Answering questions…

Morning everyone! Today I’m going to answer a few of the specific questions that have come up. Not all of these are related to iPhone sync, but they are things we have either heard a lot or that we think should get answered.

Getting Sync Help (and the Blog)

It’s great to see so many people taking an interest in the blog. The one problem we have at the moment is that we simply can’t provide support to people through the blog comments. If you have problems, you are still welcome to post here and there is a chance another reader can offer advice, but if you want a response from us please contact technical support. Logistically, it just isn’t possible to provide good support through a blog.

“Wow! There are a lot of problems!”

Actually, there aren’t. What we have are a lot of problems getting posted here because people would like some help. Another thing we have right now is about 1000X the normal number of people using the software for the first simultaneously. Usually we have a limited group each day who have fired up the software for the first time. Right now though – EVERYONE is firing it up for the first time. As a result we are getting a lot more questions than usual.

In reality (and looking at the numbers for downloads/sales/etc.) the vast majority of users don’t have any trouble at all. We are getting far more “It worked great! Thanks!” emails than problems. Now, that isn’t to say having a problem doesn’t suck – it does. But fortunately most folks are having a great experience.

Will you add FTP/Net sync to the iPhone?

I hope to at some point. No set schedule for releasing this, though.

When an update wipes out my data on the iPhone, that’s Ilium’s fault!

I won’t blame anyone for being angry if this happens, but seriously, we have zero control over this. The entire installation/update/etc. process is handled 100% by Apple. There is no special code we can include, no settings we can change, and no system we can tweak to affect this. I REALLY wish we could. Fortunately, with sync out, it will be easier to back up wallets now if Apple does zap your data.

Does AutoPass work on the iPhone?

No. This feature has only ever been available for Windows PCs using a helpful plug-in offered by MS in Internet Explorer. We are looking at ways to add this to mobile device, but at this time it is only available on the desktop.

Will my background images sync?

No. Background images do not sync. This isn’t something eWallet has ever offered ALTHOUGH we are working on adding this for a future release. You can still add backgrounds on the device or on the desktop, but the images do not sync yet.

What are those extra backgrounds and icons for?

The extra backgrounds are all included on the iPhone already. The extra icons are for Windows devices. We have put some things in place that should allow us to offer additional icons for the iPhone in the future, but at this time they are a Windows only feature.

Where is the BlackBerry version? Did you abandon it for iPhone?

Nope. We are working very hard with WebIS to get the BlackBerry version out. As I’ve mentioned before, there were some problems that we had to resolve. We will continue to push forward on that project.

When will the Mac version be out?

We are shooting for the end of this year. That’s our target date.

When will ListPro for iPhone be out?

I don’t have a release date scheduled for ListPro at this time, but we are working on it.

Why are people still seeing problems with sync? Did you test for these?

Absolutely. We did insane amounts of testing. The challenge with any sync release (and we saw this with out other platforms as well when they first went out) is that there are a near infinite varieties of environments people will be using this in. For instance, we’ve already discovered that when set up certain ways, Zone Alarm, Windows Firewall, and Norton Anti-virus can cause sync problems. This isn’t something we would typically warn folks about because it depends completely on having the “perfect storm” of settings/environment. Many people will sync just fine even with these in place.

Not only that, but it’s one thing when you have dozens of people working with a product. You will find a LOT of problems that you can fix and resolve doing that. Send that same product out to thousands (nearly 3000 people downloaded it in the first few hours it was out) and now you’re going to find out things you never dreamed of.

And a lot of what we are seeing aren’t “bugs” but simply finding out what advice we need to give folks as they setup sync. In some cases we can tweak the code to handle certain scenarios better, but in a lot of cases it will come down to finding better ways to provide the instructions to avoid the issues.

Why do I have to start sync on both sides? Why do I need this partnership?

Security and ease of use. First off, the partnership allows you to establish sync and then easily perform secure synchronizations in the future without going through a lot of verifications. So by building a partnership between eWallet on desktop and eWallet on iPhone, you create a trusted network. Now some applications just say “pick a device to sync with” and show a picture of a computer. You click. You sync. That’s handy, but it means that one of the following things are happening:

Your computer is constantly broadcasting that it is ready to sync. Not only is this a waste of resources, it’s extremely insecure. You don’t want a constant “sync with me” message shouting from a secure info manager every time you use it (or even when you aren’t using it!)

Your computer isn’t verifying who it is synching with. Unless a clear, secure partnership is in place, you might not be synching with who you think you are. Just firing off the data and hoping the right person picks it up is terribly insecure.

