So if you’re doing productivity applications, chances are that sooner or later you’re going to run into the question of how to sync your data files across multiple devices and/or platforms. A particularly good example of a category that finds that a compelling problem is task managers. Here’s a couple posts with worthwhile discourse on the subject:
Discusses all the options the Today Todo people considered/observed others using:
- Do it yourself – ie, Appigo’s Todo built on Moki Mobility.
- Google Calendar
- Google Docs
- File based sync – ie, Omnifocus syncs to MobileMe or a WebDAV folder
We’re inclined to think that the advantages of using Dropbox are reasonably compelling here, particularly if you’re resource constrained in your development.
Now, on the other hand, if you’re not particularly constrained by resources, take a read through Cultured Code’s (that’s the Things people) recent thoughts on the same topic:
… We were so intrigued that we decided to develop a sync solution based on Git’s core ideas. Since these were general ideas anyway, we decided to create a solution that isn’t tied to the specific properties or needs of Things. Instead we wanted to create a general framework that could be integrated with any application no matter what the specific data model or sync policies of this application were.
Indeed. Well, we certainly encourage people whose tools we rely on ourselves to take that admirable approach. Around here though, “pretty darned good given the time and money constraints” is pretty much the highest possible target, and using Dropbox for sync functionality looks like a good first order approximation to that in most circumstances.
Finally, some more worthwhile comments on the first post here,
First point. Resist ALL temptation to host own service. This will invariably lead to an enormous amount of dissatisfaction with the app itself as even the slightest outage will globally affect the perception of the entire application … At least if using a third party service, the blame can be transferred…
Yes. Yes, indeed.