Apple, What are you Syncing?

I have always been a big fan of Apple ’s ecosystem, the way data is centralized and synced across your devices via iTunes and/or iCloud was just flawless. Until now. Ever since the release of the new Photos App and later macOS/iOS 10, syncing content across my various personal and family devices has turned into a nightmare.

Living in a country with bad, limited and expensive internet connection means that you cannot be entirely dependent on iCloud to sync all of the content wirelessly. The best way is to be selective: Mail, Notes, Calendars, Safari, Contacts, Reminders, and other simple app data are synced wirelessly via iCloud, while Photos, Videos, Music and device backups are synced using wire via iTunes on my Mac.


I am extremely organized when it comes to saving and archiving my photo library. I make sure to organize and clean my pictures, rename them in finder, then import them to the Photos app where I store them in easy to find Albums sorted by events and dates. I have done that to all 128,000 photos in my 525GB library.

Unlike the original iPhotos, the new Photos app is very slow and painful to use; you need to learn your way around it because it is not user-friendly and intuitive. Example: After moving pictures to an album, you always have to delete photos from the Last Import folder manually; otherwise you end up with albums containing overlapping pictures from multiple events.

Initially, I blamed my 2013 (2.4GHz, i7, 8GB) MacBook Pro, but after upgrading to the new 15” MacBook Pro (2.7GHz, i7, 16GB) with Touch Bar, I realized that performance didn’t improve.

My real problem isn’t performance; I haven’t been able to sync my photos albums with my devices. Some devices just refuse to sync, newly formatted devices sync a portion of the data, on my new iPhone 7 plus it takes several hours syncing and copying photos via iTunes, but when it the task is complete, I open my phone to find no pictures on the device.

Notes and Reminders:

I’ve always used notes and reminders for as long as I remember, never had a problem before. But lately, notes are going crazy. Some notes remain on my Mac or iPhone and refuse to go to iCloud, other notes on iCloud are never transferred to devices.

I tried everything; Deleted my iCloud database as well as notes and folders and started from scratch. Still, the issues remain. After so many lost notes, I have decided to migrate to Evernote (a paid app).

Files and File Sharing:

Until date, there is no easy way to move files across Apple devices apart from iCloud and Airdrop sharing. If you are not connected or have a bad connection, it is impossible to move folders natively to and from your mobile devices. I am currently using GoodReader a third party paid app to do that.

For the past few months I was using Android (Samsung S7 edge) and one of the heavenly features of Android is the ability to transfer all files quickly and easily.


I’ve been an Apple evangelist all my life; I loved Apple because it had always put quality, design and user experience above everything else. Today, this is in question. Apple cannot assume that every user in the world can be entirely dependent on the cloud to sync their content. Offline syncing will not disappear anytime soon, at least for large files especially with Apple’s plans to expand in emerging markets where internet connectivity is still an issue.


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