icloud

My Mac- and iOS app Transloader, which lets you start downloads on your Macs remotely from your iPhones, iPads, and other Macs, is now available in version 3.1.5.

It implements a temporary workaround for iCloud push notifications not working in a timely manner on macOS 14 Sonoma.

Curiously, the very same push notifications work perfectly fine on iOS 🤷‍♂️ .

I’m in contact with Apple about it and see where it leads. (Most likely to a request for more logs…)

Transloader Website (+ free trial)
Transloader on the Mac App Store (paid)
Transloader on the iOS App Store (free)

Enjoy : )

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We recently cancelled our cable/general TV subscription, which left us with a bit of an entertainment void. Not that TV was entertaining – we hardly watched anymore, hence the cancelling – but we do like to just “put something on” every now and then. So we decided to get Apple One (Premium, because we’re sharing with my mom).
I was, at first, a bit hesitant to enable iCloud Photos – we have nearly 40.000 photos/videos, and obviously we don’t want to lose any of them. So I asked my cousin how he felt about it (he’s been using it for quite some time). He seemed happy with it, so I was confident in turning it on. A couple of backups on multiple drives later, I clicked the checkbox in Photos’ preferences on my Mac – and the waiting began.

Upload Observations

All in all, it took well over 36 hours to finish the upload. I began in the morning, let it run overnight in the hopes it would finish, but the next morning, it still kept going for more than half a day. I noticed that Photos didn’t continuously upload all photos. It uploads for a bit, then does some encoding for a bit, and then uploads again a bit. Now thankfully, my connection is pretty good with a consistent upload rate of ~7MB/s so I thought it would be done fairly quickly, but I didn’t consider that any encoding could be going on. Judging from Activity Monitor, at least videos are encoded before they go up into the cloud.

My Mac (which has all the photos) was the first where I turned it on, and after it had finished, I also enabled it on my iPhone and iPad. Those were done syncing in about two days. “Thanks” to what Apple probably considers a “feature”: the constant pausing of the syncing process on iOS devices, in order to conserve battery: “Paused syncing to save battery”, it said anytime I looked. No! Why!? Sync!, that’s what the battery’s there for. Just do it, I don’t care. And don’t let me enable it for “a day”, let me enable it forever. Seriously. Get it done.

Comparing to Photo Stream

Previously, I mostly collected photos on my Mac via Photo Stream. And I have to say, while I do enjoy the new syncing features iCloud Photos offers (syncing albums, photo-edits, etc), newly taken photos now take noticeably longer to appear on other devices than before. Not a deal breaker, but noticeable.

“Unable to Upload”

65 photos were unable to upload, according to Photos on my Mac. Why? I couldn’t honestly tell you. Photos didn’t tell me. It should have, if you ask me. I’d have liked to know. And there’s no way to retry to sync those photos with iCloud. They’re just in the “Unable to Upload” smart-album forever.
Albeit, a bit of online research reveals an Apple support document with one of the weirdest and Apple-unlike solutions to a problem I’ve ever come across:
Step 1: Export the photos in question “unmodified” to a folder on your disk.
Step 2: Delete them from Photos (scary)
Step 3: Import those photos you just exported into Photos again to retry their syncing.
It worked (mostly), but still, why can’t I just do this in Photos itself?

Varying Photos count

An interesting tidbit: All my synced devices show a different photo count.

DevicePhoto countVideo count
Mac37.831461
iPad37.835461
iPhone37.834461
The video-count is the same on all devices, but photo-counts vary.

Of course, with that amount of photos, there’s no way – ever – for me to find out which photos are missing on which device. Because interestingly, when I connect the iPhone or iPad to my Mac, it tells me that the connected device only contains items that are already on my Mac. Go figure.

General Impressions

I’m happy with iCloud Photos. Finally, all my videos sync, and so do all “fancy” photos (with blurry backgrounds or any sort of effects) and edits, and the syncing seems to so far be very reliable.
No longer do I need to connect them once a month to make sure I have all photos collected on my main machine. Nice.

Face- and duplicates analyses appear to happen on each device individually, probably in the name of privacy (and iOS devices need to be – again, why? – connected to power for that to happen). I wouldn’t mind if that synced over (the found faces appear to, anyway).
It’s kind of weird that they constantly turn off those features to conserve battery, and then have all my devices do the same work. Wouldn’t it save even more battery if just one device did it? Oh well…

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Transloader v3 Icon 1024px

I’m so happy to finally be able to announce the immediate availability of Transloader v3.0 for Mac, iPhone and iPad.
The app has been re-imagined, re-designed and re-developed from the ground up, with macOS Big Sur, iOS/iPadOS 14 and Apple Silicon in mind.
It’s been such a long time since the app received its last meaningful update, but oh boy, this is a great one, if I may say so myself.

Intro to Transloader

What is Transloader?

With Transloader running on your Macs, you can assign downloads to it from afar – using your iPhone, iPad, and other Macs.

Say you’re in a Café, surfing on your iPhone and find out Apple has just released a new beta of Xcode. Wouldn’t it be awesome if you could start downloading that huge xip file immediately on your Mac back home, and have it ready when you return? With Transloader, you can.

