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MobileNoter 2.0 for iPhone known problems

Monday, 06/07/2010, 09:02 PM by Vitaly Gorn

As you probably know, MobileNoter 2.0 has become available last week. This release is a next big step in evolution of MobileNoter. There are new great features like editing support, tags support and much improved navigation. There also will be web site update soon which will include reworked content for several sections, upload limit for the cloud edition will be raised to 600Mb (now it is 300Mb) and the trial period will become 1 month (1 week now). We are proud of this new release and will continue improving MobileNoter.

Thanks for everyone who supported us with feature suggestions/bug requests and just a good word. Thanks for you help. And please feel free to support more suggestions/vote for features.

Nevertheless we paid much attention to testing this release, there are some issues that revealed itself after the application has been released. Please read the rest of this post if you have problems with MobileNoter 2.0

There are two main problem that reported by our users. The first one is easy to fix and is really not so specific to the current release (and to MobileNoter). But we are describing it here to distinguish from the second problem, that is quite severe, although infrequent.

 

Problem #1

Symptoms:

When you upgrade the application on iPhone (upgrade=you had previous version of the application when you installed the new one), on launch, you see the splash screen and then the app just closes.

Description:

All user’s data is stored in a database on a device. As the application evolves, the structure of the database is changing (new fields are added for example). To retain user’s data we have to upgrade their databases.

When a new version of MobileNoter installed, it check if there is a previous version exists in the system. And if it is, then it tries to upgrade user’s db with existing data. This happens in the very beginning of the app load, when the splash screen is shown.

Well, sometimes upgrade process is not successful and this application load can end up with two situations, that both look like the app close:

  1. When upgrade takes too much system resources, iPhone OS just kills the application. So, if some user have much data in MobileNoter and/or his/her device is overloaded with other tasks, upgrade can take some time. If it exceeds some value (say 20-30 seconds), the application is killed.
  2. If there is some bug in upgrade procedure, application crashes and is not able to load. These bugs are quite hard to find because of nature of a process (user data is variable).

This problem is general to iPhone applications.

Solution:

  1. Uninstall the application from iPhone. Tab and hold app icon until it starts to shake, then hit on X that appears above the icon.
  2. Install MobileNoter from App Store again. As there is no existing DB, no upgrade is needed.

Please note that uninstalling the application will erase MobileNoter data that is stored on iPhone. So, it is recommended to sync your new/updated notes with OneNote before each upgrade of the iPhone app.

 

Problem #2

Symptoms:

Application is installed correctly. You can launch and start using it. But when you try to sync you encounter the following issues:

  1. Cloud sync: when you start syncing, the application tells you that your user name or password is invalid.
  2. Wi-fi sync: the application find a PC with MN installed and allows to select it. When you start syncing, it waits for several second and then shows a message "Sorry, synchronization service is not available. Maybe a problem with Wi-Fi connection."

Additionally, your settings and quick notes are not retained when you close the app and start it again.

Description:

This problem occurs for a small fraction of users, but is very serious as it is not possible to use the app. We observe that it occurs mostly for the existing users, but this probably entailed by the fact that the number of upgrading users is larger than the number of new users.

Complete uninstall of the application doesn’t help.

There doesn’t seems to be any pattern on OS or device model used.

We cannot repeat it ourselves, so the entire problem description is based on users feedback. This makes this issue extremely hard to solve. We already reviewed every line of code and tried installations and upgrades in different hardware and software configurations. Tried with low free memory, low free space, bad wi-fi connection, different wi-fi routers, on 3g network/edge/bad signal and numerous of other things. But still cannot repeat it. Its very frustrating. We are trying to find the reason by sending modified app version that contains trace code to some of users who have this issue (this is made via ad-hoc distribution, bypassing app store. very helpful way of distribution, but can be used with only 100 devices per a company). We will also send a support request to Apple today, although the problem is very hard to state.

The good news is that the problem can be solved without new app version release. We have several users reporting that they were able to solve the issue. But they all report different solutions that did not help others so far. So there must be something else that coincides with what users think has fixed the issue. UPDATE: the first solution in the list below helped two users. So, please try it first.

The list of reported solutions:

“I emailed you saturday with a "problem with wi-fi connection" error message.
Well I got it to work:
- I downgraded to 1.3
- I synced everything (don't know if that was necessary)
- I synced again removing everything but the quick notes
- I upgraded to 2.0 (with nothing but the quicknotes)
- I synced again, including all my notebooks.
So basically I think the trick is to uncheck all notebooks and sync BEFORE upgrading to 2.0, then upgrade, then sync.
I hope this may help you troubleshoot others, this is similar to what Juan described on the blog.  I'm on vista, in case that helps.
Thank you again for your wonderful software!”

“I finally got the latest version working. I went to the Settings app on my iPod Touch, to the General section, and changed International setting to United States (it was set to UK where I live). Tried MN again and it worked perfectly! I changed the International setting back to UK and, so far, MN is still working. Interested to know if any of you other guys having problems are in non-US regions and if this fix works for you.”

"HELLO - I got my iPhone to start syncing.
Here is what I did different. I reinstalled the app and the hit the sync button first and entered in my user information and it started to sync. Before I hit the Setting Button (upper right) and entered user info then the Sync Button (that did not work). "

I did get the sync to finally work....... the fix was to re-register my already existing account (shouldn't have to do that, but glad it fixed the issue)......Thanks for the help and assistance.

