scheduling: mac vs iOS

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28 Jul, 2013 03:55 PM

After completing all Due Notes yesterday, no new notes were scheduled on my iPod still this morning. I tapped on Sync to iCloud a couple of times to see if that might trigger something (didn't turn off the sync setting), turning closing the app and reopening in between. This does prompt the app to say it is "updating", but no scheduling resulted. I kept my mac app closed. Then when I did turn on the mac app (made sure to have the iPod app closed), the mac app did schedule a bunch of new due Notes. This happened yesterday as well. No new scheduled notes all day by the iPod, but once I got home from work and turned on the mac app, a bunch of new Due Notes were scheduled, which were then synced to the cloud, and from there went from cloud to iPod. So this tells me one of three things. Either the mac is controlling the scheduling, the mac and the iPod are set to schedule new due notes at very different times of the day, or both apps have to sync to the cloud after completing all Due Notes before either will schedule more due notes. In the latter of these, that would mean had I studied and completed my Due Notes on the mac rather than my iPod, then the mac wouldn't have scheduled any more Due Notes until I had first turned on my iPod app to let it sync to the completed status of the previous Due Notes studied on the mac. Which of these is it?

  1. Support Staff 1 Posted by drewmccormack on 28 Jul, 2013 11:01 PM

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    You are over-thinking the scheduling a bit. Scheduling is independent of syncing, except that once the scheduler updates notes, those schedule changes should be transferred to the other device. Neither device should stop scheduling because it is syncing.

    In general, scheduling should happen the first time the app is opened on a particular day. If that is not happening, it is likely a bug in the iOS app, not an issue with syncing. We will double check the scheduling to see if there is an issue with it on iOS.


  2. 2 Posted by zeppo on 29 Jul, 2013 02:18 AM

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    I noticed that at one time the mac app had a problem with "overdue" notes, that is notes scheduled as due one day but not studied until the next, not being scheduled properly after they were studied. Was this issue ever resolved? If not, I'm wondering if this bug could be even more problematic when those overdue notes are studied on another device rather than the mac and some causes problems when the sync of information is attempted. I know you say they are independent, but my mac app got really out of whack today. Wont sync to the cloud at all now after turning the sync off and on to try to solve it. Message that popped up: "Could not download data from iCloud. Please wait for iCloud to sync up, and then try again a bit later." Not sure how I'm supposed to know when "iCloud has synced up" so that I may try again, but a couple of more attempts yielded the same results. After clicking ok to the pop up msg, it closed the program. Weirder still, upon opening the mac app back up, not one, but two app windows opened. Obviously, not good. Closed them both. This thing with the two mac app windows is repeatable. Happened again when I tried to turn back on cloud sync a second time and went through the same steps. So I'll have to go the delete-the-ubiquity-file route again, except this time it is the iPod info I want to keep.

  3. Support Staff 3 Posted by drewmccormack on 29 Jul, 2013 04:30 AM

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    We did fix that bug with overdue notes.


  4. 4 Posted by zeppo on 30 Jul, 2013 11:49 PM

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    Had over 400 notes show up as due yesterday on the iPod, I believe likely because it didn't recognize the fact that I had completed (on the iPod) the due notes from the previous day or two. So I went through them all, but it took me past midnight again, which, as usual, causes the notes to start becoming sluggish and the app to shut down. I had to do the last twenty or so notes three or four at a time, with the app shutting down in between. But just before the end it gave me a pop up on the iPod saying that it had turned off my iCloud sync again. I finished the remaining due notes without turning back on the cloud sync I have left it off, and still no notes scheduled yet today. I will keep the cloud sync off and see if any pop up. I'm absolutely certain some should schedule for today. Only five hours left for it to do so. So there is a scheduling bug somewhere. I'll wait until tomorrow and see if it continues not to schedule due note into a second day.

    From what you say, I assume that each devise should schedule the same due notes independently. But it sure seems as if the iPod has decided to let the mac due the scheduling and is operating under the assumption that the cloud sync will transfer the mac scheduled notes to the iPod.

    Looks like I'll have to delete the cloud and start again. I don't use it for much other than Mental Case data, a couple of documents I let it save there, and safari browser info (favorites, etc.). But I'll wait and see what happens with the scheduling.

  5. Support Staff 5 Posted by drewmccormack on 30 Jul, 2013 11:59 PM

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    Yes, it does sound like there is a scheduling issue. We will investigate this.
    One way that should force a reschedule is killing the app altogether, or restarting the device. If that also doesn’t trigger a reschedule, there could be a more serious issue I guess.


