Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Text Replacements Do Not Sync

Brian Stucki (tweet):

In iOS 6 (2012), syncing between Mac and iOS devices was introduced. At least that is when Apple said it was introduced. I have yet to see the feature roll out. Therein lies the premise of this post.

Text replacement syncing is completely broken. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. Sometimes it will only sync back old snippets that you have deleted. Sometimes the sync will work one direction, but not the other. Every time I ask about this on Twitter, it brings a strong response of similar experiences.


I mostly put forward this data to show just how random and far reaching the issue is on Apple devices.

Update (2017-09-27): Wojtek Pietrusiewicz:

I found my own solution. I had to go through this again, after updating to iOS 10 last year. So that’s twice since the feature was added — not bad, not perfect.

My method is supposed to isolate the one device on your account, which is causing problems. I personally have four — two Macs, an iPhone, and an iPad. Here is what I did, twice now, to fix the syncing of text shortcuts.

John Gruber:

I don’t know what’s going on with text replacement syncing, but it is the worst kind of buggy: it works just well enough to keep using it, but my machines are never in perfect sync. And, the feature is really useful, and really helpful to me on a daily basis. Apple: please get this fixed.

Nick Heer:

It’s truly astonishing that seemingly the buggiest part of iCloud is syncing plain text strings. As one person quipped in Slack, it’s amazing that I can make dozens of edits to a RAW photo and see that reflected nearly instantaneously on all my devices, but changes to text replacements remain entirely unreliable.

Brian Stucki (via Tim Hardwick):

Perhaps a clean install of High Sierra is now saving snippets correctly? It’s a start I guess. But who knows if it will still be working this afternoon.

Guilherme Rambo:

I just confirmed that text replacements sync through CloudKit on iOS 11 and High Sierra.

Update (2017-09-28): John Gruber:

Apple spokesperson emailed me to say they checked with the team, and an update that moves text replacement syncing to CloudKit should be rolling out to iOS 11 and MacOS 10.13 High Sierra users in the “next month or so”.

Update (2017-12-05): John Gruber:

In an update to his original report, Stucki reports that as of last week, this is now the case. So far so good for me personally. I think this deserves a non-sarcastic finally.

Update (2018-01-31): Meek Geek:

I’m on the latest versions of macOS and iOS, and text replacement shortcuts are still not syncing.

Update (2018-12-04): Federico Viticci:

More updates about my iCloud issues:

All my text replacements are now gone, replaced by ‘On my way!’ duplicates. I have no idea what is going on.


Update (2019-02-11): Mark Malström:

Went to add a new text replacement shortcut and discovered that all of my previous shortcuts have disappeared…

Seriously, how have these syncing issues not been resolved in the last 8 years, since the feature was released?

2 Comments RSS · Twitter

Text replacement iCloud sync is the feature I like to think of whenever I'm not getting something right in my syncing code: if Apple can't... ;)

I think they should probably work on the basics first, said the guy reading his RSS feeds while waiting for his damn phone to reboot to see if that gets the photo he wants to post to Instagram to actually bloody sync through Apple's useless bloody iCloud Photo Library...

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