PDA

View Full Version : New Notes - iCloud Sync?




williamsk
Aug 4, 2012, 11:56 AM
I like the idea of iCloud syncing notes from the new Notes app (I already have notes syncing from my phone to my iMac wirelessly, but now I want to see them on my Macbook Pro too). But when I try to enable iCloud sync'ing of notes, it says I have to create an @me.com e-mail address?

I already have iCloud syncing of contacts, calendars, reminders, and photos working fine with my current Apple account. I don't want to create a new e-mail address or change the address used for my Apple account or anything... Why do I have to? And why does this only apply to notes?

Anyone know?



dagaz
Sep 21, 2012, 06:24 PM
I'm bumping this in case you (or anyone else) knows the answer. Signed in to iCloud on all three of my devices (MacBook Pro running Mountain Lion, iPad 2 running iOS 5, iPhone 4S running iOS 6) and all working as it should. However, when I go to turn on Notes in iCloud (doesn't matter from which device) I have to create a new iCloud account, it doesn't give me any option to log into my existing iCloud account and if I try to it tells me that account is already taken (I know it is, I took it). This just seems borked. Why do I have to have a separate iCloud account just for Notes? Why can't I use Notes with my existing iCloud account? I was hoping to use this feature in Mountain Lion, but looks like I'm sticking with nvAlt and SimpleNote for now.

Ledgem
Sep 21, 2012, 06:53 PM
It's not creating a new iCloud account, it's asking you to create an Apple email address. My devices all request a @me.com email address, but I've heard that some people are getting @icloud.com addresses. I just created it and was done with it; I don't use it for sending or receiving emails. I presume that this is necessary for the way that notes are synchronized, but I don't know the technical reasons behind it.

ObeseSquirrel
Sep 21, 2012, 07:42 PM
presume that this is necessary for the way that notes are synchronized, but I don't know the technical reasons behind it.

I think it's a throwback from iO5 and the iCloud launch, which introduced separate apps for Notes and Reminders. While Reminders was really a spinoff of iCal, and thus able to sync with iCal on Lion, Notes was brand new, so it could only sync via email. (No separate "Notes" app for Lion.)

So, if Notes were really synced via iCloud, they would not be available on Lion. Not a good enough reason IMO. Maybe they just haven't gotten around to changing it.

dagaz
Sep 21, 2012, 08:41 PM
It's not creating a new iCloud account, it's asking you to create an Apple email address.
I already have an @icloud address which was upgraded (?) from my .me address (which was upgraded from my .mac address). Notes is not letting me choose my existing @icloud address (I use my gmail account for my Apple and iCloud ID), but is forcing me to create a new @icloud address simply to sync my notes - all the other iCloud features are working perfectly for me, so why do I need a new iCloud address rather than using my existing one?

If I do create a new @icloud address, will my notes still by synced to my standard iCloud account, or will they be synced through the new address?

At this point it seems easier to just stay with simplenote.

Ledgem
Sep 21, 2012, 11:33 PM
I already have an @icloud address which was upgraded (?) from my .me address (which was upgraded from my .mac address). Notes is not letting me choose my existing @icloud address (I use my gmail account for my Apple and iCloud ID), but is forcing me to create a new @icloud address simply to sync my notes - all the other iCloud features are working perfectly for me, so why do I need a new iCloud address rather than using my existing one?

If I do create a new @icloud address, will my notes still by synced to my standard iCloud account, or will they be synced through the new address?

At this point it seems easier to just stay with simplenote.
Since I didn't have a @me address to start with, I can't really say whether the behavior that you're seeing is normal or not. I'm also not sure how the iCloud syncing works if you have two @me (or @icloud) addresses.

FWIW I had some major pains with my notes when switching it over to iCloud, because most of my notes were apparently scattered between multiple GMail addresses and locally on some devices. After dealing with some duplication issues and disabling notes through anything but iCloud, it's now working flawlessly. I'd say it's worth going through that annoyance to get it set up. It's a shame that Apple couldn't get the setup process to be a bit easier.

petsounds
Sep 23, 2012, 02:46 AM
FWIW I had some major pains with my notes when switching it over to iCloud, because most of my notes were apparently scattered between multiple GMail addresses and locally on some devices. After dealing with some duplication issues and disabling notes through anything but iCloud, it's now working flawlessly. I'd say it's worth going through that annoyance to get it set up. It's a shame that Apple couldn't get the setup process to be a bit easier.


I really don't like the fact that you can't continue to use the e-mail address (in my case, a gmail account) you've been using for a long time on the iPhone, but instead are forced to use an icloud address. And the user experience for this is terrible -- will your old notes be lost during the setup on Mountain Lion? Will they be duplicated? Who knows! So I've avoided syncing Notes at all on ML, and continue to use my old account.

Ledgem
Sep 23, 2012, 12:02 PM
I really don't like the fact that you can't continue to use the e-mail address (in my case, a gmail account) you've been using for a long time on the iPhone, but instead are forced to use an icloud address. And the user experience for this is terrible -- will your old notes be lost during the setup on Mountain Lion? Will they be duplicated? Who knows! So I've avoided syncing Notes at all on ML, and continue to use my old account.
Based on what I can see in the preferences, you can still sync notes through GMail with OS X 10.8 and iOS 6. Based on my experience, when you disable syncing with GMail then each device stores the notes locally, and when you enable it over iCloud you'll end up with duplicates.

petsounds
Sep 23, 2012, 02:30 PM
Based on what I can see in the preferences, you can still sync notes through GMail with OS X 10.8 and iOS 6.