  6. 6 Posted by zeppo on 31 Jul, 2013 02:07 AM

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    I've done both. I've tried the two quick taps of the home button on the iPod to show the running application, then hold on the app icon to get the minus sign to show, and finally press on the minus sign to close completely. Reopening the app after this doesn't trigger the scheduling. Shutting the iPod completely (holding down the shut down button until the red "slide to power off" arrow appears and then sliding it) also doesn't work upon restart of iPod and app.

    Perhaps the bug was it scheduled today's Due Notes in advance with yesterday's. I studied all the Due Notes on the mac (repeating what I studied on the iPod) and will see where each program schedules tomorrow.

  7. 7 Posted by zeppo on 01 Aug, 2013 12:20 AM

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    I haven't turned sync back on the ipod yet. The iPod did end up scheduling new Due Notes today. It scheduled 263, whereas the mac only scheduled 207. I'm not sure if this is coincidental, but the iPod did not schedule right away. I left it for a few minutes and having still not scheduled, I tapped on iCloud Sync. Now, I didn't turn it on, but even without it turned on, it still gives a little "updating" message when I do this. After it finished and said that it was up to date, I flipped back to the library and there the 207 notes were now showing due. So perhaps it is coincidental, but it sure looked like triggering the "updating" by tapping iCloud Sync is what did triggered the scheduling (emphasizing again, the Sync button, however, was still set to OFF).

    The other thing I noticed is that notes that had popped up due on the mac yesterday, and ones that I hadn't seen scheduled for a while, popped up today on the iPod. This makes me wonder if the "calendars" that the two apps use to schedule are different. The clocks on the mac and the iPod are the same. But could there be some programming glitch that has these two apps scheduling in a way that cause a day delay in notes scheduled by the mac to be otherwise scheduled by the iPod that is not so easily resolved via the cloud sync when there are a lot of notes (albeit, though, not a lot of MBs-- they are just text notes; total library under 200MB)?

    EDIT UPDATE: I have continued to experiment with the iPod sync set to "OFF". Paragraph one above appears to hold true today, Aug 2nd as well. No scheduling occurred on the iPod at all today until I went thru the same procedure. I had to turn on the mac app and let it schedule and sync to the cloud first. Then, turning on the iPod app continued not to schedule, turning it fully on an off (as well as the device) a couple of time, UNTIL I got into wifi with it and tapped "iCloud Sync" and let the "updating status" message complete it's thing and change to read "Cloud data is fully updated." Doing all this just before turning on the mac app and letting the mac app yielded no results. The mac app had to sync, and THEN, tapping the cloud sync on the iPod yielded results in scheduling. They both scheduled the same notes, but the mac had some repeats from previous days that I missed on it, and the iPod had some that I had missed on it. So, while they are doing their own thing there, nevertheless, the mac would appear to be the driving force in triggering scheduling, and that trigger seems to be in whatever data is still communicated by the cloud when it is "updating" with the sync set to "OFF".

    EDIT UPDATE 8/10: It appears that it was a coincidence that tapping on the cloud sync triggers scheduling results, even though it happened more than once. After testing it for a number of days, I see that it takes about 7 to 10 minutes for the iPod app to process the scheduling for the day. So I think I just hadn't left it on long enough in some cases where I had problems. Today I was able to test the scheduling with the iPod cloud sync turned ON and the mac app cloud sync turn off, and it still scheduled ok. Since it wouldn't allow me to turn the cloud sync back on on the mac app yesterday, I'll leave it off for one more day just to see that the iPod app is still scheduling ok on its own tomorrow.

  8. 8 Posted by zeppo on 03 Aug, 2013 04:55 PM

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    After completing yesterday's due notes last night before midnight, this morning the iPod scheduled new due notes without having to try to trigger it using methods above. Didn't turn on the mac app at all until after the iPod scheduled and didn't need to tap iCloud Sync (which is still set to OFF). So, go figure.

  9. 9 Posted by zeppo on 10 Aug, 2013 03:39 AM

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    after continued testing without using the mac app and with the cloud sync still set to OFF on the iPod, the scheduling has worked on the iPod. I decided to turn the sync off on the mac app as well and then start up the sync on the iPod and move the data to the cloud. A let it sit a while and came back to a pop up on the iPod saying to be sure and wait until the sync was complete before turning on any other devices. So I tapped "ok" and then saw the message that the update was complete. Since this is the only thing I have to go buy in terms of whether I iCloud sync with the iPod was complete, I gave it another 8 minutes just to be sure. Then I tried to turn on the Cloud Sync on the mac app, and chose to replace the data on the mac with what was on the cloud. But what followed was a pop up saying:

        "Could not download data from iCloud. Please wait for iCloud to sync up, and then try again a bit later."