So yes, it’s an extra step, but frankly I designed it in a way that would make ME feel safe with my own data when I sync. In the long run, I feel that this is a better design choice than sacrificing security for ease of use.

And so…

Again, we’re really happy so many people are getting the new version. The response has been fantastic as have the comments. To those of you having problems, we’re sorry you’ve run into trouble and we hope that you’ll contact our support folks. We brought in extra help to make sure that anyone who is having trouble can get the help they need in a timely fashion.

 

43 thoughts on “Answering questions…

  1. René

    Are there more photo’s of listpro available? Will it have a badge on the icon? It looks like an app. I like to have!

  2. Ed

    You mentioned you are still pushing forward with the BlackBerry version, do you have any update as to when you think that will be ready? (although I know you don’t like to put specific dates out there, this one was close at one point)

  3. Tom

    Marc – thanks for posting this. My syncing went VERY well and eveything is working smoothly. I essentially had two wallets due to the inability to sync, so using the desktop version allowed me to copy and paste to my old wallet (when’s Apple going to allow copy and paste?)

  4. Richard

    Have used eWallet for more years than I dare admit to now. Having moved to the iPhone I naturally wanted eWallet (perhaps needed is the right word!) but the sync just do not happen. I have ensured no firewalls etc. are running, the iPhone sees the PC Ok and vice versa but eWallet will not let me set up a sync simply saying there is a problem. Am stuck now as if there is no firewall in the way and I have removed all security connections for my wireless connection and the iPhone and the PC (running Vista) see each other I just got nowhere else to go. Am stuck, can’t sync.

  5. Matt

    Upgrade and synch worked perfectly. Great stuff! Easy to configure. My iPhone needs are complete! Well almost…Listpro… :)

    Keep it up Ilium!

  6. Steve

    I keep getting the same error on 2 totally different computers and wireless networks (Home and Work). I have the latest versions installed and have the sync running on both the iPhone and Desktop. I have the iPhone setup in Sync with the Unique ID showing. When I go to setup the Sync on the desktop I select Setup from the Synchronize menu. Then I click the Add button and select the iPhone button. A form opens that lists my iPhone name and I select it and click the OK button. Then the hourglass appears for about 30 seconds and I get the following Error message.
    An error occurred while asking the Apple device to provide the authorization code necessary to set up a synchronization partnership.

    I am running Windows XP SP2 with the default Windows Firewall (which I also disabled to test).

  7. Andy Kessel

    So, my issue is that u3 version of ewallet, has all the sync options greyed out. Any thoughts ?????

  8. mbowen55

    Just want to add my voice to those who have had success with iPhone Sync.
    Once I realized that I had not added my password to the iPhone side, it worked beautifully. Thanks, Illium. I now have an iPhone which duplicates the eWallet functionality I had literally years ago with an old Treo…but now with a shiny new iPhone. Great!!1

  9. ironhorselyn

    YEA!! Sync for Ewallet & Iphone works great. I already have it syncing with my lap top and my work computer. THANK YOU!!!!! I really needed this program syncing on my iPHone. I have used it for years on my Treo 700W. I was able to sync years of ewallet into the iphone without a single problem. Now I don’t have to carry the Treo too!!! Now all I need is List Pro for iPhone and get it syncing too. Y’all did good!!!!!! THANKS!!!

  10. Kjartan

    Had problems syncing at home, but worked great at work. Guess I have a firewall that causing the trouble. Would just say excellent work to you guys at ilium, and I’m waiting on the fence to get my hands on listpro….keep em coming. :)

  11. Quinton

    I want to say now that I have my sync I feel whole again. I thank you this blog page. You made such a great product we all could depend on.

  12. Marc Post author

    @Steve: Drop the support folks an email Steve! Or give us a call. We’ll help you work out just what is going wrong.

    @Andy: Due to the way the U3 device works, you can’t sync if you’re running off of a U3 device. Sorry Andy. It’s related to the way the U3 device keeps ALL traces of ANYTHING you run off the PC you plug into.

    @Everyone Else: Thanks! I’m really happy it is working so well for so many folks!

  13. Marc Post author

    @Robin: The Web Companion is still part of out plan. The iPhone work pushed it back a little but now that sync is out we already have someone here working on it again.

  14. Charlie

    I have the same problem as Steve 9/9 4:59PM, after dozens of tries with firewalls off, etc. Unfortunately, Marc’s advice to email Customer Support about this particular problem isn’t working either, at least for me. I sent in my request for help at 5 AM on 9/9, and so far have only the automated response.

