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Discussion in 'Apple Music, Apple Pay, iCloud, Apple Services' started by macdaddy666, Mar 22, 2015.

  1. macdaddy666 macrumors newbie

    Mar 19, 2015
    #1 to save the day!

    iCloud Contact sync woes (across multiple connected devices)

    Hi everyone newbie here. I'm writing mostly on behalf of a friend, but also so to educate myself.

    My friend (he really is a friend - this isn't me..but...meh let's just SAY it IS me) has an iPhone, an iPad and a MacBook.

    Sometime recently an error led to a number of contacts going missing from the phone - this then synced with the iCloud and the with the iPad making that contact list the same as the erroneous one.

    Tried to back from an earlier time. This din't work - for some reason the old contact couldn't be retrieved.

    We have after many attempts at restoring from backups decided to give up. My question is this:

    How does one avoid this? Which device 'WINS' in a sync battle. Why didn't the iPad just merge? The settings seems somewhat limited.

    If anyone has encountered a similiar problems or has a plan of action as to how to avoid this in the future I'd be most grateful for any help

  2. whsbuss macrumors 68040


    May 4, 2010
    SE Penna.
    No device is the master. They all (and individually) sync with the cloud which then updates the other devices.
  3. Jessica Lares macrumors G3

    Jessica Lares

    Oct 31, 2009
    Near Dallas, Texas, USA
    Who wins? The Mac. Do yourself some manual backups with the contacts app, or setup an AppleScript/Automator workflow to do it for you.
  4. macdaddy666 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 19, 2015
    Thanks for the replys :)

    This is where I get a bit stuck. Let's say I have 400 contacts on my phone.

    The phone syncs with iCloud.

    I have a similar contact list on my iPad but it is 600 contacts.

    Now what happened to my friend was the iCloud then synced with the phone (400 contacts) and then later which the iPad.

    The next time he checked the iPad now had 400 contacts.

    What he had HOPED would happen (since his phone had lost 200 contacts) was the ipad would sync with iCloud then back with the phone and - the 200 contacts would be back!

    This didn't happen :( and the contacts seem lost forever since backup and restore seems ineffective from iCloud in this case.

    Anyway be great if someone could explain why this happened - sorry if this line of questioning seems dense!
  5. BroadcastDoc macrumors 6502


    Nov 22, 2008
    Milwaukee, WI
    No device wins. However the "latest" change gets pushed to all the devices.

    So, let's say that for some reason, 200 contacts disappear from your phone. If you sync your iPad, it's going to lose those 200 contacts as well, because the time stamp on the change that eliminated the 200 from for phone is newer for each of those contacts.

    Now, if you were able to hit Time Machine and restore those 200 contacts, they would be pushed to the iPad because those are new changes.

    Make sense?
  6. macdaddy666 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 19, 2015
    It does thank you.

    It seems then in the vent of an emergency one has to stop a sync with whatever problematic device - find another with up to date info - hit 'time capsule' to record a newer timestamp and the resync.

    This begs the question - can this be done without time capsule?

    I don't believe he has one.
  7. BroadcastDoc macrumors 6502


    Nov 22, 2008
    Milwaukee, WI
    Good question. The only way I could think of (in the future) would be so sign out of iCloud on the device that has the missing items before it has a chance to sync. That way when you sign back in, the server would be the "winner". You'd have to realize pretty quickly that there was a problem though.

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