NoteLife on iOS devices currently syncs wirelessly with SOHO Notes on your computer over your Wi-Fi network. This means both your iPhone/iPad and your computer have to be on the same local Wi-Fi network. Once the device and computer locate each other, you then need to manually start the sync and wait for it to complete. During the sync process, neither NoteLife nor SOHO Notes can be used. While syncing over Wi-Fi is relatively speedy, many customers have asked for a sync process that a) doesn't require both devices to be on the same wi-fi network; b) happens in the background automatically; and c) can occur anywhere in the world over any internet connection.

Our Early Plan

When Apple announced iCloud in 2011, we thought that it would be an excellent solution for syncing notes between NoteLife on iOS devices and SOHO Notes on computers. In layman's terms, under this scenario, iCloud would host a "master" copy of the notes database and then your devices like your iPhone, iPad, and computer would each sync to this database on iCloud. The syncing would happen transparently in the background whenever the device had an internet connection.

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 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.