    I’ve seen several others describe this exact problem. I know Support is swamped, so if there’s a fix, why not post it here for all to share; if not, at least let us know that it’s an unsolved problem.

  15. Ken

    I keep getting the same error as Steve. “An error occurred …” and then stop.

    There does not appear to be any way to fix. I am running Vista SP1.

  16. Kevin White

    @Charlie, @Steve and @Ken:

    According to one of our developers, the “an error occurred while requesting authorization” message means eWallet cannot connect to your iPhone via FTP. (Internally, eWallet uses FTP to sync with the iPhone.)

    If your computer has a VPN connection which you are using, or connects to more than one network at a time (a wired connection and a wireless connection for syncing eWallet, for example), you will very likely have sync problems. eWallet will try to connect to your iPhone but your PC will send the network connection onto the wrong network and it will never reach the phone.

    In the above case, there’s literally nothing eWallet can do as the problem is a network routing issue outside of eWallet. It’s a little difficult to troubleshoot network problems like this, where something is getting in between our software and the iPhone, since there’s no definite way to get an error saying, “Program X on your PC is blocking eWallet’s synchronization attempt!” All eWallet knows is that it cannot connect.

    Another thing to check is for *any* network security software on your computer. For example, some anti-virus programs now offer “internet worm protection”, which is a fancy word for “a firewall that blocks outgoing network connections”. Some anti-spyware software may do the same thing, and it can block eWallet’s sync connection. Even if you say, “it’s just my anti-virus”, it really may be more than ‘just your anti-virus’.

  17. Arvid

    I purchased eWallet for iPod Touch. And few days ago I purchased eWallet for Windows also. I can connect to my iPod Touch through eWallet for Windows, but I can see nothing at my eWallet for Windows after sync, although the log said it is successful. I tried to re-install Bonjour, remove Partner and add it again, it doesn’t work for me. And I didn’t get any response from yours.

  18. Scot

    After upgrading to itunes 8 and the new bonjour that comes with it, I can no longer sync or make a partnership (same problem as steve)

  19. Charlie

    Marc,

    Thanks for the hints, though it does leave us kind of holding the bag on this one. With today’s complex systems, it’s hard for any user to know everything about how all the software in the machine is behaving, and if eWallet’s sync approach is really as fragile as you describe, it doesn’t bode well for the future.

    It would have been SO nice if you had just started with syncing over a USB connection. This is something iPhone users already do regularly, in order to talk to iTunes, so it’s a very natural act. Instead we are left with a very frustrating network setup process, that requires all our protective systems to be disabled. This takes me back twenty years, when every tech support call started with “Uninstall everything else in your computer, and if our product works then it’s not our problem.”

    That said, I will try once again after disabling everything else I can find.

    Charlie

  20. Marc Post author

    @Charlie: You wrote:

    “It would have been SO nice if you had just started with syncing over a USB connection.”

    I couldn’t agree with you more Charlie. I SO wish we could sync via USB. All of the problems associated with WiFi sync are a huge challenge to us as well. Bottom line…Apple won’t let us. They’ve locked down the entire USB cable and we have no control or means of access. In addition, we have no way to access the folders/HD on the phone. So there isn’t a way for us to say “Just copy this file to this location.”

    So in the end, this means that the ONLY ways to sync are:
    1. WiFi via a local network.
    2. WiFi or Edge or 3G via a remote server

    We had planned to do #2 but we got a TON of feedback from folks that they’d rather a local solution first (we are still working on adding the remote sync in the future.) So in the end, we’ve provided one of the only two synching solutions available.

    I don’t like to blame other people when something we’ve offered gives folks a challenge. In fact as I mentioned earlier, I’m working hard to find ways to make the challenges of these varied systems easier to deal with. Unfortunately, in this specific case, Apple REALLY tied out hands on this one.

  21. Marc Post author

    @Scot: I upgraed yesterday as well but I am able to sync still. Have you restarted the PC? I ask because it might be that Bonjour hasn’t restarted yet.

  22. Jim

    Hi Marc – Congrats on the iPhone release, I’ve been an eWallet user for many years and this is just what I need.

    One comment on the first sync – I had terrible trouble getting this to work, then I remembered something from when I tried to complete an initial sync with a Windows Mobile device…

    I have a wallet on my PC, it’s called My Wallet. I try and perform an initial sync, it fails with eror messages suggesting firewall issues etc.

    Actually – the iPhone also has a wallet called My Wallet and the solution is to set the iPhone wallet password to the same as that on the PC. Then, everything springs into life!

