my iPhone Studies app cloud sync was switched off (not by me) after turning on mac Studies app sync

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23 May, 2016 04:17 PM

What gives?

I want my iOS scheduling from the cloud to go to the mac, but it didn't. I wasn't presented with any options over which data to keep as with the old Mental Case 2 app. It apparently just took the card data from the cloud and put it on the mac, but didn't load the scheduling data.

If I switch on the iOS Cloud Sync again (this is the 2nd time its shut down on me), will the sync replace my more current scheduling data on my iPhone with the older scheduling on the mac?

  1. Support Staff 1 Posted by drewmccormack on 24 May, 2016 01:24 PM

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    Mental Case never offered you options about which to keep either. Both apps merge the data.

    The scheduling data from the cloud should definitely have been merged, presuming you had synced it to the cloud. My guess is that it is there. If you check note info, does it say the note has been studied?

    If you turn back on iOS, it will merge the local and cloud data together.


  2. 2 Posted by zeppo on 24 May, 2016 03:18 PM

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    From your own words back in July 2013:

    "Your instinct over which data to keep was correct I would say. Turn on Mac first, and on the devices, choose to keep the data from iCloud. Wait for transfers to complete before doing the next device."

    Also referencing this pop-up option that I recall well because I went through so much trouble with this cloud sync between mac and iphone in the past:

  3. Support Staff 3 Posted by drewmccormack on 24 May, 2016 03:23 PM

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    In 2013 we had a completely different sync. At some point you may have been able to choose, but that sync system was very flawed and had to be replaced.

    You can't choose which data to keep in MC now, or for the last couple of years. It merges the data, which is the safest option.

    Your study history should also be merged, so there should not be any data loss.

    Kind regards,

  4. 4 Posted by zeppo on 24 May, 2016 04:05 PM

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    That's a far cry from "never" however. At any rate, the sync didn't work. I turned on the iPhone sync, the iPhone having the most current study history (as that's the only app I study on), and the number of due cards increased from 1,946, which is what it was after allowing it to sync and schedule today's due notes this morning, to 2,237 due notes. I backed up my phone prior to the sync, so I perhaps I should delete the cloud and all my mac data (maybe even delete the mac app and reinstall), and then restore my phone back up and try again, this time not enabling the mac sync until after I get my restored iphone data back on the cloud.

  5. Support Staff 5 Posted by drewmccormack on 24 May, 2016 04:11 PM

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    If your plan is not to merge the data from the two devices, the only way to do that would be:

    1. Disable all sync
    2. Reset the cloud data. It can take a while. Wait for the dialog to appear about the other devices.
    3. Remove the com.mentalfaculty.studies.mac data in Library/Containers on the Mac and restart. You can launch MC on the Mac and it should be empty.
    4. Turn on sync. You should find you just have the iOS data.

    Note that the due count can change due to merging and syncing data. It does not necessary mean there is a serious problem.

    Kind regards,

  6. 6 Posted by zeppo on 24 May, 2016 08:49 PM

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    I reset on both. icloud still shows that I have 46.8 MB of data stored, which is what I recall it showing before. Is this normal, or should it be at zero after the reset? I haven't turned sync back on yet.

  7. Support Staff 7 Posted by drewmccormack on 24 May, 2016 09:08 PM

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    Did you see the dialog appear that said you should reset other devices? If you see that, it is finished.

    It is possible the usage lags a bit. You can clear he data on settings as well if you want to be sure.

    Kind regards,

  8. 8 Posted by zeppo on 25 May, 2016 04:14 AM

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    Yes, that dialog box appeared with both reset. It didn't take a while, though. It was almost immediate. I signed out of iCloud on the iPhone and then signed back in again. Then I reset iCloud data again on both the iPhone and Mac apps. Still no change in Studies data stored in the cloud-- 46.8MB.

    I don't know how iCloud data management works, but I suspect a bug in dealing with the scenerio where one restores data to an iphone from a back up, as I did, restoring to a backup that I made earlier today in case things didn't go well when I turned the sync back on on the iphone.

    The only other thing I can think of is that the cloud wants a lot of time before it will release the data-- as in maybe I need to wait and see if it is still there tomorrow morning.

  9. Support Staff 9 Posted by drewmccormack on 25 May, 2016 06:56 AM

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    I wouldn’t worry too much about it. I indeed think that this is just an iCloud caching issue. It probably only refreshes the numbers occasionally.