    What does this mean, "wait for iCloud" to sync up?

  10. Support Staff 10 Posted by drewmccormack on 10 Aug, 2013 05:31 AM

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    There could be a small file that hasn't finished transferring.
    Best to wait a while in this case. Perhaps also relaunch the app to be sure.


  11. 11 Posted by zeppo on 10 Aug, 2013 03:08 PM

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    I don't whether the message is trying to say the that iCloud is still in the middle of syncing with one of my devises or that it plans to complete a sync of more data in the future. The message on both devises says "Cloud data is fully updated." It certainly seems that I cannot count on that message as being accurate. Is there any way to make improvements so that I know that there is some processing still going on or that is still outstanding?

    Also, if it is the latter and it is speaking not of an ongoing process with the Cloud, but some something the Cloud sees as an outstanding transfer of information that must be resolved in the future, then why is it that the transfer has been postponed. Does the Cloud dole out connection time to its servers so that I am in some sort of queue waiting my turn to continue processing? If so, I wish there was a status indicator for this.

  12. Support Staff 12 Posted by drewmccormack on 10 Aug, 2013 03:12 PM

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    If it says the data is up to date, there should not be any more data transferring.

    In that case, I'm not sure what could trigger the error. All I can suggest is starting the reset process again.

    Sorry I can't be more helpful. It is likely some internal iCloud error causing the failure.


  13. 13 Posted by zeppo on 11 Aug, 2013 03:47 PM

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    Thanks. I'm glad I waited to test the scheduling one more day before trying to start up the sync on the mac again. This morning when I started the app I got a pop up saying:

    "iCloud Syncing has been disabled due to a serious error" followed by a couple of more lines that went away before I could finish copying them down. But part of the wording was "consider replacing the data in iCloud..."

    Scheduling on the iPod did proceed as normal.

    At this point, it is the data on my iPod that is up to date. I will save the library files on my mac just in case. Now that the cloud sync is set to OFF on both the mac app and the iPod app, is it ok turn the iPod app sync back on first and choose to keep the data on the app, and then, later, turn on the mac app sync and choose to keep the data on the cloud? ( I know the reverse is ok since I did that before when I wanted to keep the data that was on the mac app and not the iPod.)

    If so, I may try that one more time, just to try to get the data over to the mac app and save the library files afterwards.

    But ultimately, I think I need to wipe all the iCloud data (there are only a few other documents saved there) and the ubiquity files and start again. But I think I may also use time machine to take me back to where I was before I had keychains set up for the iCloud.

  14. Support Staff 14 Posted by drewmccormack on 11 Aug, 2013 04:06 PM

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    Yes, you should be able to do that. Wait for the upload to finish before engaging sync on the mac.


  15. 15 Posted by zeppo on 11 Aug, 2013 04:14 PM

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    I always wait until the sync messages says everything is "fully updated". But that apparently wasn't enough last time, and at other times in the past. So I'm just going to give it another hour past that "fully updated" message as well and hope it does the trick.

    I don't know if the "" certificates and public and private keys are related to the cloud, but I have eight sets of these in my keychain access folder.

  16. 16 Posted by zeppo on 16 Aug, 2013 11:55 PM

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    Ok, so I decided not to wipe the cloud and ubiquity file yet, mainly just due to the extra hassle, and instead went ahead and turned back on the cloud sync first on the iPod, replacing cloud data with IPod data. I gave it a half hour and then turned on the mac cloud sync, replacing mac data with cloud data. Went well. Then I let the ipod schedule and completed studying the due notes same day (around 120). I tapped iCloud syncing on the ipod just to be sure that all data had fully loaded. Then I turned on the mac app. Here's where the first thing went wrong. The mac synced to the cloud, but it didn't keep the cloud data. Instead it replaced the cloud data, at least as far as scheduling, with the mac data. So then when the ipod synced to the cloud, I now had all the same notes due all over again. So there is some bug here that causes syncing between mac and cloud to not recognize that the mac data is the not the most up to date. At any rate, I went ahead and studying the due notes on the iPod again before the day ended.

