iSyncthing iOS client for Syncthing now in beta
Hi Syncthing family,
Pickup Infinity is happy to announce we’re now releasing a beta version of iSyncthing, a new iOS client for iSyncthing. You can install the beta through Apple TestFlight using the link below.
The modifications to Syncthing for iOS are published at https://github.com/isyncthing/syncthing/ under MPLv2 but the iOS wrapper around it is closed source. We do plan to modestly monetize the app when released publicly (paid download, in-app-purchases and/or ads) and would appreciate your feedback on which model you’d prefer.
iSyncthing uses Golang Syncthing natively internally and as the basis of the GUI, with only a small number of changes, most of them to work with peculiarities of the iOS ecosystem - e.g. sandboxed filesystem, inability to run separate background processes, disabling upgrades.
Of course, due to the security “features” of iOS, you are limited to syncing files within the sandbox environment of the iSyncthing app itself, but these can be moved in/out and opened/viewed using the iOS Files app. In the future, we hope to add photo library support (probably Send Only).
Another challenge with iOS is that (for battery performance reasons), Apple prevents apps from running indefinitely in the background. In this release the app makes some efforts to be restarted in the background sporadically, but be aware this is of limited use when syncing between multiple iOS devices, so the best usability will be where there is an “always on” remote device amongst the set of devices sharing any particular folder. We do have ideas about how to further improve background behaviour.
At this stage, iSyncthing disables Syncthing’s own usage reporting and crash reporting, and we’re interested to hear from the Syncthing maintainers whether you would wish to receive such reports from iSyncthing. We’re also keen to know whether you’d like to include iSyncthing on the syncthing.net website, forum, issues, etc or whether we should set up completely independently.
Whilst we’re planning to provide iSyncthing as a commercial product, we are looking for ways we can support the Syncthing project. We know it would have been nicer to have iSyncthing available completely open-source, but it seems to have been too large a hurdle to date, and we hope the availability of a modestly priced iOS client will help benefit the ecosystem as a whole by bringing in new users. Certainly on a personal basis, I have not used Syncthing seriously until now due to the lack of an iOS client, and am proud to be able to fill this gap.
We will look to see what changes in the Syncthing core can be contributed back into the main codebase, and will look to see what can be done to release the funds in Bountysource for the iOS client to otherwise benefit to the Syncthing community.
Please download the beta here: https://testflight.apple.com/join/Z4dmMzO4
We look forward to your feedback here, on Twitter @iSyncthing, or on IRC channel #syncthing on Freenode as SimonPickup.