    Other things that can take up iCloud space are if you share a stack via iCloud.


  10. 10 Posted by zeppo on 25 May, 2016 12:59 PM

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    Stil no change in iCloud storage amount 14 hours later: 46.8MB stored by Studies in iCloud Documents & Data as viewed via iphone Settings> Storage> Manage Storage> Studies - Flashcards for...>

    What if at this screen I choose Edit and the "Delete All"? I assume my card data and scheduling are also stored on the phone, so after deleting what's on the cloud this way, once I turn sync back on on the phone, it would copy the phone data and scheduling info onto the cloud again.

  11. Support Staff 11 Posted by drewmccormack on 25 May, 2016 01:00 PM

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    Can’t see the screen. Can you post the image above the line?


  12. 12 Posted by zeppo on 25 May, 2016 01:24 PM

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    screen before and after selecting "edit"

  13. Support Staff 13 Posted by drewmccormack on 25 May, 2016 01:25 PM

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    Yes, that should work I think.

  14. 14 Posted by zeppo on 25 May, 2016 02:41 PM

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    Ok, I did that and nothing showed afterwards for Studies in iCloud. Then, after some coffee, I later went to my mac iCloud preferences > storage and checked it and it showed 2KB of storage for Studies. I had left the mac app open during this process. Checked the iphone iCloud Storage and it now showed the same, 2KB. Just to be sure, I deleted the 2KB and shut down the mac app with a restart of the mac.

    I've have an appointment anyway, so I figure when I get back I'll open the iPhone app first and start up the sync there first. Then I'll wait an hour, and then go open the mac app and turn on the sync for it. My hope is that then the mac will have the same scheduling as the phone. I understand as you say it may change as a result of the sync, so maybe I get another 20 or 30 cards scheduled. I'm okay with that. But another 200 cards as a result would indicate a problem, since I don't have that may cards renewed each day (usually in the range of 35 to 90, and mostly in the lower end of that range.

  15. Support Staff 15 Posted by drewmccormack on 25 May, 2016 02:58 PM

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    I assume you will delete the existing data from the Mac app first, right? If you want to get exactly the same data, you need to do that. It is the com.mentalfaculty.studies.mac folder I mentioned.
    Your Mac app should be empty when you start the sync.


  16. 16 Posted by zeppo on 25 May, 2016 04:04 PM

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    Yes, I did that earlier per your instructions. There are no notes in the mac app.

    The 2KB of Studies data on the cloud came back, so I guess that is just how it is.

    I'm going to turn on the iPhone sync now.

  17. 17 Posted by zeppo on 25 May, 2016 04:44 PM

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    Completed sync, and 25 mins later I just now checked to see that 36.3mb is now stored in the cloud. (By the way, checking the data stored on the device to note it for you I see it is at 462 MB, which is odd to me actually because I could have sworn it was in the two hundred - something megabytes when I checked it earlier this morning.)

    I'll turn on the mac sync in about an hour.

  18. Support Staff 18 Posted by drewmccormack on 25 May, 2016 05:39 PM

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    When you sync, it makes cached copies of many things, so it uses more data. That could explain it.

    Cloud is impressively small.

    Note that the Mac also makes backups in a sub-folder. You can sometimes get more space by deleting some backups.


  19. 19 Posted by zeppo on 25 May, 2016 05:51 PM

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    Does it make a difference whether I have the phone app open when I turn on the mac sync?

  20. Support Staff 20 Posted by drewmccormack on 25 May, 2016 05:52 PM

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    It should not.

  21. 21 Posted by zeppo on 25 May, 2016 05:58 PM

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    Switched on mac sync. Cloud sync on phone app still shows ON, so all is well there. It's about 3/4s through.

    Edit: Still at about 80%, but at least the total number of due notes has shown up and matches the amount on the iPhone.

    Edit: Now shows complete. Looks like everything matches. I went ahead and closed the iphone App while the mac was syncing. I'm going to wait another 20 or 30 mins before opening it and doing some more studying on it (still trying to make my way through the backlog of due notes that were triggered by the new apps scheduling differences from the old Mental Case). I'll be interested in seeing if the setting on the mac to NOT group due notes by stack will transfer to the iPhone experience. Hope so. All looks good though on the sync.

  22. 22 Posted by zeppo on 25 May, 2016 06:46 PM

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    iCloud Storage now shows 36.4MB for Studies (just a slight change after activating the mac sync).

