Automatic sync with Dropbox

baa 13 years ago updated by German Porta 10 years ago 35 2 duplicates
Additional support for Dropbox: (Please add as an option)

Allow to login to your Dropbox account and mark one or more folders to sync with Textastic. Files would be downloaded to the iPad and uploaded automatically when they are changed.
Duplicates 2
for some reason, I cannot add my vote to the counter. So please add 10 votes from me for this feature.
If you use this website from your iPad, you have to tap once on the vote box and then once again on the arrow on the top of it to cast your vote. If you use it from a computer, you can simple hover over the vote box and click on the up arrow.
If there's no automatic sync, there should at least be a sync button or info that let's you know which file is out of sync
So glad I found this post before purchasing. Textastic looks like a fantastic app but without the option to automatically sync changes Textastic is worthless to me. I will never ever buy a mobile application for content creation that does not support automatic sync of data. The only content app I own for which I tolerate manual sync is Good Reader. Two excellent examples of applications that sync automatically are SimpleNote and Docs ToGo. SimpleNote is the more capable as is supports automatic bi-directional sync. Documents To Go only supports automatic sync from the mobile device to the target.

I wish the developers of Textastic the best. Once automatic sync is implemented I will happily hand over my wallet. Until then I will stick with SimpleNote.
Would definitely like to see this implemented.  I use dropbox for both writing and sharing code snippets, so having to manually sync each time I make an edit is a bit of a pain. :)
Hopefully this is being added soon.  The ability to sync files that I have changed locally instead of having to remember each file would make this app ideal.

I am currently using it to edit my next book while on the road and having to keep track of which files I modified is ... fragile.  
Please add this function. Textastic is in desperate need of any sync ability either with dropbox or ftp. But working without sync is not acceptable at all. Redownloading is not an option that can be taken serious or practical.
a sync like in the goodreader would be nice!

[würde textastic noch perfekter machen :)]
I've bought the app and think it is awesome to use in a pinch, but having automatic sync would really get me using it all the time. I'd probably use it more than XCode if it automatically synced to Dropbox.
This feature would be really helpful. Manually uploading the files can give a lot of syncing issues if you forget to upload the locally modified files or do it too late and file in Drop Box has already been changed by other clients. I think Elements is a good example of an app that does this in a nice way.
I started using Textastic and I really love the UI and how to input special characters with this additional keyboard bar.

BUT I find myself not using it any more because this down- and upload of files again is just a hassle. And even worse: I don't trust textastic that much when I upload a whole folder. When I only edited one file - what's up with the others? Do they get overwritten? Please, please build in this feature! It would be a pity to switch to another editor (also, given the fact that i already paid ;)).

I know that this feature is really hard to deploy! Syncing is no fun. And I kind of think/hope that you are already working on it. Could you give us an update on that?

Thanks! Till
If you upload a folder, it will upload all files and overwrite the remote ones.

I'm currently not working on syncing. As you say it's hard and it's easy to make mistakes which would result in data loss. Maybe in a future update.

Just do what other applications like Nebulous Lite does, its not that hard, if a free app offers it, why not a paid one like yours?

If App Store had a refund policy like Google Play I would have already asked for a refund.

Nebulous Lite is the ad-supported version of the $4,99 app Nebulous Notes. Sync is not easy to implement. If someone decides to offer a thing that is hard to implement in an ad-supported app for free, it doesn't make it easy to implement...

You can use the "Report a problem" link on your iTunes receipt to ask the iTunes team for a refund.


When I said "its not that hard" I meant:

  1. Save the metadata hash that dropbox's API provides you and use that hash for further requests.
  2. When you edit a local file save in an inventory which file it was.
  3. Ask dropbox's API for modified files using the metadata hash.
  4. If HTTP 304, skip to 8
  5. Compare the response with files modified locally, if there is a conflict ask the user what to do.
  6. Upload or Download conflicting files.
  7. Download new remote files.
  8. Upload new local files.
  9. Clear your modified files inventory and ask dropbox for a new metadata hash.
  10. Repeat

With deep directories warn the user that it will have an impact in terms of performance, and encourage her to sync specific folders instead of her root directory.


Automatic sync would be nice, but I understand that you might not have time to implement it. In the short term, please consider adding checking for remote changes. (I've already lost a little work because of this.)

All I really need to avoid data loss is for the warning dialog to only appear if the file has actually changed remotely. 

When you download a file from Dropbox, use this callback: (If you're using the deprecated callback, you'll have to remove it from your code, or this won't be called)

- (void)restClient:(DBRestClient*)client loadedFile:(NSString*)destPath contentType:(NSString*)contentType metadata:(DBMetadata*)metadata;

Store the "metadata.rev" value somewhere, it identifies the revision of the file you just downloaded.

When you upload a file, include the metadata.rev value as the "withParentRev:" argument, if it's a new file, use "nil".

If the file has changed remotely, Dropbox will call the "uploadFileFailedWithError:" callback, at which point you can ask the user if they want to overwrite the remote file, and switch to the old upload method.   If it's successful, you'll want to store the metadata.rev that you get in the uploaded file callback.

This is the callback you should be using for uploading files, so you have access to  metadata.rev. You'll want to store the new metadata.rev value whenever you upload a file.

- (void)restClient:(DBRestClient*)client uploadedFile:(NSString*)destPath from:(NSString*)srcPath metadata:(DBMetadata*)metadata;

Hopefully these enhancements wouldn't take too much effort.  Please consider them when you find time.  It'd really help prevent data loss when uploading to dropbox.

(BTW, the editor itself is really, really nice - it looks like an insane amount of work has gone into polishing it.)

Ich bearbeite natürlich die meisten Dateien auf dem Desktop. Dies führt dazu, dass die Daten in der App noch einen alten Stand haben wenn ich Sie bearbeiten will. Da ich immer relativ viele Dateien in der App habe ist es sehr aufwändig die Daten zu aktualisieren. Hier würde ich mir einen Sync mit Dropbox wünschen. Hat sich etwas in den Dropbox-Ordner geändert sollen auch nur diese Daten aktualisiert werden. Im Moment muss ich um auf Nummer Sicher zu gehen immer den ganzen Inhalt (5000 Dateien) kopieren bevor ich mit der Arbeit beginne.

Ich weiß nicht immer welche Dateien ich bearbeitet habe...

Vielleicht ist es möglich den Sync erstmal nur in eine Richtung zu ermöglichen, so dass die Daten in der App immer aktuell sind... So ist vermieden, dass man falsche Daten im Dropboxaccount hat.

===============English Version===============

I edit most files on the desktop. This means that the data in the app do have a previous state if I want to edit. Since I have always quite a few files in the app, it is very difficult to update the data. Here I would like to see a sync with Dropbox. Has something changed in the Dropbox folder to only those data are updated. At the moment I have to be on the safe side always copy the entire contents (5000 files) before I start work.

I don´t always know what files I have edited on the desktop...

Perhaps it is possible to enable the sync first in one direction, so that the data are always available in the App ... So avoid that you have incorrect data in Dropboxaccount.

If I had known that the app didn't have automatic sync I wouldn't had bought it :(

I was stupid enough to assume that if it had Dropbox support it would also have automatic synching.

I was planning to use your app for coding while travelling. In my case "coding" implies large projects with multiple files (500 at least).

Keeping track of all the files I modified in my head is definitively not an option. And as I said the projects are rather large so .... zipping and sending the project every time I decide to make a change is also not a good option.


Hi Alexander, any news or ideas about this thread?

Love the app!


I was excited, too. Unfortunately, it's closed-source and only syncs an app-specific directory, e.g. /Apps/Textastic, not an arbitrary directory in your Dropbox.

Ah yes, I just noticed it. What a shame.

Note that right now only apps with the App Folder permission can use the Sync API.

"Right now", hm. Hopefully they'll allow full access in the future.

How about enabling it for one folder, for now?

Yeah Jakimo. We could start from the beginning ;).


I wish I could vote at least 3000 times for this or something that gets us at least 30% of the way there. At least don't leave us firing blind when we upload/download from iPad: a warning for which version is newer and older, something!

Like how am I supposed to trust this app for more than keeping one file locally and never modifying it?


Textastic is a great app, and there is just a whole lot to appreciate about it (Thanks!), but I'd have to say that I'm in the must-have-dropbox-autosync camp.  It seems to me that this is the functionality that really defines Dropbox, i.e, if I'm using Dropbox I've got an autosync mindset/workflow going.  For most people, that's what "Dropbox support" really represents, the autosync convenience. If I wanted FTP, manual, edit by edit, file by file style,  I wouldn't be using Dropbox.  Edit by edit manual uploading is just fighting the Dropbox system, and I would think that most people who are worried about auto-syncing dangers have plenty of other options within Textastic for a safe save/upload cycle.

Regarding the dedicated /Apps/Textastic restriction, and as far as I can tell, this is not entirely accurate.  For example, Editorial for iPad forces you to declare a single "base" directory, but you can change that to whatever you want (I'm currently syncing just fine with a /projects/ folder that is in the Dropbox root, not under  the /Apps/... folder at all.  I've done this with at least two apps now ("Write" is the second). Both apps can access the same base directory, which helps avoid fragmenting app files across multiple /Apps/... directories.  This would at least allow those of us who are so inclined to choose an autosync folder for use with most of our Dropbox linked apps.

As with some of the others, this is a frustration that is keeping Textastic out of my "go-to" app category.

Thanks for your time,



I want to add my vote for this. It seems the discussions are from some time ago, so perhaps this has been discussed elsewhere. Is this in the roadmap of development? This is the *only* reason I'm not using Textastic as my go-to text editor on my iPad.
I really like this app. The keyboard layout is awesome. I picked this up because it looked really good and had "dropbox support." I would have looked at a different solution had I known there was no sync option. This is the only app I've seen with dropbox support that did not sync. Oh well. Wish I'd read this first.  I'd use it a lot more if it had full dropbox support. 
I think it would be really great if you implemented automatic Dropbox sync - in the manner it is done in CodeAnywhere app. It feels so natural just to edit the file, and once "save" is hit to upload all changes.
I know there might be problems with conflicts resolution, however the benefits outweigh the drawbacks IMHO.
the truth is very good application, but I had to ask about this issue refund dropbox, is not me at all comfortable having to download a project every time, you can not even download an entire folder.
promise when they add dropbox sync again.

I am amazed to see that after all this time there is still no synchronization option. Sync doesn't even have to be automatic. I am happy to trigger it myself. I just can't imagine using a workflow that requires me to only make changes on one device or to remember which files have been changed where. 

Yes, sync is nontrivial, but it is not black magic ether. The problem has been solved for decades. 

Textastic is a great editor but it sits on my iPad unused and unloved because it cannot perform such a basic function. Without either sync or version control support the app is useless and my money has been wasted. Either one would be sufficient. I am about to go buy Diet Coda but I'll come running back to Textastic the moment I can actually make use of it. 

I recently downloaded Textastic for both mobile and desktop... and I more recently just deleted it from both. It's honestly useless as iCloud has restrictions for syncing that are annoying and there is no real Dropbox sync.
I agree with everyone else. Textastic needs to be able to auto sync with Dropbox for it to be useful. Readdle Documents does it well.
Alexander Hi, this is a fantastic app, but you plan to add sync with dropbox? I like more than Koder but use this for that functionality. I hope you add it soon. Thank You