I fully realize that the use of external document storage is in beta, but I’m posting here to hopefully help with the development of this feature.
I used the document provider to grab an outline from DEVONthink To Go (DTTG). After making some change on OO in iOS I close the outline. The changes appear to propagate to DTTG, and subsequently to my desktop (using DEVONThink’s syncing).
I make some changes to that outline in OO on my Mac, save, let DEVONthink sync. Since the outline still appears in iOS under “Other Documents” my assumption is that it would pick up the changes made on the Mac and synced to iOS.
But this does not appear to be the case. If I wait for everything to sync up, then open the outline from the “Other Documents” section where it is still visible, the changes do not appear and the overlay indicates the file was last updated “on this device as YY:YY pm”.
So files in Other Documents seem to be able to push a change to a host application (via the document provider to the host application, this case DTTG), but do not receive subsequent changes.
The fact that changes made on another device are not received by the iOS device for outlines in the Other Documents section goes against the expectations that are established by making that document persist in the Other Documents section.
As I see it, the behaviour should be modified so that documents that remain in the Other Documents section are updated from their host application when changes are made on an external device. This would act like two-way sync, I suppose, and ensure that the user always had the most up-to-date version. This may be technically hard or impossible… and may vary depending on the host application.
Documents accessed via the iOS document provider should not remain in the Other Documents section. The user should be required to re-select the file from the Document Provider every time. This would force the user to fetch the most up-to-date version from the host application via the Document Provider.
Currently it is possible for a user to:
- Edit an outline in Other Documents, which is synced back to the host.
- Edit that same outline on another device, such as a Mac.
- Revisit the document on iOS, where the changes from (2) will not be present
- The changes just made in (3) including the absence of changes made in (2) are then pushed back, causing data loss because anything done in (2) is abandoned.
I’ve only just started playing around with this so it is possible that this is a one-off anomaly, or perhaps an issue specific to using the document provider with OO and DTTG. I’ll have to noodle around a bit more to see if I can provide more details.