Apple Watch Push Sync

It’s my understanding that with Push Sync, the watch app will update in the background.
However, I seem to be constantly having to wait for it to sync when I open the app.
I haven’t used the used Omnifocus on the watch over the last few days, and, upon opening it says the last sync was 4 days ago.
Is this normal or should it always remain up to date even if I don’t view the watch?


I just started exploring OF for Apple Watch too and I’m finding the sync to watch rather slow. I did some preliminary testing where I created an event on my phone and waited to see when this item would appear in my complication on the Watch. It’s been over 12 minutes and the item still hasn’t appeared. Is this normal?

I recall in the past that in OF 3, an item created on the phone qickly appeared on the Watch, like in a few seconds.

I believe in OF 3, the watch was essentially a remote display of your phone’s data. In OF 4, the watch runs its own copy of OF and syncs independently.

I’m finding a similar issue, I don’t use OF on my watch all the time, but when I check the sync settings on my other devices, the watch hasn’t been synced in several days. I have to manually open OF on my watch, wait a while for it to sync (often it crashes and I need to re-open it). I do have an older watch though (Series 5) and a relatively large DB of >8000 tasks, so that may impact the performance I experience. I do archive on my Mac monthly, but I use OF for everything so there are a ton of outstanding tasks.

I see what you mean about OF 3. Ironically, that means Watch OF 3 displays updated information much quicker.

After some use though, I think I’m discovering this:

  • Watch OF 4 does update somewhat regularly. One can check this by going to OF on your phone, iPad, or Mac (don’t go to your Watch version otherwise that would just trigger it to sync). Then, under Settings > Sync, look at Registered Devices and it’ll show you when each device last synced. OF 4 for Watch seems to sync regularly
  • However, what’s not regularly updated is the OF complication and that’s somewhat problematic.

My watch hasn’t seemed to update on its own. When I wrote the above post, it showed as December 22 was last sync on my watch. I had to open the app on my watch multiple times as it kept crashing and then click the sync button at the top for it to complete syncing. There were over 500 changes to the DB since it last synced so that might explain the crash. I had a similar experience when 4.0 first came out and the watch was often days behind the other devices.

My hunch is since OF4 is much slower overall than OF3 and now running fully on the watch itself & I’m on an older watch series, my performance experience makes sense. I am looking forward to continued performance tweaks in OF4 to get closer to OF3 speeds.

Perhaps you’ve already done this: have you checked to make sure that in Watch, the background refresh is on for OmniFocus 4?

Is this a thing in watchOS? I don’t see a setting for it on the watch itself or in the iPhone Watch app.

I have a Series 7 watch, so it’s not that old. I’ve also noticed delays in syncing. Then, on opening the app, I’ve seen it take up to 90 seconds to sync according to the sync log.

I’ll say, I still think it’s worth it to have the full database, but part of me wishes there was an option to do the old “mirroring” style, but with the full database accessible while the sync catches up the local copy.

When I look at the macOS database stats I have:

  • 31 MB / 111 attachments
  • 1895 tasks / 4.1 MB database size
  • 1700 transactions

I’m wondering if the slowness will be improved by removing the old OmniFocus 3 registrations. I feel like that should be automatic on macOS (since the app is replaced), and at least made more prominent. I’ll remove the registrations and see if that helps.

Is this a thing in watchOS? I don’t see a setting for it on the watch itself or in the iPhone Watch app.

I think you’re referring to background refresh? I think you’d go to the Watch app that’s on the iPhone. If memory serves, you then go to Settings and it’s in there somewhere along with the list of installed apps. I’m doing this by memory as I don’t have access to my phone right now.

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Has anyone else noticed increase battery use as compared to OmniFocus 3?

I’ve been having more days where I get to the end of the day (say around 16 hours off the charger) and my battery is less than 30% remaining. I remember finishing closer to around 50%. As far as I know, there’s no per-app battery accounting available in watchOS. Is there any way to test other than uninstalling the app?

I’m not surprised to see some higher battery drain, but to go from being able to do 24 hours without charging to having to always charge before bed to make it overnight is a significant impact.

I haven’t noticed but I’m using an Ultra which has great battery life so it’s a little harder to detect some kinds of battery drain off they aren’t “huge”. I imagine OF 4 would use more battery life as it is a full program whereas OF 3 seems to largely operate as a remote to the iOS OF 3. An advantage of OF 3 on the watch seems to be that it operates faster and complications update much quicker.

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I uninstalled for a day and battery life was the same - meaning, pretty bad! It sounds like this may be an issue with the Weather complication: weather complication not working - Apple Support

Regardless, its not an OmniFocus issue.