    The next day (yesterday) I get another 130 notes or so scheduled due by the iPod. I study them, make sure the progress syncs to the cloud and then later turn on the mac app and sync it to the cloud. This time the cloud data does trump the mac, and the mac updated to show zero notes due as well. Hmm. Maybe its back on track.

    But no, this morning I turn on the iPod to let it schedule due notes while at my desk at work with no wifi connection available. Yet after a little bit, I get a pop up message:

    "iCloud syncing has been disabled due to a serious error.

    A serious error occurred while registering with iCloud. It is best to restart your devices and wait for iCloud to sync up. If that doesn't help, consider replacing the Mental Case data on iCloud"

    Then i tap "ok" or whatever on the pop up to close it. Then I see that the due notes are scheduled for today.

    But why would it tell me there was an error registering with iCloud, when the app hadn't been on with a wifi connection up to that point of today? Is the app just not able to distinguish that no connection to the internet exists and so it is making failed attempts to sync that it just can't cope with?

  17. Support Staff 17 Posted by drewmccormack on 17 Aug, 2013 06:39 AM

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    That shouldn't be the problem. The message is usually the result of inconsistent data. For example, if half the data was new and half old due to not fully completing the transfer.


  18. 18 Posted by zeppo on 17 Aug, 2013 04:48 PM

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    But what transfer could it possibly be attempting without an internet connection?

  19. Support Staff 19 Posted by drewmccormack on 17 Aug, 2013 04:51 PM

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    No, the two are independent. I just mean if perhaps there was data left over from before you turned off your sync switch, and that was inconsistent with the new data added when you turn sync back on, then you could get a message like that. It is like a consistency check, just to make sure everything is how it should be. If it detects an issue, it assumes the data is corrupted and turns off syncing.


  20. 20 Posted by zeppo on 17 Aug, 2013 05:16 PM

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    So Day One, I turn back on cloud syncing on both devices. There is a glitch in that it reschedules the same notes per the mac data after studying them earlier in the day on the iPod. But after studying them all again the same day, it seems everything is back on track on Day Two. It isn't until Day Three that I get this message popping up, and that is before I've had any internet connection with either device that day. And the message says:

    "A serious error occurred while registering with iCloud. "

    So this makes me think it is referring to a attempt to "register" on Day Three. Yet it has had no internet connection to do any "registering" since the previous day.

    If I understand you correctly, it is only just then on Day Three figuring out that there was a problem with "registering" on a previous day. Now it was in the process of scheduling Day Three's "Due Notes" when this error was discovered. By the wording of the message, it sure makes it sound like there was an attempt to sync or "register" on Day Three that caused the error. It seems odd that it had no problem with the scheduling and syncing on Day Two, and then discovers the inconsistency during Day Three's scheduling process. But from what you're telling me, I guess that's what happened. I just wonder if all your testing was done using iPhones with constant data connections verses iPods.

    So I guess I'll do the last ditch effort now of wiping clean the cloud data and starting again.

    In addition to the above experience, I can say that the problem I have had with Due Notes carried over to the next days seems to be caused by the scheduling for the new day going on in the background while attempting to study the remainder of the previous days Due Notes. I think I have solved that-- I just need to make sure not to do any studying into the new day without first giving the device 7 to 10 minutes to schedule the new day's notes. I think that will prove to be a decent work around to that issue.

  21. 21 Posted by zeppo on 22 Aug, 2013 01:06 AM

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    After studying all Due Notes for the day on the iPod, I prepared to turn on cloud sync again. First, I deleted the ubiquity folder on the mac, whatever that does. The sync was off on both the mac and iPod. This time I added the extras step of going to SystemPreferences > icloud on the mac, and from there I unchecked "Documents and Data". it warned that all documents stored in iCloud will be deleted from this mac, but will still be available on other devices using iCloud. So I opted to delete it from the mac, and then restarted the computer. Then I turned the sync on again first on the iPod, keeping iPod data, and then on the mac, keeping cloud data.

    This time, the sync with the mac somehow pushed three Due Notes on to the iPod. As soon as I tried to study the first, the program crashed. When I opened the app again, I got the old standby pop up saying the icloud Sync had been turned off again (see Aug 16th post)

    So this leaves one last thing. If I go to icloud and opt to delete the Mental Case data stored there, it warns that it will be deleted from all devices as well. So I opted not to do it. But I got a similar warning when I unchecked the Documents box in System Preferences/iCloud in regards to the mac, yet all the Data appeared to remain intact on the mac after proceeding there. So if I try this again but delete the Data from the iCloud, will it erase my iPod as it suggests (keeping in mind that Sync to iCloud will be set to OFF on the iPod)?