    Now everything in my digital life is secure and accessible,
    Thanks again
    Jim

  23. David

    I had problems with my initial sync, I highly recommend people go through Ilium’s list of trouble solving, turns out reinstalling bonjour fixed my issue. In my case, I’m using 64-bit vista, and I’m not sure if the 64-bit version of bonjour was installed in the first place.

  24. Charlie

    Thanks for the fuller explanation of Apple’s restrictions, Marc. It’s amazing that you can’t simply deposit a file somewhere on the iPhone. Maybe you could disguise the Wallet as a song – say, “We’re In The Money.MP3″ – and get iTunes to copy it for you.

    Seriously, I have taken your advice to heart and disabled everything I could find (Windows Firewall, Windows Defender, Symantec NAV), but the error persists.

    I’m happy to hear you are still considering supporting syncing to a remote location. My guess is that that approach would provide a more consistent environment than the local Wifi network. My various PC copies of eWallet all currently sync to a WEBDAV drive stored on Amazon S3, via Jungledisk. Rock solid and secure, and it costs literally a few pennies a month.

    In the meantime, my next plan is to take an old laptop, and set it up with a fresh copy of the OS and nothing but eWallet installed, and see how that works syncing with the iPhone.

  25. Andrew (different then above)

    Steve and Charlie,

    When I had this problem, I pinned it down to having my VPN up. For some reason eWallet is able to see the iPhone, but the next step, the sync part seems to go out the VPN.

    Do you have any kind of special network setup like a VPN or dual-homed, multiple routes, Wifi on a different subnet then Desktop?

    Just some thoughts to maybe help….

  26. Sohail

    Marc,

    I had the same “an error occurred while requesting authorization” dozens of times with out any success on my iPhone/Laptop until I tried the same thing at home where I don’t have to go through VPN connection. Now my Setup goes through OK. It does seem to get stale after a while however but it seems mostly workable.

    Now that I am past Setup, the actual Sync does NOT work most of the times. Yes, I have same wallets/passwords on both sides. Simply put, its flaky/intermittent.

    To debug the issue, I run TCP/IP Monitor on my laptop. I could see that as I do the Sync, the laptop initiates a TCP/IP session which some times is successful and sometimes just does not go beyond initial init (i.e. no response from the iPhone side). I do believe that the init message does get out as I tried it with ALL firewalls turned off.

    With the issues that I am seeing now with intermittent Sync failures, my sense is that the iPhone-side of eWallet software especially the wireless side of it is buggy.

    Your thoughts ?

    Thanks,

    Sohail

  27. Charlie

    I’m happy to report that I’ve successfully gotten past the “An error occurred…” problem, and have now synced both of my iphones. For me, the key was to tell the Thinkpad Access Connections program to override standard TCP/IP defaults, and to assign an IP address automatically. This is a bit mysterious, as that IS the default, but something must have improved WRT subnets, masks, or whatever.

    Suggestion for the future: I now have 3 syncs set up: 2 for the iphones, and one to a remote location (to which my other PC’s also sync). I’ve always had eWallet set up to sync automatically on close, to keep the remote location up to date at all times. This no longer works smoothly, because eWallet now has to stop and ask me which devices to sync when I close the program. So, my suggestion is that the Sync on Close (or Open) should be specified separately for each sync, not globally.

    Suggestion for the NEAR future: Change the misleading error message that says something like “Can’t find an Apple device” when you try to sync to an iPhone on which sync hasn’t already been started. It should just say, “Please press the Sync icon in eWallet on “.

  28. vi

    @Marc: Has anyone reported problems with eWallet on iPhone firmware 2.1 released today?

    I have succesfully installed/desktop synced eWallet with iPhone 2.0.2 firmware and iTunes 7.7 and 8.0. I would like to know before upgrading to 2.1.

    Thanks.

  29. Raymond Ho

    I have no problem syncing wallets I already have on the PC, it is very fast. But it will not sync the wallet that I created on the iPhone. I ended up creating the same wallet on the PC and then it did sync with the iPhone. But when I tried to sync it to my laptop (sending the wallet created on the iPhone to the laptop), only the existing wallets on the laptop would sync, it would not send the iPhone created wallet to the laptop. Anyone, any clue?

  30. Andrew (different then above)

    @vi

    I have synced with 2.1 today – no problem. It worked just like it did before 2.1.

  31. Raymond Ho

    Never mind, read the small print on the start up screen and created an empty wallet on the laptop with the same name and it is syncing now.

  32. vi

    @Andrew (diff than above):

    Thanks! Based on your update I went ahead with the 2.1 upgrade and all is well.

    Cheers!

