macOS High Sierra and iOS 11 May Fix Long-Standing Sync Issues With iCloud Text Replacements [Update: Soon]

Discussion in 'Mac Blog Discussion' started by MacRumors, Sep 27, 2017.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    Apple appears to have resolved long-running iCloud sync issues linked to its text replacement feature with the release of iOS 11 and macOS High Sierra. Originally introduced in Snow Leopard and iOS 5, text replacements let users create shortcut text that, when typed, expands to something longer, thus saving input time.

    The feature can be found on iOS devices in Settings -> General -> Keyboards -> Text Replacement, and in System Preferences -> Keyboard on Macs. Ideally, changes to the text snippets list on one device should sync to all devices logged in using the same Apple ID, but that hasn't always been the case, as MacStadium's Brian Stucki attests:

    After years of struggling to get text replacement syncing to work properly, Stucki recently decided to set up a weeks-long experiment to test the reliability of the feature across hundreds of Apple devices running various versions of iOS and OS X/macOS. In short, Stucki's results suggested that the text replacement syncing service was "a complete mess" and routinely failed to sync text snippets across devices.

    Following the experiment, Stucki wondered why the syncing had remained so poor across several generations of OS, given that other iCloud syncing features such as Apple Notes had improved in recent years. As noted by Daring Fireball's John Gruber, these improvements corresponded with the introduction of the CloudKit API in 2014, suggesting that text replacements had not been upgraded to run on the newer syncing framework.

    However, in an update to his experiment posted on Tuesday, Stucki reported that when he made text replacement changes on a Mac running macOS High Sierra, surprisingly his edits were recognized and synced across nearly every device on the same Apple ID, regardless of OS. "Perhaps a clean install of High Sierra is now saving snippets correctly?" he wondered.

    Since then, iOS developer Guilherme Rambo has claimed that text replacements do sync through CloudKit on iOS 11 and macOS High Sierra, suggesting Apple has got around to updating the feature to run on the more reliable API. So if you're having trouble syncing text snippets, updating your devices to Apple's latest operating systems might be the best course of action.

    Update: An Apple spokesperson informed John Gruber later on Wednesday that an update to move text replacement syncing to CloudKit should be rolling out to iOS 11 and macOS High Sierra 10.13 "in the next month or so".

    Article Link: macOS High Sierra and iOS 11 May Fix Long-Standing Sync Issues With iCloud Text Replacements [Update: Soon]
  2. Traverse macrumors 604


    Mar 11, 2013
    While I’m glad, I just read posts in the iOS 11.0.1 update article commenting that it wiped their snippets on some devices and not others.

    Personally, I find it maddening. After a clean install sometimes only half my snippets would appear, I’d manually redo them in that device and then 2 months later have 3+ copies of the same snippet on each device.
  3. Robert.Walter macrumors 65816

    Jul 10, 2012
    Also had massive recurring problems with this, across numerous users, mostly the unexpected return of deleted or changed snippets.

    Fortunately no mass deletions tho.

    Reported many times as a public beta tester. Very glad if solved.
  4. timmyh Contributing Editor


    Mar 18, 2016
    Liverpool, UK
    Hm, that's not good. We'll update if we get more clarity from Apple.
  5. witherwings macrumors member


    Sep 3, 2010
    Well, it suddenly duplicated all the entries in High Sierra. And after deleting all entries on Mac, they still show up on my iPhone and iPad. Guess the fix is not for everyone. But will try to delete in all my devices to "restart" the entries.
  6. jacjustjac macrumors regular


    Feb 12, 2008
    New York, NY
    I remember having this problem, and as recently as last month my iPhone wouldn’t push changes to any Notes app on my other devices, only retrieve changes. I hope this is fixed too.
  7. Mjoshea148 macrumors regular

    Sep 9, 2012
    I don't see any difference in behavior. Any iOS shortcut created is not synced to Mac. Any Mac shortcut does sync to iOS. One sided.
  8. thisisnotmyname macrumors 68000


    Oct 22, 2014
    known but velocity indeterminate
  9. antiprotest macrumors 65816


    Apr 19, 2010
    When people come to me with bugs on macOS or iOS, I always assure them that Apple will fix them eventually, possibly within 5 to 10 years. Of course, to the user it seems some of these tiny bugs ought to be fixed within days, but Apple is busy. Making the user wait half a decade or more is not too much to ask.
  10. ArtOfWarfare macrumors G3


    Nov 26, 2007
    Felt weird looking at the screenshot. shrug is the only text replacement I put into any of my devices (and I leave omw there). I didn't realize there was someone else with such a similar set.
  11. YtseThunder macrumors newbie

    Sep 12, 2013
    Text replacement has worked perfectly for me for many years - though since updating to High Sierra, my snippets have disappeared from my Mac, whilst being retained on iPad and iPhone.
  12. Supacon macrumors member


    Jul 7, 2011
    Nope. I’ve upgraded and Text Replacement syncing is just as broken as it always has been since iOS 8. I can’t get any devices to sync with each other.
    They used to work between my iPhone and iPad until I tried to “fix“ it on my High Sierra Mac.