Send the link to your Mac, and it will start the download right away. When it’s done, it’ll also send you a push notification about it.
You can start downloads on Macs from Transloader itself, directly from within your browser using its Share extension, and – on iOS – with Siri Shortcuts.

What’s New in Transloader v3.0?

– Support for multiple Macs
You can now specify one or several Macs you’d like to download a link on.

– Start downloads from other Macs
Where in previous versions you could start downloads only from your iOS devices, Transloader 3.0 lets you initiate downloads on Macs from other Macs as well.

– Login to download
If a download requires a login on its website before you can access it (like the aforementioned Xcode beta), that’s no longer a problem for Transloader.
You can login to sites you anticipate to download from beforehand, or later, at any time, from any device.

– Link- and File Actions on Mac
Using Actions, you can modify Transloader’s behavior in different scenarios.

With a Link Action, you define an app or Automator Workflow that should be opened with a specific assigned link (based on criteria like the URL host, or URL scheme), instead of being downloaded in Transloader.
This way, you can send ftp:// links directly to your favorite FTP app.

File Actions make Transloader open specific files it has downloaded with an app or Automator Workflow you choose – based on criteria like the downloaded file’s type, or the original URL’s host. As an example, you could use this to organize downloaded files into folders automatically.

– Share Extension
Start downloads on Macs right from within your browser, or any other app that supports sharing links – on any device.

– Save links for later
Whether your desired Mac is not yet activated with Transloader, or you’d just like to wait for a later time until you start a download, you can now save links in Transloader for later, and assign them whenever you please.

– Push Notifications
Transloader can inform you about the status of your downloads, and that of your Macs.

– New App for iPhone and iPad
Alongside the new Mac app comes – naturally – a new iOS app.
Among other key features, the app now supports gestures, drag and drop, keyboard shortcuts, Siri Shortcuts for powerful download workflows, and a Share extension, which works like the Mac version’s.

 

Can I see more of Transloader in action?

Of course.

Login to Download
Link- and File Actions

What are Transloader’s requirements?

– An iCloud account
– At least one Mac with macOS 10.14 or newer
– An optional iPhone and/or iPad with iOS 14 or newer with the free iOS Transloader app

Where can I get Transloader?

Mac:
Free, 15-day trial: https://eternalstorms.at/transloader/Transloader.zip
Purchase on the Mac App Store ($4.99 / €5,49 / £ 4.99 introductory price at ~50% off): https://apps.apple.com/app/transloader/id572281534?mt=12&at=1001l8pT
Transloader for Mac will be available on Setapp in July 2021

iPhone and iPad:
iOS App Store (free): https://apps.apple.com/app/transloader/id572280994?mt=8&at=1001l8pT

It’s currently available in English and German – more languages will follow.
Transloader 3 is a free upgrade for existing customers.

Do you have more info about Transloader?

Sure!
Transloader Usage Tips: https://eternalstorms.at/transloader/tips/
Press Kit: https://eternalstorms.at/press/Transloader-3-Press-Kit.zip
Transloader Playlist on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLXlKHhRX6pIeaHIMKLVqeMSPA6HZSbeR9
Privacy Policy: https://eternalstorms.at/privacypolicy/#transloader

I hope you’ll enjoy this new version of Transloader for Mac, iPhone and iPad. Should you have any feedback or questions, please don’t hesitate to write me! If you’re a member of the press and would like to get in touch, please feel free to do so at any time!

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Yesterday, I was working on Transloader v3.0. In particular, on its push notifications and making sure everything syncs properly.
Today, I wanted to continue working on this, but found myself unable to. My Mac suddenly didn’t receive CloudKit push notifications anymore.
Even worse, neither of the delegate methods

- (void)application:(NSApplication *)application didRegisterForRemoteNotificationsWithDeviceToken:(NSData *)deviceToken

and

- (void)application:(NSApplication *)application didFailToRegisterForRemoteNotificationsWithError:(NSError *)error

weren’t called anymore – without any code changes. Something was wrong.

But here we are, a couple of hours later, and everything’s working again. Finally.
So, to save you some time should this happen to you, here’s what I did:

Restart

I restarted my Mac – the obvious solution. You might think. Only that it didn’t work, the problem persisted. But it’s still the first thing I’ll try if this returns.

Delete Containers, Group Containers, and CloudKit Caches

In Finder, delete

/Users/yourname/Library/Containers/yourAppContainerFolder/
/Users/yourname/Library/Group Containers/yourGroupID.yourAppGroupContainerFolder/
/Users/yourname/Library/Caches/CloudKit/yourAppID
/Users/yourname/Library/Caches/CloudKit/CloudKitMetadata* (*all files that begin with that filename)
/Users/yourname/Library/Caches/CloudKit/CloudKitOperationInfo* (*all files that begin with that filename)

Now launch Activity Monitor.app and force quit the following processes:

cfprefsd
apsd
notifyd
remoted

Now, I’m not sure you need to force-quit each and every one of those, but I wanted to relaunch any process that remotely looked like it had to do with remote/push notifications.

At this point, I restarted Transloader through Xcode, and lo and behold, it worked again.
On my MacBook Pro, where the same problem occurred simultaneously, I took the same steps. And it *didn’t* work. A restart was required, so your mileage – like mine – may vary.

Additional Info

There’s also this handy technical note from Apple, which can help debugging push notifications on both macOS and iOS.

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