That's not what I see. When I open the iCloud System Prefs pane on 10.8.2 and activate Notes, it asks me to set up an icloud address. There is no other option except to cancel.

Ledgem
Sep 23, 2012, 03:46 PM
That's not what I see. When I open the iCloud System Prefs pane on 10.8.2 and activate Notes, it asks me to set up an icloud address. There is no other option except to cancel.
Go to the Mail preferences and tap on your GMail account. There's an option to enable or disable notes syncing there, on a per-account basis. It may be a bit confusing that they split the syncing options that way, but it makes sense: the notes are being synced through GMail (and on that specific account), rather than through the iCloud service.

petsounds
Sep 23, 2012, 04:37 PM
Go to the Mail preferences and tap on your GMail account. There's an option to enable or disable notes syncing there, on a per-account basis. It may be a bit confusing that they split the syncing options that way, but it makes sense: the notes are being synced through GMail (and on that specific account), rather than through the iCloud service.

Okay, I enabled Notes for my gmail account in the Mail prefs pane. Went back to the iCloud pane, and it still told me I need an icloud address. Okay, fine, I'll just open up Notes. It hits Little Snitch asking to connect to a gmail server, a good sign, so I allow. It says "Updating", and finishes with no content.

I don't understand why Notes are still attached to e-mail accounts. They should just be documents stored on your iCloud space. Signs of a rush job or just laziness. And even still, syncing doesn't seem to even work.

Ledgem
Sep 23, 2012, 06:31 PM
Okay, I enabled Notes for my gmail account in the Mail prefs pane. Went back to the iCloud pane, and it still told me I need an icloud address.
Sorry, I should have clarified: once you enabled notes syncing for a GMail account, you have notes that sync through that GMail account. It's completely separate from iCloud notes. I guess you could think of the iCloud notes option as being similar to the GMail notes, but for an iCloud account.

Think of it as two separate services, iCloud and GMail.

Okay, fine, I'll just open up Notes. It hits Little Snitch asking to connect to a gmail server, a good sign, so I allow. It says "Updating", and finishes with no content.
This is where it gets fun. The reason why nothing happened is because right now your notes on your phone are probably stored locally, because you didn't have any note-sharing enabled before (whether through GMail or iCloud). There should be a way to shift the notes over to your GMail account, but you would need to do it note by note. I'm not sure if iOS 6 changed this so that you can shift multiple notes at once. I can't guide you on this one because I switched myself over to only having one account that syncs notes (iCloud), for reasons I'll describe later.

On your computer's side, you'll need to make sure that you have notes enabled for the correct account, too. I'm assuming you're on OS X 10.8; go to the System Preferences, then "Mail, Contacts, and Calendars" settings. Select your Gmail account (or if you're like me and have more than one, the one(s) that you want to sync notes through). Ensure that notes are enabled for syncing. The account(s) that you're using to sync notes with on your phone must be the same as the one(s) you're using on your computer, otherwise the notes will be sent to GMail but the other device won't see them.

If you want my opinion, it's a big pain to have notes syncing between multiple accounts. Even though I thought I had specified what account was the default, I would have notes being created across multiple accounts. They synced between my devices just fine, but they were originating from different accounts. It was pretty annoying.

My suggestion would be to just make the @me or @icloud account. There's no guarantee that Apple will continue to support note syncing through GMail now that they have it through iCloud, and my guess is that any new features regarding notes will only be applied to syncing through iCloud.

I don't understand why Notes are still attached to e-mail accounts. They should just be documents stored on your iCloud space.
I agree. It seems that they've just taken the framework that they had for syncing notes through GMail and applied it to their own email service. Maybe in the future it will work differently.

petsounds
Sep 24, 2012, 02:10 AM
This is where it gets fun. The reason why nothing happened is because right now your notes on your phone are probably stored locally, because you didn't have any note-sharing enabled before (whether through GMail or iCloud). There should be a way to shift the notes over to your GMail account, but you would need to do it note by note.

Hmm, well I've had my gmail account tied to Notes for as long as that was possible, but looking at Notes on my iPhone I see that all my notes are sitting in the local section and none are in the gmail section. And yes, I see no way to easily migrate them over. At this point, screw it. If I need a note, I'll just e-mail it to myself.

This whole user experience is like something I would expect from a Microsoft product.

Thanks for the help in putting me on the right track.

Ledgem
Sep 24, 2012, 04:40 AM
Hmm, well I've had my gmail account tied to Notes for as long as that was possible, but looking at Notes on my iPhone I see that all my notes are sitting in the local section and none are in the gmail section. And yes, I see no way to easily migrate them over.
Were your notes every syncing properly to begin with, then? If I remember correctly, when I first got my iPhone and set things up (iOS 3.something I believe), it was automatically syncing notes and was putting them under my GMail or Exchange accounts. There must have been a way to specify what the default was, and you could probably toggle it to be "local only," but that didn't seem to be the default. If you were coming from an earlier version of iOS that didn't support syncing notes through GMail, maybe that could explain it?

At this point, screw it. If I need a note, I'll just e-mail it to myself.
With all due respect, this seems like a lot more work than just creating an iCloud email account (which will take you less than three minutes, unless you're a very slow typist or think hard about what you want your user account to be) and then ensuring that all of your new notes are made through there (which will probably be the default behavior).