  33. David

    UGH! Sigh, now my sync is broken and I’m without data. I updated to a jailbreaked 2.1 firmware and itunes 8, now I can’t sync. Tried uninstalling and reinstalling bonjour, since that fixed it for me the first time and a new version had come out since, but that wasn’t it. Tried disabling the windows firewall and kaspersky, running vista 64. Already restarted too. Think I’ll try for the heck of it installing the windows app in my XP-32 on my macbook, only common denominators at that point I think would be kaspersky is installed there and the firmware on the phone. Well, and I’ll have to install the bonjour for windows 1.05

  34. Dave

    Followup, installed in the xp-32 on the macbook, was able to sync to the phone no problem. Kinda annoying, but at least I have a work around. Both computers were on the same network, macbook wireless, vista using ethernet. The vista system has 2 NICs, but I have the one not being used disabled.

  35. Jeff Gardner

    I would just like to point out one of those “DOH!” moments I just had trying to set up sync between my iPod Touch and my Thinkpad T42. I would follow the instructions and get the dreaded “An error occurred while asking the Apple device…” dialog box, with one choice “OK” (“No, of course it’s not OK, so why are you asking me??”). This reminded me of why I started hating Macs, oh sooooooooo many years ago (think original Apple Macintosh). “An error has occurred….OK?” NO IT’S NOT “OK”!!!!!! YOU JUST DELETED MY ENTIRE FLOPPY DISK!!

    But I digress. :) I would follow the sync setup instructions to the point where I had the code being displayed on my iPod and was adding a new iPhone/iPod touch on the desktop version. The desktop would then detect then display my device “Jeffs iPod”. So then I would click “OK” (or maybe “Next”…I can’t remember), and I would get the error. But after a couple of times (and reinstalling Bonjour, and tweaking my Access Connections settings like Charlie did), I wondered if I actually had to *select* “Jeffs iPod” before clicking OK. So I clicked on “Jeffs iPod” and it became highlighted. One more click, and viola! it worked!

    You can make fun of my all you want. :) But it is not completely obvious (at least to some of us, especially when we are sleep deprived) that the mobile device is actually selectable. I thought the listing of “Jeffs iPod” was just telling me “Hey! I found it!”. Also, it would be great if there was a more helpful error message like, “Hey you moron! Try selecting a device next time!”

    Just sacrificing my self esteem to save others a similar frustration.

  36. David

    To Jeff Gardner:

    If it makes you feel any better, the same thing happened to me. Luckily I caught it after 2 or 3 tries. Overall I got up and running in about 10 minutes with sync (I was lucky it hit me so quickly), but there were at least 2 places (the one you pointed out being one of them – can’t remember the other one) that I thought the instructions (or lack thereof) required a mental leap that I originally wasn’t able to make intuitively and thought additional instructions needed to be provided on both the iPhone/iTouch and the Desktop version to make it more of a bullet proof Wizard.

    Glad to see you got it working and hopefully you posting it here has helped others as well.

    - David
    PS: I’m VERY happy with the product once set up. Just waiting for the addition of search/find on the iPhone (I know, its going to be a bit of a wait :-) ).

  37. David F.

    Feature Requests:

    * Ability to have cards based on template be updated when changes are made to templates.

    * Ability to add/remove fields on template. Renaming fields is not always sufficient.

    * Ability to re-arrange fields on template, both on the “card face” and fields outside of the “card”. This would include the ability to move a field up and down, for example.

    * Ability to change font/color of fields and field names.

    * More choices for field types (Proper Case fields, Radio Buttons, Pull Down menus, etc). For radio buttons and pull down fields, ability to modify choices.

    * Ability to use Firefox as well as/instead of IE. “Autopass” functionality can be implemented via Firefox plugins.

    * Multi-user support for the desktop client. A master password could be assigned for the main Wallet, but have access to categories controlled by users/groups. Integration into Active Directory would be a plus. Ok, I know I’m reaching on the last one, but man, would it be nice.

    If you want to discuss this further, you can send email to the address in the submission.

    David Fields

  38. Chris Guest

    Have ewallet for windows installed, cannot find any iPhone even though both are on a simple wireless network. Both have a wallet created, but it never detects the iPhone. Windows Vista 64 bit, antivirus disabled – any thoughts?

  39. Raymond Ho

    Downloaded 6.1.3 on both PC and iPhone, works fine. But what about the newline issue, is that going to be fixed in the next release? Also, I assume 6.1.3 on Windows is backward compatible with PocketPC 6.1.2?

    I just saw the price drop on the iPhone eWallet, is there a plan to reward the early adopters that bought it when it first came out? Like a discount when the OSX version comes out?

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