For many years, SOHO Notes had the ability to sync notes between multiple computers. This was accomplished using Apple's Sync Services technology which used MobileMe as the "middleman" between the computers. When Apple shut down MobileMe on June 30, 2012, it effectively shut down syncing between computers for all 3rd-party applications (including SOHO Notes) that used Apple's Sync Services technology. This was a bummer for us because we had spent a lot of time and resources over the years supporting this technology. We were hopeful, however, that iCloud, Apple's replacement for MobileMe, would provide a solid syncing platform moving forward.

As we started to research iCloud syncing in 2011, we quickly discovered that other developers were having serious problems getting iCloud syncing to work. It's important to note that there are actually two different types of iCloud syncing: document syncing and database syncing. Apple and 3rd-party developers have released many products that successfully employ document syncing via iCloud. As of April 2012, on the other hand, there isn't a single product on the market by Apple or a 3rd-party developer that employs database syncing via iCloud. Several recent articles in the press on this subject explain that database syncing via iCloud still has serious issues nearly two years after being released by Apple:

• The Verge: "Apple's broken promise: why doesn't iCloud 'just work'?"
• iMore: "iCloud gets kicked in the Core Data sync -- totally had it coming"
• Ars Technica: "Frustrated with iCloud, Apple’s developer community speaks up en masse"
• Apple Insider: "Apple's iCloud disparaged over Core Data sync problems"

The Solution

At this point, we still remain hopeful that Apple will work out the problems with database syncing via iCloud. SOHO Notes and NoteLife both use Apple's Core Data database technology for their database engines, so database syncing via iCloud is a natural choice for syncing notes between multiple computers and devices. We are, however, aware that many of our customers have been patiently waiting a long time for a replacement syncing solution and want something sooner rather than later. We have therefore started to investigate some other syncing alternatives like creating our own cloud-based syncing solution from scratch or moving to a document-based syncing solution that uses either iCloud or on the backend. Each alternative has pros and cons and we're carefully weighing these right now so we make the correct long-term solution. Our goal is to have a solution in place by the end of 2013, but we don't have anything official to announce yet.

NoteLife as Middleman?

Customers occasionally ask whether they can keep their notes in SOHO Notes synchronized between their computers by syncing each computer to NoteLife on the same iPhone or iPad. In others words, can NoteLife act as a "middleman" to sync notes between multiple computers? Unfortunately, NoteLife syncing was not designed to accommodate the complex scenarios that are involved in this type of arrangement. The end result of trying this scenario is corrupt notes, missing notes, or duplicate notes. We therefore strongly recommend that our customers sync their iPhone or iPad to just one computer and not try to use NoteLife to coordinate syncing between multiple computers.