Troubleshooting Sync on your device
First, some background: Syncing what is it?
Happy Inspector is cloud-based. That means the main spot where your data lives is in our Happy Cloud. This is a jazzed up way of saying 'our server'.
To get your data to the Happy Cloud, your app needs to connect to the internet and speak to our servers over in San Francisco.
Any data and photos on your device but not yet in our cloud will appear in your app in your Cloud Activity window (tap the cloud icon on the left). The data will patiently wait there until it's all uploaded.
Happy Inspector, the app, is constantly looking for any changes you make to your data, eg creating a new inspection or a new property, and it will attempt to push those changes up to the cloud straight away. Anything that can't be pushed straight away will be queued until the next chance the app gets.
When everything is up-to-date, it means all the data on your iPad and all the data we have in the cloud are the same, they're synced. Syncing is great because your data is secure and nicely backed up but also it's now available for all the other devices in your team to connect to Happy Inspector and access. More power to you!
Why error messages can occur?
So why are there error messages in my cloud?
There can be any number of reasons why your app will throw an error while attempting to sync because there's numerous parts in the syncing process. They are:
your device, either your iPad or your iPhone (and the base software installed on it);
there's your internet connection which enables Happy Inspector to talk to the Happy Cloud,
there's our Happy Inspector software itself, and finally
there's our server where your data lives, ie the Happy Cloud.
All these parts need to work in harmony to get your data to our Happy Cloud. We've put all of these parts through lots of rigorous testing but every now and then something doesn't go as planned, so let's take a look at some steps you can take to troubleshoot your way to synced happiness.
Actual Troubleshooting - Steps you can take to get your data to sync
1. Your Device
On your iOS device please check your Auto-Lock is set to a reasonable length of time to enable uploading to occur (something like 10-15 minutes if you take lots of large photos).
On iPads, iPhones and iPod Touch: is your Auto-Lock set to a reasonable time?
If you have it set to 2 minutes and the screen shuts your device down, then your data has no way of uploading.
To find Auto-Lock on iOS less than 10.0 navigate to your device's Settings > General > Auto-Lock > select 10 or 15 minutes or Never.
On iOS 10.0 or higher you can find Auto-Lock by: Settings > Display & Brightness > Auto-Lock
We always recommend you work with the latest version of your device's operating system as it has been known that some particular models of iPads will have unique bugs that interact with apps in unusual ways. So Apple will release fixes to these bugs in each update. So check that your iOS is up-to-date. To find out what version iOS you're currently on navigate to Settings > General > About and look at the Version to see what you're currently on. If you're unsure what the current version at the date of reading this, please visit this page (and while doing so be grateful other human beings volunteer their time to maintain pages such as this).
Is your iOS / Android OS up-to-date?
On your Android device is background sync off?
On Android devices you will need to ensure that background sync is on so that our app can upload your data in the background. This setting will be unique to your device, so if unsure a quick Google should help. But here's a link for reference turn on background sync.
For Samsung Galaxy devices in particular you may need to take some extra steps:
Settings > User & Privacy > Accounts > Inspector > turn Sync Data to On.
2. Your Network Connection
Are you connected to the internet?
Please confirm you are connected to the internet. Open Safari on your iPad / iPhone and do a quick search on Google. Did it return some results?
At some point in time the primordial, computer-internet wizards decided upload speeds should be slower than download speeds. There was a reason but I can't remember right now and it's probably not going to help right now. The main point though, is that if you have heaps of photos to upload and they're all high-res and you're on a slow connection they're going to take some time to upload.
How fast is your upload speed?
So you'll need some patience. You can check your upload connection by going to one of the internet's favourite speed test sites: speedtest.net and performing a speed test.
As an example, I just ran one at my home office where I'm writing this article and this was the result. As you can see there's a bit of a difference:
Try turning the Wi-Fi on your device off and on again to see if that will kick-start the syncing process. Go to Settings > Wi-Fi and tap the toggle switch to turn it off then wait for a period before tapping it again to turn it back on.
Turn your iPad off an on again?
When was the last time your iPad had a rest? This is an oldie but it's such a goodie for tech support teams the world over. Please do us a favour and try it just this once?
