If you are having problem enabling iCloud syncing of Tweetbot on the iPhone, you are not alone.  A quick search will reveal a lot of people complaining about the same issue.  If you take a look at the Tapbots website, they have released a brief troubleshooting guide for Tweetbot, but they also say that because iCloud is not their service, there is very little they can do to fix syncing issues beyond their few recommendations.  However, I finally got it to work properly – and it’s very nice.

Tweetbot icon

I have also been struggling with syncing Tweetbot for iOS (both iPhone and iPad) and for Mac.  It has been very strange, because I can easily see syncing between the iPad version and the Mac version – they sync with each other within 10 seconds of each other.  However, my iPhone has always done it’s own thing.  I have always had the sync setting on iCloud turned on, but it has never paid any attention to that, it seems.  Or, alternately, it WAS syncing to the cloud, but only with itself.  The iPad and Mac may have been syncing to a different file or location?  I don’t pretend to know how iCloud actually works, but whatever the case, the app on my phone wasn’t meshing with the other two copies of the supposedly compatible versions.

If you take a look at the Tapbots help guide, found at http://tapbots.com/blog/tweetbot/icloud-sync, they suggest to try the following to get Tweetbot syncing to work on your iPhone:

  1. Go into the iOS settings app, tap on iCloud, and ensure that you are logged into iCloud.  Also ensure that this is the same account on all of your devices that you expect to be syncing.
  2. In the iCloud settings page still, ensure that “Documents & Data” is turned on.  Also there, make sure that “use cellular data” is turned on if you want to sync while off of a wifi network.
  3. In the Tweetbot settings on all of the copies you want to sync, make sure that the same account is logged into on each device.
  4. As a last resort, reboot the offending device.

Now, whenever a computer or device isn’t acting normally for me, the quickest and most painless thing to do first of all is to simply reboot the device.  So obviously I have tried this – several times.  And it has never solved the problem.

As far as logging into the same iCloud account or same Tweetbot account, I can see how some users may make the mistake of switching off and then being confused.  However, my impression is that if someone is familiar enough with Twitter or Apple to utilize multiple accounts, then having the correct account selected is a no-brainer.

There have been conflicting user comments indicating that Tweetbot uses the “Documents & Data” iCloud setting.  I think the confusion is that Tweetbot itself doesn’t create a storage container entry in iCloud like many other apps.  If you tap on the Settings page, then go to iCloud, then Storage & Backup, then Manage Storage, you can see a list of apps that are actually utilizing iCloud for their online storage.  Tweetbot is never listed.  My thinking, and someone who knows is welcome to correct me, is that Tweetbot stores sync information in the CommonDocuments section, which to me sounds like a general location for storage.  I don’t know if this makes sense, the pros and cons of it, or whatever.  I’m simply saying that you need to have “Documents & Data” turned on, and don’t expect to see an entry for Tweetbot in your list.

However, that isn’t enough.  I’ve tried these steps several times, even deleting and reinstalling the app altogether, and syncing has never worked for me.

What solved the problem for me seems unintuitive.

It was the “Use Cellular Data” option in the “Documents & Data” page of my iCloud settings.

For me, I am almost always on a wifi network.  I’ll only require my cellular data connection when I am out and about, but in those cases, I honestly don’t require Twitter to be syncing.  A bigger concern for me is that I don’t want iCloud syncing to be using up my data allowance from my cell provider.  So, I have always had the “Use Cellular Data” option turned off, thinking that the syncing would be allowed to happen as soon as I got on to a wifi network.

Well, it seems that was my mistake – even though Tapbots suggested to have the option enabled.  To get Tweetbot on my iPhone syncing properly to iCloud, I had to enable the “Use Cellular Data” option.  I still think this is a bug in the code though, because while I don’t foresee Tweetbot eating up my monthly data, this option opens the door for other apps to use Cellular Data.  For example, while I have customized just what apps I want syncing to iCloud at all, my iPhoto app itself is a 40 MB file stored on iCloud.  Camera+ also is a large file, and so I disabled it completely from using iCloud.  I think that the code for syncing on an iPhone requires a rewrite for the part that specifies using wifi or cell.  I am even more confident that this is the case when I consider that neither my Mac or iPad have cellular connections, and they can sync fine with each other.

Hopefully this remedy will help others solve their syncing problems.  It also seems that others have tried different things, and these different things worked for different people.  So maybe I’m not exception, and I just figured out what will solve MY problem.  But I’m sure that if one person is having this specific problem, so are many others.  And so I hope that those people will be able to find this post helpful to them.

Basically then, just to summarize what I’ve said, if you want to fix your problem where Tweetbot doesn’t sync to iCloud from your iPhone, the solution is to enable “Use Cellular Data”.

Now, hopefully someone at Tapbots can confirm this and issue a fix!

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