Table stakes: instant sync

I know this feature has already been requested. However it's sufficiently critical, and apparently sufficiently low priority to Joplin developers, that I feel it's worth bumping again.

I checked Joplin every year or so for the last 4 years, hoping to switch. I can't because of this feature.

It appears that the Joplin team may consider syncing to be a solved problem. But for me, and presumably millions of other potential users who are used to the functionality of competing apps, it's not.

Neither of the two sync systems currently provided by Joplin seem to sync as often and transparently (invisibly) as leading alternative apps in the field: e.g. Simplenote, Apple notes, Evernote, etc.

Those apps allow users to forget about syncing altogether, and in my experience with Simplenote at least, make worrying about data loss a thing of the past.

My primary reason for using Simplenote is to prevent wasted work time by ensuring that written work is virtually guaranteed to be stored reliably. It does that job. For me this is a table stakes feature - "permission to play" - a minimum for any notetaker app in this category.

I have 4,025 notes currently created and saved in Simplenote. I can count the times I've lost data on one hand. That, despite my laptop hard freezing twice daily for the last two years during the work day.

Either Joplin doesn't have this functionality, or communication about it within the website and client applications communicates how it works very poorly.

In my own brief testing of Joplin notes do not get synced quickly or reliably. And hence I cannot adopt Joplin for myself or my company.

And so I raise this feature request again, as others have before me, and ask the product / development team to consider carefully the presumably large part of the market which they're leaving behind by not investing more resources in the implementation and / or communication of more competitive note syncing frequency. Thanks.

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I don't have the time to look into Simplenote, and all the rest. But don't you think you should address the problems with your laptop first ? When you say there is millions of "more users" in the wings, I have my doubts that these armies of laptops share the problem.

Back to what Joplin can do ? Joplin once only synced at a certain interval set in the settings. This has changed. Did you know ?

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I'm fine with the way Joplin handles this on desktop. Initial sync on mobile (I mean daily initial syncing right after starting the app) takes way too long however. That's a real disadvantage compared with all other note-taking apps for Android or iOS I know of.

About how many notes total on your ANdroid device are we talking ? and how many of these have (typically) changed in the last start 24h ?

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That's just the point I was trying to make: I doesn't matter how many notes I have or how often there are changes to them - since I started using Joplin two or three years ago initial sync always takes up something like 30 oder 45 seconds.

That's no problem on desktop, but it's a chore when I'm using my iPhone: If I switch apps and trust Joplin to perform its initial sync I end up with an error message because background syncing is technically impossible for Joplin on Android or iOS.

What I suspect is that it's got something to do with the OneDrive API or the way Joplin handles it. I'm not an expert at all in these things, but some error messages showed me that a process called "acquiring locks" is probably slowing things down on a regular basis.

I wonder if the same problem occurs with Dropbox or WebDAV users. I take it that sync is fastest for self hosters or Joplin Cloud users.

I'm not sure what is meant by "fastest" but sync from my Win10 system to my NAS is typically 300-400 milliseconds. That is fast compared to what I had when I tried syncing to cloud providers but that might have been slowed down by the net and time of day. I dropped OneDrive a few years ago as it was not private and never tried Google (my firewall blocks all Google IP addresses) and none of the cloud providers that are truly private can be used by Joplin.

Not sure how one can expect that an app on a device with limited resources "performs" well regardless how high the workload gets, how many notes have to be synced ?
But I confirm that with a few hundred notes on a very old iPad Joplin
a) starts a little slow (before even trying to sync)
b) but syncs fast any time.

My note count is at approx. 4700 notes and 5500 resources, most of them synced to all my devices many, many months ago. That's why I don't think that "workload" is the point, but I might be mistaken.

I can confirm what you said about iPad sync behaviour, but let me explain it step by step. I open the app, the synchronisation wheel starts to spin for at least 30 seconds, and only then proper sync starts, indicated by status reports such as "fetched".

No matter which device I use (iPad mini 5, iPhone 11, Surface 7 on Windows, an HP notebook over five years old): It all comes down to the same thing, namely the sync wheel spinning for about 30 to 50 seconds before anything happens.

That's perfectly ok on desktop (with proper multitasking so that I can do something else), but it's a test of patience both on iOS and iPadOS where I'm forced to let the wheel spin to the end because changing apps leads to an even longer initial sync and results in an error message.

That's why I think that Joplin for Android and Apple devices desperately needs background syncing capabilites - just like every other app I know of connecting to a remote target.

That's one of the unique selling points of Joplin: end-to-end encryption in conjunction with popular cloud services otherwise despised for their lack of privacy.

I absolutely agree: Dropbox, GDrive, OneDrive and almost all of their rivals are a privacy desaster. That's why E2EE provided by software like Joplin or Cryptomator is indispensible.