“As it turns out, I was able to get my login to work. In a moment of deperation, I tried to create a new account using the same credentials and got an error message that the account already existed (makes sense). After than, the sync work just fine.”

“Here is what I did different. I reinstalled the app and the hit the sync button first and entered in my user information and it started to sync. Before I hit the Setting Button (upper right) and entered user info then the Sync Button (that did not work). “

Solution:

No fix is available at the time of writing. We are working hard to find a solution.

UPDATE: We’ve identified what is causing the problem and working on a fix. Fixed iPhone application will be posted to App Store today and will appear for download after approval (takes around a week). We also hope to find a workaround for the current build, so all who suffer from this issue can start using the app before update is out. The problem not in MobileNoter application, although we had to change some code to prevent the issue.

Sorry for the inconvenience and thanks for your patience.

Comments

6/4/2010 4:19:02 PM #

How do you "downgrade" to 1.3??

Jonathan Sine |

6/5/2010 10:21:15 PM #

for downgrade i went to itunes apps and select mobilenoter version 2.0 then i use the right botton of the mouse and view in explorer then i deleted,  then  i went to the recycle bin and select mobilenoter version 1.3 ( the one with 2 mb) and restore and finally i instal mobilenorer 1.3.

Juan |

6/7/2010 4:30:19 AM #

Thanks for your tips Juan! I finally got it to work...

Jonathan |

6/5/2010 9:40:21 AM #

What did the problem end up being, specifically?  

Ryan |

6/5/2010 11:54:05 AM #

Inconsistent behavior of Apple API. Code that converts string to  NSDate returned nil on some devices. Looks like a bug in API. We sent request to apple dev support to investigate this in details. I probably will write another blog post when more details are available.

Vitaly |

6/5/2010 4:45:36 PM #

Total bummer, I like your transparency and the clear effort you made to resolve the issue quickly. I feel for you, API bugs are awful and extremely "unfair" to the developer.

Magnus |

6/5/2010 9:35:53 PM #

Has any real solotuion been found. How do i downgrade to 1.3? My Ipad is working fine and i did not install the latest update for ipad yet. What is the status? Should i format my iphone back to original state then re-install all my apps?

Guy |

6/6/2010 7:07:06 AM #

We found a solution and posted update to App Store. It is being approved now.
Re downgrade: please see Juan's comment above. You can downgrade Sync client from Add/Remove programs snap-in, if you had previous version of it installed.
There is no update for iPad yet. We are currently working on it. Should finish in several days, then approval process...

Vitaly |

6/5/2010 11:00:30 PM #

I can't seem to locate any setup file for 1.3. Where can I find it??

Jonathan |

6/6/2010 7:16:40 AM #

Jonathan, if you do not have 1.3 in recycle bin and cannot restore it as Juan wrote, then it is not possible to downgrade... I'm sorry, this is how app update process works in App Store. You can download only latest version from there. Please wait for the next version (2.0.3), it should become available soon.

Vitaly |

6/7/2010 4:29:35 AM #

Yes!! I was able to do what Juan suggested. Works great now! Excellent app...

Jonathan |

6/12/2010 7:21:18 PM #

Sweet Jesus, it works!  I was having the dreaded Problem #2.  After the update this morning (to both the PC application and an app update on my iPhone it works as promised).  Totally rad.

Heath |

6/12/2010 8:06:42 PM #

Updated both client and server to the most recent version and now everything works like a charm. And the pages and page groups can now be collapsed and expanded as needed. Thanks, this looks really great!

Magnus |

6/13/2010 1:31:38 PM #

Well, mobile niter for iPad together with the new windows desktop client is a bit of a disaster. I cannot have more than 2 workbooks, and the layout on most of my notes on the iPad are completely different to the desk too version. Text boxes and pics have been moved around on the iPad. This only happend to me today.

Now I cant downgrad my desktop software to the previous version which actual worked. How can I rectify this?

Thanks  

Guy |

6/14/2010 9:17:31 AM #

When will MobileNoter 2 for the iPad be available?

Andrew Bauer |

6/14/2010 11:28:58 PM #

Andrew,

We suppose it will be available in the end of the next week.

amolokoedov |

6/19/2010 11:14:09 PM #

Recently purchased following issues encountered on wifi edition for iPad and iPhone

1. Program wifi does not connect when installed Windows 7 on MAC Parallels - solution restart in full windows. Have yet to test if will now work in VM mode in MAC

2. iPhone search only works on Onenotes you have actually edited!! It will not search other notes/sections that have just been imported!

3. iphone backspace while in edit mode causes the screen to move upwards (scroll of it's own accord)

Scott |

6/19/2010 11:18:02 PM #

Recently purchased following issues encountered on wifi edition for iPad and iPhone

1. Program wifi does not connect when installed Windows 7 on MAC Parallels - solution restart in full windows. Have yet to test if will now work in VM mode in MAC

2. iPhone search only works on Onenotes you have actually edited!! It will not search other notes/sections that have just been imported!

3. iphone backspace while in edit mode causes the screen to move upwards (scroll of it's own accord)

Scott |

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