     If not, that appears to be my last attempt at this--- deleting the ubiquity folder, deleting the iCloud documents data (mental case data is all I have stored in terms of Documents data there.

  22. Support Staff 22 Posted by drewmccormack on 22 Aug, 2013 05:54 AM

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    Turning off documents and data doesn't really delete the data. It moves it to a side folder. If you turn it back on, it just moves the folder back.

    The setting to delete the data should really delete it, but it could still take a while to delete on other devices.

    Turn off the switch in the MC app on all devices.
    Wait 10 minutes
    Then delete the iCloud data using settings. Best to do it on one device and wait for the others to get the message.

    On the Mac, you can actually just see the data, and trash it directly. In Finder, use Go > Go to Folder, and enter

    ~/Library/Mobile Documents/com~mentalfaculty~mentalcase

    You should find a folder in there called MainStore. That is the sync data. You can drag it to the trash and empty trash. You could instead just watch and wait for its contents to disappear after deleting data on another device.


  23. 23 Posted by zeppo on 22 Aug, 2013 11:22 AM

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    I'm confused about what I would be deleting. Would this be deleting my library of notes? Would it be deleting the scheduling history of my notes?

    I wouldn't want to lose the scheduling history that I have on my iPod. With 5500 notes, I certainly don't want it to start scheduling all these as if I've never studied them before.

  24. Support Staff 24 Posted by drewmccormack on 22 Aug, 2013 11:27 AM

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    When you delete the data in iCloud, you are just deleting the files that Mental Case use to send information back and forth. You aren't deleting your library or any scheduling info. That is all kept in a separate place, outside of iCloud.


  25. 25 Posted by zeppo on 22 Aug, 2013 11:28 PM

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    Ok, so just deleted the data in iCloud. At the same time, I had sync screens up on both the mac app and the iPod app. Keep in mind the sync switch is set to ON on the mac app and set to OFF (from where the program shut it down) on the iPod app. Lo and behold, deleting the data in the Cloud resulted in the Data Transfer Status on the mac app changing from "fully updated" to "11.678MB to download." Likewise on the iPod app it changed from "fully updated" to "3.470MB to download." Why would it be downloading anything? From where? I just deleted the data on the cloud?

    The other problem is, while it is saying it has this info to download, it isn't budging in this status. So I am going to close the mac app and restart and see what happens.

  26. 26 Posted by zeppo on 22 Aug, 2013 11:31 PM

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    Ok, the restart of the mac app resulted in this pop up:

    "A serious error occurred while registering with iCloud. It is best to restart your device, and wait for iCloud to sync up. If that doesn't help, consider replacing the Mental Case data in iCloud."

    Followed by another pop up:

    "You should quit Mental Case as soon as possible, because continuing could cause other problems. To learn more about the error, see the Console utility."

    So I closed the app. But not before checking the cloud sync screen, which showed that the sync switch had been switched to OFF, but it still showed the status of "11.678MB to download."

  27. 27 Posted by zeppo on 22 Aug, 2013 11:43 PM

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    It occurred to me after the above to back and check the iCloud data, since I had just deleted it, but the mac sync had been on at the time. Now the iCloud data shows 14.4 MB. Far less than what it had been storing. But I don't see any reason to keep that. Now that he mac sync is switched to OFF as well, I deleted the 14.4mb from the cloud as well, after deleting the ubiquity folder. This resulted in the iPod status losing the "3.470MB to download." message and saying" fully updated" instead. However, when I turned back on the mac app and checked, it still retained its "11.678MB to download." message. Closing and restarting the mac app once more didnt' help. Then I did a restart of the computer, turned the mac app on and went to cloud sync and this time the status changed to a little over 15MB "downloading" quickly followed by "fully updated" I then checked the cloud and the 14.4MB of storage were back. I guess this 14.4MB is mac app checking in, even though the sync switch is set to OFF on the mac app. Seemed odd to me.

    So I thought, let see what happens if I tap on Sync via Cloud on the iPod app. What happened was the status changed to "15.149MB to download." I'm guessing this is the same figure shown by the mac app before the status changed to "fully updated." Yet the ipod status hasn't budged. No "fully updated" followed on the iPod.

    At this point I have about 400 Due Notes on the iPod I need to knock out today. So after I do that, I'll may delete the cloud data and ubiquity file one more time before switching the sync switches back to ON on the two apps.

  28. drewmccormack closed this discussion on 01 Oct, 2013 06:48 AM.

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