    Sigh. I have been struggling with this for years since iOS 8 came out.
  13. jonnysods macrumors 603


    Sep 20, 2006
    There & Back Again
    I want to update but I'm hesitating after reading all the comments in the forums. I don't want the hassle right now, too much work to do to experience any bugs!
  14. lucidhysteria macrumors newbie

    Mar 22, 2013
    Oh man — I sure hope so! My wife and I have had bizarre issues for years that keep coming back no matter how we try to delete them, like iOS always changing "house" to "way" or changing "talk" to "when" — no idea how those got set as text replacements in the first place! Made no sense, but it'll be great if Apple finally fixed this...
  15. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    Text replacement is a feature I use constantly. While I've had the same sync problems that others have reported, they seem to be diminished in recent months. I still have the problem that text replacement doesn't work in all situations. It works on Safari, but not on Chrome, or on WhatsApp for Mac or some other apps. It also doesn't work on all websites. I would prefer it works in all cases, but my expectation is that no technology will work reliably all the time.
  16. MasterMac macrumors regular

    Jun 17, 2003
    Can't say this is the case with my account, I had all my devices up to date and did a clean install of High Sierra on my laptop and the shortcuts were nowhere to be found.
  17. Glassed Silver macrumors 68020

    Glassed Silver

    Mar 10, 2007
    Kassel, Germany

    Ironic given that Apple used to be master of synching.

    Personally I'd love to just disable text snippet synching. I don't add or change them all that much and I'd much rather invest 10 minutes of my time now rather than repeatedly moan in despair how iCloud yet again ****ed up some snippets...

    It may be fixed now, but code can always break again and why send something across the globe for no reason?

    Glassed Silver:mac
  18. Bryan Bowler macrumors 68040

    Sep 27, 2008
    I sure hope this is true. This has been maddening to me over the years!
  19. stukdog macrumors 6502

    Oct 20, 2004
    Thanks for the link MR! I did this experiment for myself but decided I may as well put it out there. I figured if it caught on, maybe it'd get the spotlight for a fix. From the response, it's obviously a widespread issue.
  20. Pagemakers macrumors 68020


    Mar 28, 2008
    Manchester UK
    100% NO.

    Synching between my iPad Pro, iPhone 7 + (both running iOS 11.01) and my Mac Pro and MacBook (both running High Sierra) are as hit and miss as they’ve always been.

    Created a shortcut on my iPhone - only syncs to MacBook
    Created a shortbust on my iPad - synchs nowhere
    Created a shortcut on my MacBook syncs to iPhone and iPad (but not always)

    Text replacement is still a heap of *****.
  21. al0kz macrumors member

    Jun 13, 2013
    This is definitely not the case. I’ve been using iOS 11 since the betas and text sync has never worked properly. Even after getting my 7 Plus replaced by Apple and doing a clean install of iOS 11, I still can’t get text replacements to sync. This is by far the most infuriating thing about using iOS for me.
  22. Pagemakers macrumors 68020


    Mar 28, 2008
    Manchester UK
    Your forgot to mention Safari offline reading list. That’s only just fractionally more reliable than Text Replacement synching.
  23. hunt2013 macrumors regular

    Feb 15, 2011
    Still completely broken on my iPhone, iPad, and MacBook. Was just trying to wrestle with it this morning to no luck.
  24. nt5672 macrumors 68000

    Jun 30, 2007
    This assumes the person working on the fix has the skill or goal to fix it. To not get user facing sync issues fixed before release is just lack of commitment. The only alternative is that Apple sync APIs suck so bad, that even Apple cannot get them correct. This also has a lot of merit considering the epic fail that was the first 3 years of iCould (but chose not to.)
  25. Pagemakers macrumors 68020


    Mar 28, 2008
    Manchester UK
    Text replacement has been broken for me for at least 2 years. I’ve had multiple tickets and phone calls with Apple and they’ve never ever come close to fixing it for me.

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