Background Sync - Best Practices

Since OF2 for Mac is syncing more often after edits, is the Omni Sync Server pushing to other clients causing OF2 for iOS to perform a background sync? I’m trying to figure out if I need to use OF2 for iOS periodically to keep the background sync active or if OF2 for Mac is helping at all.

The server does not push any changes out to clients; clients always have to request them.

If OF2 for Mac and OF2 for iPhone are on the same local network (for example, your home wifi), when one of them posts changes to the server, it’ll announce to the other that there are changes waiting on the server.

Besides that, iOS will occasionally tell the iPhone app to sync just because. (It pays attention to what time of a day a sync actually provides new changes, what time of day you are likely to start using OmniFocus on your iPhone, and other magic.)

And even if none of that happens, when you launch OmniFocus, it’ll go ahead and sync if it hasn’t synced in a while. (An hour maybe?)


Thank you for clarifying this process. :)

That’s very cool! I didn’t realize it paid attention to sync patterns.

Does the iOS OmniFocus have to be open in the background for those background syncs to take place?

I’ve noticed my OmniFocus tasks in the Today screen tend to be not updated, but I usually close out of the app when I’m not using it because I was worried about old-school-style conflicting syncs. It sounds like I don’t need to worry about that after all, and perhaps should just keep it open in the background? This would actually make me use OmniFocus on my iPhone and iPad a lot more.

Leaving the app running in the background should reduce rather than increase the risk of sync conflicts. I honestly don’t remember whether the OS will fire up OmniFocus (if it’s been force quit) in the background just to sync, but I doubt it.

On the iPhone, there’s a bug in 2.4 that means it currently doesn’t start a sync as it’s being backgrounded. I think we’re planning to fix that very soon. So for now, manually syncing just before you leave OmniFocus for iPhone is probably the best insurance against sync conflicts.

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