Dropbox sync (Mac/iOS) question

I’ve read the working in the cloud guide but I’m not sure I understand how syncing works with Dropbox. Since I can’t trial the iOS version, I’d like to clarify something before purchasing it.

I’d like to work on outlines on my Mac that live in Dropbox. I’d like to be able to open these outlines in the iOS app and keep working on them. Then, when I return to my Mac I’d like to keep editing them, and so on and so forth. My internet connection when I’m on iOS is often dodgy, but I’ll happily accept opening the app before leaving the house to make sure they’ve synced. (I do the same with OmniFocus.)

But what exactly happens when I open an outline in the iOS app? Am I editing the Dropbox copy or a second local copy that I have to somehow reconcile with Dropbox later or risk losing changes?

I highly recommend OmniPresence, their own syncing solution. I have not encountered significant issues with it across my Macs, iPhone, and iPads.

If you must use Dropbox for your own reasons, syncing with Macs is not a problem as long as you always close the outline on one before you open it on another.

The iOS Dropbox app, when last I checked, sees .oo3 files as archives and so you are not able to “round-trip” an outline by opening it in OO from the Dropbox app, only to save it again to the same directory.

Others can chime in, but unless you want to enable the beta features listed in the link you provided (under the heading “Turning on Cloud Storage Providers”), I think your iOS device will require you to use OmniPresence.

Thanks for the thorough reply. A couple follow-up questions:

  1. I’ve never used OmniPresence. Can I set it up to sync only specific files/folder that are within my Dropbox?
  2. I think the “beta” features is what I’m looking for. But I wasn’t sure. The documentation is not very clear. Also, how beta is beta? :D

Edit: actually even the “beta” features don’t do what I want, I think. Here’s a bit from the guide:

“Saving” files to the cloud is a bit of a misnomer, mainly because there’s no way to directly create a new file in the Other Documents folder. Instead, you first need to create a document in either the Local Documents folder, or in a folder you are syncing with OmniPresence, and then export or move the file to one of the Cloud Storage Providers.

So, really it’s just OmniPresence?

There will be a significant chance of damage to your OmniOutliner documents if you forget to close it on one computer and then open it in another computer. Dropbox is not a great option when it comes to multi-user collaboration. Corruption is a very real risk when using Dropbox and multiple computers.

I think it’s best to think of OmniPresence as a cloud service that works in parallel to Dropbox.

So on my mac, in my home directory, I have a Dropbox folder (syncs with dropbox), a Google Drive folder (syncs with Google Drive), and an OmniPresence folder (syncs with OmniPresence). In each folder, I put files/folders I want to use with each service.

A downside with using OmniPresence is you may have a project which has mixture of files—omnipresence, images, audio, word processor—and then they’ll be scattered across different cloud services. Although I think you can put non-omnigroup files in OmniPresence (i.e. PDF or Apple Pages), it’s not so useful because you can’t (easily?) access those files form OmniPresence from your iOS devices.