Synchronization

The PhraseExpress App uses iCloud Drive to sync phrases with other iPhones/iPads, PhraseExpress for Mac or PhraseExpress for Windows.

To enable iCloud Drive for use with PhraseExpress:

Video instructions

  1. On your iPhone/iPad, tap Settings » iCloud » iCloud Drive » Enable iCloud Drive.
  2. Scroll down to the PhraseExpress entry in the App list.
  3. Enable PhraseExpress to use iCloud Drive.

To synchronize phrases via the cellular network when local wireless network is not available, enable the option "Mobile data" in the PhraseExpress App settings. If this option is missing , enable PhraseExpress in "iOS Settings » Cellular".

  • Don't change above settings while editing phrases.
  • Restart PhraseExpress or the iPhone/iPad if iCloud Drive is not enabled properly.
  • You must use the same iCloud Drive account for all devices. You cannot sync across different iCloud accounts. Read this twice.
  • Do not edit phrases on multiple devices simultaneously to prevent access collisions and version conflicts.
  • Online cloud synchronization services require some time to distribute the phrase file over the internet. Sync issues may occur if multiple users are editing the file while the cloud synchronization server is still distributing the update.
  • Restart the PhraseExpress App or the device if you experience sync issues. If problems still persist, consider disabling and reenabling iCloud Drive on your device and/or uninstall and reinstall the App.
  • Very important: Synchronization between devices is solely provided by Apple iCloud Drive. PhraseExpress utilizes iCloud Drive but does not enhance iCloud Drive. Check with the Apple File App if the PhraseExpress folder appears on your device and that the phrase file "phrases.pxi" is available within that foldder. If this the case, PhraseExpress has done everything required to enable iCloud Drive synchronizing the phrase file to other devices. PhraseExpress has no way of doing it iself. It is like a car maker won't be able to fix road bumps. In case of iCloud Drive sync issues, please contact the maker of iCloud Drive, Apple support for assistance.

Sync with other iPhone/iPad

Sync between multiple iOS devices requires iCloud Drive. It is enabled by default and must be configured only, if iCloud Drive is disabled.

Video tutorial

To manually configure phrase synchronization:
  1. Enable iCloud Drive for PhraseExpress on all iPhones/iPads. Make sure to use the same iCloud Drive account.
  2. Wait until iCloud Drive distributed the phrase file to all other devices. This can take some time.

Done! All iPhones/iPads now share the same phrase file.

To disable phrase file synchronization, disable iCloud Drive for PhraseExpress.

Sync with a Mac

Syncing with a Mac requires iCloud Drive. It is enabled by default and must be configured only, if iCloud Drive is disabled or if the phrase file has been stored in a non-default location on the Mac.

To manually configure phrase synchronization:
  1. Enable iCloud Drive for PhraseExpress on your iPhone/iPad
  2. Make sure, that iCloud Drive is enabled with the same user account on your Mac(s) (check mark under "System preferences » iCloud » iCloud Drive"). Make sure to use the same iCloud Drive on Mac and iOS. The iCloud Drive account is not necessarily the account used to log into your Mac!
  3. Wait, until iCloud Drive distributed the phrase file to all computers. This can take some time.
  4. Open the main program window of the PhraseExpress Mac client.
  5. Use command "File » Synchronize with iOS devices".

Done! PhraseExpress for Mac loads the iPhone/iPad phrase file from "/iCloud Drive/PhraseExpress/phrases.pxi" and your Mac and iPhone/iPad are now sharing and syncing phrases. This is indicated in the phrase tree by a cloud symbol root.

If the phrase file is missing in iCloud Drive, double-check if iCloud Drive is enabled on your iPhone/iPad.

To disable phrase file synchronization, disable iCloud Drive for PhraseExpress.

The iOS App creates a special folder "PhraseExpress" in your iCloud Drive folder which is indicated by a PhraseExpress speech bubble logo within the folder icon as shown here:

Do not use Finder to manually create this folder. The iOS App would not recognize such manually created folder. If no special folder is created, restart the iOS device and/or try reinstalling the iOS App.

Sync with Windows

Video tutorial

The iOS App cannot directly sync Windows .pxp phrase files, because the iPhone/iPad .pxi phrase file format differs due to the different features set. To sync with Windows, you need to initiate the connection from the iPhone/iPad.

To sync phrases with a Windows PC:
  1. Enable iCloud Drive for PhraseExpress on your iPhone/iPad.
  2. Create a phrase on your iPhone/iPad to make the App saving the phrase file in iCloud Drive.
  3. Download & install Apple iCloud Drive for Windows on your Windows PC. Make sure to use the same iCloud Drive account you are using on your iPhone/iPad. The iCloud Drive account is not the account used to log into Windows!
  4. Wait, until iCloud Drive has distributed the phrase file to all computers. This can take some time.
  5. Open the PhraseExpress main program window on your Windows PC. PhraseExpress will automatically detect the phrase file in the local iCloud Drive sync folder and prompts you to add the phrase file to your phrase library as a separate phrase root node.

    Alternatively, select File » Open » Cloud phrase file or manually load the phrase file from the cloud sync directory (default location: /iCloudDrive/PhraseExpress/phrases.pxi)

PhraseExpress for Windows adds the iPhone/iPad phrase file as an additional phrase file node into the tree view of the main program window.

PhraseExpress now syncs the iPhone/iPad phrase file node with the iPhone/iPad. However, it does not sync the Windows phrase file.

You can now drag & drop phrases in the Windows client to move them from the Windows to the iPhone/iPad phrase file node for use and synchronization with your iPhone/iPad.

Do not save any phrase file into iCloud Drive with the Windows client on your own. The iOS App itself must create its special app data storage folder "PhraseExpress" on its own and save the phrase file "phrases.pxi" into it. This special folder must bear the PhraseExpress logo as shown here:

If the folder does not show the PhraseExpress logo, iCloud Drive has not recognized the folder as being created by the PhraseExpress App and synchronisation will fail. Solution: Uninstall the App, remove any PhraseExpress related folder from iCloud Drive, reboot the iOS device and reinstall the App again.

Some settings will be removed if you move phrases created in Windows into the iPhone/iPad phrase file node (phrases with bitmaps, program restrictions, access permission settings, etc.)!

If you want to keep taking advantage of the Windows version's full feature potential while still be able to sync with iPhone/iPad, copy (instead of move) the desired phrases into the iPhone/iPad phrase file node. You will then have one version in the Windows phrase file node with full functionality and a second version in the iPhone/iPad phrase file node with the stripped down duplicate.

As this creates phrase duplicates on the Windows client, you may want to disable autotext for the copied items: Right-click the phrase folders or mobile phrase file node and uncheck the context menu option "Autotext/hotkeys active" (Only the Windows client recognizes this setting. The iPhone/iPad App ignores it).

Troubleshooting

We experienced, that iCloud Drive does not seem to sync files automatically. Please perform following steps to manually trigger the file download in iCloud Drive with the Apple Files App:

  1. Open the Apple "Files" App. If you don't see it on your home screen, download the App from Appstore:

  2. In the Files App, switch to the iCloud Drive » PhraseExpress folder:

  3. If the phrase file icon shows a cloud symbol with an arrow-down, iCloud Drive indicates, that the file is not yet downloaded onto device. Tap or double-tap to trigger the download:

  4. If this screen is shown, the phrase file "phrases" has been successfully downloaded by iCloud DriveFenster: