Manifest 2.3: Introducing Sync

I’m very pleased to announce the release of Manifest 2.3, which has one key new feature: sync. Until now, Manifest has stored its data locally on the iPhone, and that worked fine most of the time. But if you deleted the app, your data was just gone. Sync changes that. By syncing data into the cloud, Manifest can restore your data from the cloud on a new device or after deleting and reinstalling the app.

Manifest uses Apple’s CloudKit to store data in your private iCloud account. Using CloudKit means there’s no separate account to create or configure, and no new passwords to remember. If you’re already signed into iCloud on your phone, you’re good to go.

CloudKit also protects your privacy. Unlike other web services, not even the developer (that’s me!) has access to your private data. The only way to get at your data is by signing in to your iCloud account with your credentials.

Sync also enables a lot of new possibilities for the future. Storing data in the cloud unlocks the potential of multiple devices. I plan to add iPad support in the near future, and possibly a Mac app down the road as well.

Of course, sync in Manifest is optional. When you first launch Manifest 2.3, you’ll be asked if you want to enable sync. If you’d like to keep your data on your device, just tap Not Now and you can continue using the app the way you always have. If you change your mind later, sync can be switched on or off on the Settings screen.

As anyone who’s tried to implement sync knows, it can be a tricky business. There are lots of conditions and edge cases to consider: airplane mode, flaky connections, conflicting data, and more. I’ll be honest: it’s a little scary. I care deeply about providing a great experience, and I’ve spent the past several months making sure Manifest has a solid sync system that deals with these situations sensibly. That said, there are probably some rare circumstances that I haven’t considered, so if you encounter the app doing something you don’t expect, please let me know.

If you haven’t tried Manifest already, you can download it from the App Store. Thanks for trying it, and I hope you enjoy!