Mobile App Background Sync on iOS

iOS has a feature that allows apps to sync in the background even when they are not being used, I’m logging a feature request for this as I think it might help the mobile app feel a bit more snappy and load faster.


Definitely would help performance if you work on computer a lot and have lots of changes to sync over. :thumbsup:


This is indeed the most desirable aspect to speed up dynalist. It usually takes 5-6 seconds for dynalist to become usable when I switch from android to pc and vice versa (on top spec phone / pc).

Many collaboration apps use incremental sync to avoid having to sync the entire list each time, but that might be more a fundamental architecture change that requires more time.

Sync is already incremental. Only the newest changes/diffs/deltas get synced over.

The thing is running in the background require special code. From my understanding, a lightweight version of Dynalist, so it consumes less RAM and battery.

We’ll see what we can do about it!

1 Like

Thank you Erica. What do you mean by “From my understanding, a lightweight version of Dynalist, so it consumes less RAM and battery.”?

I’m pleased to hear it is incremental sync, though suprised as well, because in that case I don’t understand why it would take 5-6 seconds, sometimes more to sync even minor changes. Surely there is something wrong or that can be optimised?

Many thanks,

It’s because the app does not when it gets called to the foreground. Syncing 10 times a second will solve this problem, but that’s too demanding for most cases. Dynalist syncs every 10 seconds or so, and it will immediately sync if you make any changes. In other words, if you don’t make any changes, you need to wait a few seconds for it to sync.

In other words, this sync frequency has nothing to do which the size of the changes synced, it’s merely a mechanism to save resources. Dynalist has adopted incremental sync since a long time ago.

The solution would be to find a way to hook up a trigger that tells Dynalist to sync when it comes to the foreground.

I hope that answers your question!

1 Like

@erica thanks for giving this feature consideration. I also use dynalist on my phone and for quick capture (in busy moments) its a little bit of a pain to wait fo the sync to occur. A background sync would make sense.

Also, it comes back to the idea of an inbox capture feature on iOS for quickly adding data to Dynalist.


1 Like

Thank you Erica, I appreciate your responsiveness, and the situation is much clearer. Yes indeed, the solution you suggest would seem ideal, or to sync in the background less frequently so that most of the time it’s already in sync when opened.

1 Like

Hello, just curious. Has this been fixed on iOS? Afraid it’s still slow and clunky on Android. Worst is when commuting when connection may drop. Eg do a bunch of work on dynalist on laptop, take a plane or train and realise none of that is synced on mobile because hadn’t opened dynalist on mobile since making laptop edits.

Hi, I’m wondering, has anything been done on this? Or in the pipeline?

I’m switching frequently between computer and phone, and it’s getting to the point where the sometimes 10 seconds wait before being able to do anything is sadly pushing me to consider alternatives.

Would be great to see improvement here. I often have to trigger refresh manually from the menu. (Don’t know if this is like the “close door” button on elevators which just make you feel like it is faster, but it really isn’t?)

As important as I think background sync is for mobile, I’m afraid we still can’t afford to do it at this point. Basically, doing it properly in a non-native app is a technical challenge, but with our team of 2, we can’t afford to spend a year developing separate native apps and to maintain them.

There are things we can do to alleviate the problem, like optimize sync, or prompt you to sync before closing the app, which we hope can solve 80% of the problem with 20% (or even 90% of the problem with 10%) of the work.

Thanks for clarifying. In the interim, would the easiest solution not be to just sync as soon as the app is brought to the foreground on mobile? I don’t know if this is possible on computer too, but that would be ideal at least to not have to hang around 10 seconds not being able to use it for fear of losing stuff when it does get around to syncing (which happens…).

I believe the app starts to sync as soon as it’s brought to the foreground – is that the case, @Shida? I might be wrong here.

That is correct, the app will try its best to sync whenever it’s resumed.

@Andrew: please see Shida’s reply above. Sorry about the miscommunication, I think we added that behaviour after my reply back in July 2018, which was quite a while ago: