What, no local sync?

Mork

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jan 9, 2009
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I'm sure this topic has been covered, but I'm really upset that Apple, in what appears to be clear post-Jobs thinking, has taken out local sync capability in iTunes.

The desired goal? Force you to use iCloud of course! :(

Of course, since iCloud has already been hacked, and all the other things going on nowadays with information lifted from servers, few people I know what to put their personal calendars (or other personal info) on Apple's servers. It's a non-starter.

--

My question is about setting up Mac Mavericks OS/X server so I can set up my own private cloud. I've read different reports that people have varying success with OS/X Server and syncing like you could do in the now-gone local iTunes sync.

Hopefully, Apple will bring this local sync back if enough people complain, and there seem to be many of us who are very unhappy with this feature removal.

In any case, any thoughts on setting up a Mavericks OS/X server - if it's worth it, what it would really buy me with respect to sync/other, would be appreciated.

Thanks,

m
 

maflynn

Moderator
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May 3, 2009
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What do you mean local sync - I synchronize my iPhone in iTunes all the time. :confused:
 

priitv8

macrumors 68040
Jan 13, 2011
3,655
486
Estonia
Which iTunes local sync are you talking about?
I can still sync my iDevices against iTunes, either over Wi-Fi or USB.
I don't seem to have lost anything on that front.
Or I simply don't follow you :confused:
 

Mork

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jan 9, 2009
443
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Looks like its iCloud or nothing. I use it, so I didn't quite understand your post at first.
Sorry for the confusion

My post was really about, using OS/X Mavericks Server, setting up a private iCloud (on my own network) so I don't put my private data in an insecure (already been hacked) iCloud and incurring at some point (beyond the free limit), yearly expenses for that privilege.

For me, therefore, it's currently nothing (no sync until I install a private cloud).

If anyone has installed Mavericks server, please reply and let me know how the sync works.

Thanks,
 

old-wiz

macrumors G3
Mar 26, 2008
8,315
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West Suburban Boston Ma
Sorry for the confusion

My post was really about, using OS/X Mavericks Server, setting up a private iCloud (on my own network) so I don't put my private data in an insecure (already been hacked) iCloud and incurring at some point (beyond the free limit), yearly expenses for that privilege.

For me, therefore, it's currently nothing (no sync until I install a private cloud).

If anyone has installed Mavericks server, please reply and let me know how the sync works.

Thanks,
who says iCloud has been hacked?
 

robgendreau

macrumors 68040
Jul 13, 2008
3,364
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I've never quite seen the point of using a phone without syncing over the internet, but maybe that's just me. You don't have to use iCloud; there are other services available that might meet your needs. I personally hate iCloud. I like Fruux for most stuff, but I've also used Google for more public, NSA acceptable stuff.

If you want to get calendars and or contacts on your phone without trusting anyone but yourself (and frankly you probably aren't as trustworthy as you think, and running your own stuff not only runs the possibility of opening up your calendars but other stuff as well; be careful) you can run your own server.

I'd recommend ownCloud, which is pretty easy to set up on any recent Mac. Download and install Mamba (regular, not Pro). It'll be in applications; open the Mamba application and go to its preferences and set the root directory for its files to be your ~/Sites folder. Download owncloud server 4.5 and decompress it there. Open a web page pointed there (localhost:8888/owncloud/) and you'll get a prompt to install a user and password, and you're pretty much in business.

You can install contact and/or calendar accounts for it in Sys Prefs. You can download and install a sync client that works like dropbox; it's 1.5 for Macs. You can access the calendars, reminders, contacts and other stuff from anywhere on the internet provided you have an address you can reach (static or something to resolve dynamic addresses) and you set the right port forwards and fire wall settings. It's dead easy, but if it doesn't seem so you probably shouldn't open up your Mac like this.

I imagine it would be as easy to set up on a web hosting service as well.

Go for it: you not only can sync, but now you don't have to tether to your Mac physically to do so. Works with iOS clients as well.
 

Roadside

macrumors newbie
Mar 10, 2015
9
0
Southwest
Local Sync: Yosemite/iTunes/iPhone

Hi, I joined MacRumors to discuss this issue of local sync, since I struggled with it and put a lot of hours into it. I want to share what I've learned. I'm in OS 10.10 (Yosemite.) I was lured by the siren's song of iCloud and thought I'd try it out.

Got nervous about data security. Apple's been making the news a lot recently, regarding security breaches and its (denied) Prism partnership with NSA. It's the latter that bothers me on a philosophical level. The government really has no business looking around my contacts and calendars, even though I'm no profligate lawbreaker. It's a values based thing for me; I resist government over-reach, on principle, period. So I decided I wanted to go back to a secure local sync for Contacts/Calendars. (I don't think local sync is possible for Notes; wish it were.)

Long story short: Once you go to iCloud, getting your contacts and calendars "out of the cloud" is difficult--I basically had to "trick" iCloud out of my data. But it can be done, and then you can once again sync your iPhone with your Mac over a USB cable securely. So yes, it is possible to sync locally in Yosemite via iTunes, even after you've "clouded"; I'm a recovering "cloudie" and I sync locally again. See:

https://discussions.apple.com/message/27769760

There is also the SyncMate option.

Oh, by the way...while I was going through the process of de-clouding, once I got Contacts and Calendars local again, I started to experiment with turning on a few cloud apps. I turned Notes back on (in sys prefs>iCloud), with no drama. Works great. But then I turned Reminders back on, and my local (mac) Calendar disappeared before my very eyes. Apparently Reminders wants access to the cloud version of a calendar? Since I had deleted my calendars from the cloud, accessing Reminders somehow called the blank cloud calendar down into my local mac. So I had to restore Calendars all over again. I don't use Reminders at all, now. There may be a way to do it, IDK. Never really figured out the advantage to Reminders over a list in Notes, anyway.
 

Roadside

macrumors newbie
Mar 10, 2015
9
0
Southwest
Flipside.

Rereading this thread, I guess I'm the opposite of Rob, who writes:

"I've never quite seen the point of using a phone without syncing over the internet"

For my part, I've never seen the need for internet syncing of contacts/ calendar/ notes. If you primarily use a Mac when stationary and an iPhone when remote, then why? Do I need to log onto an internet cafe computer / library computer/ coworker's computer to access calendar/contacts/notes? Never. I carry an iPhone when mobile. I have a Mac at home. I can see how the cloud would be great for people who hop from public computer to public computer, but for my lifestyle, using the cloud for the personal info in contacts/calendar/notes is just a security risk.
 

Mork

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jan 9, 2009
443
17
Rereading this thread, I guess I'm the opposite of Rob, who writes:

"I've never quite seen the point of using a phone without syncing over the internet"

For my part, I've never seen the need for internet syncing of contacts/ calendar/ notes. If you primarily use a Mac when stationary and an iPhone when remote, then why? Do I need to log onto an internet cafe computer / library computer/ coworker's computer to access calendar/contacts/notes? Never. I carry an iPhone when mobile. I have a Mac at home. I can see how the cloud would be great for people who hop from public computer to public computer, but for my lifestyle, using the cloud for the personal info in contacts/calendar/notes is just a security risk.
There's always the case of who "owns" YOUR DATA once you put it into their "Cloud" (internet server). If they "accidentally" delete your data or remove your account for whatever reason, you're basically out of luck.

Consider setting up Mac Server for syncing -- setting up "Mac Server" is quick, easy, and inexpensive. Todd Olthoff has an extensive, excellent, series of step by step setup instructions for setting up mac server.

https://www.youtube.com/user/tolthoff?feature=watch

Once you set up mac server, you can sync your calendar and contacts all locally over your network. Simple.

It's a shame Apple removed this sync capability from iTunes to, as many have argued, help make the the case for "iCloud". (Thanks, but no thanks.)

If you still "need" to sync when you're out of your office (a use-case I can't identify with), you could set up your own private cloud using one of the various free options available.

- m
 

Roadside

macrumors newbie
Mar 10, 2015
9
0
Southwest
Hosting one's own server would be an elegant, and more comprehensive solution! Thanks for the links.

Regards: "It's a shame Apple removed this [local] sync capability from iTunes..."

Apparently Apple did remove local sync for a few iterations in Mavericks, but then Apple put it back into later versions of Mavericks, and local sync is still available (for calendars & contacts) in iTunes as of Yosemite/10.10.2; I'm using an iTunes local sync daily.

However, local sync isn't an easy option after you move to iCloud, and then decide to go back. You have to get your data into "unclouded" form in order to get a local sync option back. I struggled with this process for a day, and found nobody online who'd been through the process of de-clouding and getting iTunes syncing locally again. Ultimately was successful which is why I joined MacRumors to share & help others; see link above.

AFAIK, local sync was never an iTunes option for Notes, Reminders, and Data (such as from Pages or Numbers). I wonder if the server option would handle all of that, too?
 
Last edited:

talmy

macrumors 601
Oct 26, 2009
4,715
276
Oregon
If anyone has installed Mavericks server, please reply and let me know how the sync works.
I've used Snow Leopard, Mavericks, and Yosemite Server to sync contacts and calendars. (So, like for 5 years.) Of course back in Snow Leopard days there was no iCloud alternative. I've recently dropped using those servers and switched to iCloud. I'm not worried about security of this and it makes life much easier. Problems with Server.app:
  • Added cubersomeness of using VPN to sync when away from home.
  • Syncing would often be very slow or seem not to even be occurring. Occasional prompting for passwords means connecting wasn't reliable.
  • Apple never made it as easy to configure with Server.app as it did with other services (not just iCloud, but also Google and Exchange servers).
 

Mork

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jan 9, 2009
443
17
Hosting one's own server would be an elegant, and more comprehensive solution! Thanks for the links.

Regards: "It's a shame Apple removed this [local] sync capability from iTunes..."

Apparently Apple did remove local sync for a few iterations in Mavericks, but then Apple put it back into later versions of Mavericks, and local sync is still available (for calendars & contacts) in iTunes as of Yosemite/10.10.2; I'm using an iTunes local sync daily.

However, local sync isn't an easy option after you move to iCloud, and then decide to go back. You have to get your data into "unclouded" form in order to get a local sync option back. I struggled with this process for a day, and found nobody online who'd been through the process of de-clouding. Ultimately was successful which is why I joined MacRumors to share & help others; see link above.

AFAIK, local sync was never an iTunes option for Notes, Reminders, and Data (such as from Pages or Numbers). I guess the server option would handle all of that, too.
I was referring to synching contacts and calendars, which you used to be able to do in iTunes, but no longer.

- m

----------

I've used Snow Leopard, Mavericks, and Yosemite Server to sync contacts and calendars. (So, like for 5 years.) Of course back in Snow Leopard days there was no iCloud alternative. I've recently dropped using those servers and switched to iCloud. I'm not worried about security of this and it makes life much easier. Problems with Server.app:
  • Added cubersomeness of using VPN to sync when away from home.
  • Syncing would often be very slow or seem not to even be occurring. Occasional prompting for passwords means connecting wasn't reliable.
  • Apple never made it as easy to configure with Server.app as it did with other services (not just iCloud, but also Google and Exchange servers).
Interesting.

Well, I set up mac server in an hour and it has been synching everything perfectly for a couple years now. That's all I use server for.

With just a little effort, you can also easily set up your own private (read: Independent) cloud - multiple options exist.

To me, and this is just my opinion, and I'm a huge Apple fan, iCloud is designed to "lock you in" as much as anything.

- m
 

Roadside

macrumors newbie
Mar 10, 2015
9
0
Southwest
You can sync contacts/cals in iTunes/Yosemite

I was referring to synching contacts and calendars, which you used to be able to do in iTunes, but no longer.

But Mork, that's my point: you CAN sync contacts and calendars locally in iTunes.* You don't have to use iCloud (or any other sort of cloud) to sync between Mac & iPhone.

I sync contacts and calendars via iTunes (12.1) using Yosemite (10.10.2) and iOS 8.X on a daily basis.

(*Unless you are running early versions of Mavericks, according to various reports.)
 
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Mork

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jan 9, 2009
443
17
But Mork, that's my point: you CAN sync contacts and calendars locally in iTunes.* You don't have to use iCloud (or any other sort of cloud) to sync between Mac & iPhone.

I sync contacts and calendars via iTunes (12.1) using Yosemite (10.10.2) and iOS 8.X on a daily basis.

(*Unless you are running early versions of Mavericks, according to various reports.)
Yes, under "info". You're right! Wow. There was such a huge stink when local sync went away, but I missed the relief when it came back.

Maybe I'll delete mac server now. It's the mavericks version and to update it to Yosemite, that would be another $20.

Thanks very much for your follow up. I clearly needed to read your previous post more carefully. My apologies.

- m
 

Roadside

macrumors newbie
Mar 10, 2015
9
0
Southwest
Ex-Cloudies Unite

Glad the local sync will work for you, Mork. Sounds like you never cloud-contaminated your contacts and calendars in the first place, so you'll be rolling in local sync style. ;)
 

Mork

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jan 9, 2009
443
17
Glad the local sync will work for you, Mork. Sounds like you never cloud-contaminated your contacts and calendars in the first place, so you'll be rolling in local sync style. ;)
Yes, I've (fortunately) never logged into iCloud.

Probably should keep mac server around I guess in case Apple decides to remove this basic sync capability again.

Thanks!

- m
 

Mork

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jan 9, 2009
443
17
Sorry to OP for being off-topic, but Notes & Reminder data is synced with e-mail accounts. So if your OSX server is handling any mail account, you can use that for synced notes. I even set up a "shared" mail account that never receives mail, and use that for shared notes with my GF (shopping lists, to do lists, etc.).



Although I've been using a server for about the same amount of time for similar syncing purposes (contacts, calendars, mail, notes, reminders) and have had my own set of issues, I don't think I've encountered those problems. I use VPNs for other reasons but my syncing is direct to my server's SSL ports without the VPN. Maybe that was the cause of most of your problems?

And, in recent iOS/OSX versions, I've noticed setting up accounts on an OSX server is much improved, more reliable and easier... it "recognizes" it.
Mac server syncs reminders from my "ToDo" application perfectly between iOS and Mac. I see that particular sync (reminders) appears to be missing from iTunes, so I'll just stick with server so I don't have two ways to sync things.

- m
 
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