    The unchecked "Group notes by stack" setting on the mac did not help with the iphone studying. It still groups by stack.

    I'll try studying a few on the mac and see if that causes the setting to kick in and transfers it to the iphone.

  23. Support Staff 23 Posted by drewmccormack on 25 May, 2016 06:59 PM

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    Hmm, odd.
    I will check that.

    Kind regards,

  24. 24 Posted by zeppo on 25 May, 2016 07:25 PM

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    Well, it was not working on the mac app either when I just tried it, so I checked the setting, and sure enough, the "Group notes by stack" box has reverted to being checkmarked. Interesting though that the "Incorrect notes reappear at the end" box did not revert back to being checkmarked. (I had unchecked it as well).

    I will uncheck the box and study a few more on the mac. Then close and study on the iPhone and see what happens.

  25. 25 Posted by zeppo on 25 May, 2016 07:35 PM

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    Okay, after unchecking the box again, studying a few on the mac, closing the mac app, waiting a bit and opening the iPhone app and allowing it to sync...

    the random selection from multiple stacks is now working on the iphone as well, so good news there.

  26. 26 Posted by zeppo on 25 May, 2016 07:51 PM

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    Hey, I took screenshots of all the steps I took during this with notes on the Stickies app describing what I did. I went back to check them and I see it was my mistake. In my distraction in noting on a Sticky that I was unchecking the box, I forgot to uncheck it!

    So no problems with the app, it is working fine there.

  27. Support Staff 27 Posted by drewmccormack on 25 May, 2016 08:16 PM

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    Good to hear.

  28. 28 Posted by zeppo on 29 May, 2016 06:37 PM

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    unfortunately I was greeted with this message again:
         "iCloud sync has been disabled due to an unexpected error.
        Try to enable sync again, if that fails, consider resetting the iCloud data./"

    I clicked on OK to close the message and then turned the sync back on, which took about 20-25 minutes to complete.

    At the time of it disabling, i had my macbook up playing some mp3s, but the Studies app was not open.

    Prior to enabling the sync, I had about 1685 due today after some were scheduled after midnight last night when I was using it. After the enabling, the due count went to 1713. I closed the app, and then opened Studies on the macbook. After finally completing the sync, the macbook has 1744 due. So the sync did not fully work for some reason.

    i have not yet installed the Studies for mac update I see available. I'll do that later today.

  29. Support Staff 29 Posted by drewmccormack on 29 May, 2016 06:49 PM

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    How many notes do you sync in total?

    If you have 1700 due, I guess it is a lot.

    Now that you the data on your mac, might be worth excluding some stacks from sync to keep the number down.


  30. 30 Posted by zeppo on 30 May, 2016 03:25 AM

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    I have 7300 notes, about 600 of which I have never scheduled for study. I turned the cloud sync off for those cards as you suggested. But all the rest I study, and I would expect that to double since I have a lot more spanish vocabulary I need to learn if I ever want to achieve some fluency. A large number of the cards have achieved a long-term intervals in their study schedule. That's why so many are due at once now, because what would have been due at various times a year from now or more using the Mental Case 2 app are now all counted as past due with the new Studies app , because it qualifies them for a shorter span of time between studying than Mental Case did. I suppose I could retire them, but then what's the point of having the long-term intervals if they aren't implemented.

    My plan was to try to work through these cards, and then the majority wouldn't be due again for over a year

    Is the idea that I would turn off sync inclusion, for example, for half the cards, and let the other half sync. Then swap and switch inclusion back on for the half that had been turned off, and then off the half that already synced. Then after two sync, the entire set has been synced for the day and I can study them and repeat the process each day before I study, easing the burden of how many cards are synced at once? Hey, if it works I'll do it, but still makes me wonder how some advantages of cloud sync supposedly outweigh the advantages of wifi sync, which I never had a problem with back with Mental Case 1. Everywhere I go I have my iphone, so it's not like I'll be at my mac unable to sync via wifi because the phone is someplace else. So the advantage of cloud sync supposedly is for someone who runs two iOS apps on a phone and an iPad and forgets and leaves one of them at home and wants to sync with the phone and can't-- something like that? How often is that really going to be a problem compared with the hassle and problems of syncing with icloud, and being at is mercy, for people who sync between OS X and iOS? Oh well, water under the bridge now, but just sayin...

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