stupidity.

Kind regards
Carrie

support
Posts: 705
Joined: Wed Mar 31, 2010 4:35 pm

Re: Sync options explained ?

Post by support » Tue Nov 19, 2019 4:59 pm

Hi Carrie,

I'm sorry to hear that you've lost some of the details of your recent 50 dives.

As you've discovered the hard way, the only "automatic" backup of the device that Dive Log participates in is the iPhone iCloud Backup and/or the Wi-Fi or direct Backup to iTunes. The "cloud" upload/download support intentionally does not try to do an automatic upload due to the potential costs associated with network connections (particularly because we are often diving in remote locations). The amount of data in a logbook can be substantial and we did not want people to be incurring these costs "in the background" and chose instead to have users explicitly choose when to upload their logbooks at times of their choosing.

I'm sorry that this was not more clear and that you ended up loosing some data as a result. Thanks for your patience.

Cheers,

Greg

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