Are you using the latest version of Happy Inspector?
3. Happy Inspector (your app)
If you go to your iPad or iPhone's App Store, and click on Purchased down the bottom and bring up the list of all of your apps on your account. In the list, does Happy Inspector have 'Update' next to it, or 'Open'?
If it's 'Update' please update your app and check if that helps. Whatever you do, please don't delete your app and re-install as you may delete all the un-synced data forever. Please only update your app.
If your on Android head to the Play store and check there's no updates available there too.
iOS: Tap on the Cloud icon on the left of Happy Inspector and look at the Cloud Activity window and tap Retry up the top-right?
Is there a Retry button up the top-right of the Cloud Activity window? Yes? Ok, cool, can you please tap it and see if that gets your photos and reports on their merry way?
iOS: Slide the rows in the Cloud Activity window to the left and tap 'Retry'?
If there's no 'Retry' button up the top of the window, then try sliding each row in your window to the left. This should reveal a sneaky, little, grey 'Retry' button that our cunning engineers put in there at some point in time. We can still hear there cunning, evil-genius laughter echoing through the halls of HappyCo about this little gem!
iOS: Tap the rows and read any error messages that are displayed?
If you tap each row in the Cloud Activity window, you may be lucky and a small pop-up will appear which can give you more insight into what's happening. At the very least, if you screenshot it, it can help our team debug what's going on
iOS: Tap the Settings (cog icon) in Happy Inspector and turn Sync off and on again to see if that will kick-start the syncing process?
Like it's cousin, turning your iPad off and on again, this is not such an oldie. But it's still a very, good goodie in terms of trying to debug syncing. Please tap the cog icon in your Happy Inspector settings and tap Sync > Sync Enabled off and then pause and tap it back on again. Even try it a couple of times, you never know.
iOS: Do any of the error messages mention 'Unauthorized'?
If you have error messages saying something like 'User Unauthorized' and some User and Folder IDs then it sounds as though you have recently adjusted some of the permissions in your account. Please get in touch with us at support with the following:
- the user account (email address) that you've logged in to the app with;
- any other user accounts who've used this specific device (their email addresses); and
- any changes to the properties/folders you may have recently made to your account
and we'll help resolve the issue ☺
Start a dummy inspection on any property and see if just a small, quick inspection will upload?
One of the things our team like to do if we're on the phone to you is to have you create a dummy inspection (these can always be deleted off of your app so you don't get tricked by them later so don't stress). To do that, please jump into any property, and start a brand new inspection. Rate everything (with the quick inspection hack of rating everything!), take a couple of photos and write a note or two. Then tap 'Done' up the top right. Does this new data sync?
Log out and in of our app
Logging out and in of the app requires internet but when you do it, it forces your app to ask the Happy Cloud what's changed in the app and kick-starts the syncing again. This often works wonders.
Try logging out, force closing the app and then logging back in?
This is the black-belt of logging out and back in as it's like a simple log out and in, but involves a double-tap and a flick of the app up to force-close it. This completely kills Happy Inspector running on your device and makes it load up again. So please log out, force-close your app and then log back in. Here's a guide to force-closing if you've never force-closed before.
Check our status page and see if there's an error from our end?
4. Happy Inspector (our cloud)
If this actually happens, it's highly likely just our team performing some maintenance on the server, and you can check this out our status page here: http://status.happyco.com/
If not, that's not great. We're super sorry and you can bet your life we'll be working our tails off to restore the outage and it will be back up as soon as possible
Ok, next steps....So you've reached the end of our extensive 'troubleshooting sync' list and your Cloud Activity window is still not smiling at you and filling your life with joy.
The next step is to take screenshots, of the Cloud Activity window and any error messages that pop-up, and send them through to email@example.com
Please send them through with as much detail as you can provide about what you've been doing, the address of the properties you're having trouble with and any other relevant data. The more detail you provide, the less back-and-forth the support team will require from you and so the less of your valuable time we'll need to take to get to a resolution.
Thanks for reading the article. Here's a picture of our Chief Happiness Officer, Yumi, with a donut:
We look forward to helping you resolve syncing and any other issues you're having on the support desk.