Using iCloud to share between iOS and macOS devices

Had a project on my iPhone. 4,000 text-only files. 7.9 MB.

Decided to use the share facility to zip a copy of the project and save it to iCloud. From the zip being created to the same zip being unzipped on my Mac and opened in Scrivener took under 90 seconds. Not great, but liveable.

I created a new connection from my iPhone to Dropbox, moved the same project to Dropbox, and then initiated a sync. To sync and open that tiny 7.9 MB project on my Mac took 1 hour and 27 minutes.

Holy vests and pickle-eared wombats! A fiddly sync through iCloud completely smashes Dropbox to pieces. But, hey, if it works, it works … and it saves a lot of time.

Hope this might help others.

What else do you have in the Db folder you synced with your iPhone? Any other files or folders?


Nothing at all. Completely empty Dropbox account, which – because the hassle just isn’t worth enduring – I have now closed completely. Free of Dropbox at last :wink:

Not Scrivener’s fault. Just posted because sharing using iCloud does work, even if it isn’t proper syncing.

I’ve used sync via Dropbox since iOS Scrivener was released on, in total, four different iPads and three different iPhones and never had any provlems with sync, never ever. And itäs usually a question of seconds. And there is a timeout function as well if things go wrong, or you can abort yourself and restart. So 1.5 hours sounds impossible for a new small project with almost no content.

Oh, missed, you had 4000 (!) documents? Thats a lot to transfer, one by one, the first time. But 1.5 hours still seems weird.

No, it doesn’t. Always, creating a large folder structure (such as Scrivener’s internal structure) takes a lot of time – there’s a lot of file system overhead involved. Add to that the fact that you’re creating that structure with commands sent via WiFi or cellular connection (no matter how speedy it may be) and things slow to a crawl. Try it yourself – even on a local disk, it just takes longer to copy a lot of little bitty files than it does a few big files for the same total number of bytes. Put each little bitty file inside its own folder (as Scriv does) and things slow down even further.

The zipped transfer method @login used bypasses sending low-level file system commands by wireless. You zip it on your phone, send one big compressed file via wireless, then unzip it on your Mac. All that file system overhead is still there, but now it’s happening locally on your phone or on your Mac and not over the airwaves. Much faster.

The larger the individual files are that are zipped together, the less advantage this method has. If @login had a Gb or 3 of large research files, they’d see a lot less difference in time between the 2 methods. If those files are pre-compressed ( such as .jpg or .png images) the zip method might take longer under some circumstances.

The good news for Scrivener Dropbox sync is that once you have the project on your phone via Dropbox, only things that are changed are ever synced. It’s unlikely that @login would ever change all 4K files on iOS before syncing back to their Mac.

And no, @login, this isn’t an attempt to win you back to Dropbox! Just an explanation, particularly for other folks who might drop in and read the thread.

Thanks, both.

Lots of files. Small project size. Dropbox just takes too long and gets in the way.

Found a faster “solution”, which I have created a new thread for so it doesn’t get lost in this one:

Thanks, again.