Auto-Sync Tips and Tricks for the iPhone Mobile Application

Auto-sync on iOS uses the system’s Background App Refresh capability to upload new photos to FOREVER®.  The background app refresh triggers periodically and allows an app to perform tasks for a short amount of time while it is in the background.  The frequency of execution is not predictable and is determined by iOS based on many factors out of our control.


Here are some helpful tips for our users to get the most out of Auto-Sync:


  • Background app refresh
    • iOS Settings App -> General -> Background App Refresh
    • Must be enabled and turned on for FOREVER®.
    • We recommend setting Background App Refresh to Wi-Fi for best performance, assuming the user has good WiFi.
    • We recommend turning OFF Background App Refresh for other non-critical apps, which may increase the frequency for FOREVER®.
    • It may take a few days for iOS to learn the individual’s usage pattern of FOREVER® and how often it should give the app opportunity to perform background refresh.
    • Taking a photo on the device does not trigger auto-sync.  Users should NOT expect uploads to happen immediately.
    • Photos will be uploaded in smaller sets, given the roughly 30 seconds the app is given to perform its work.
    • Users with many new photos will see them upload progressively over time.  It may take a day or so but eventually they will upload. 
    • Users with a sense of urgency for preserving their photos can always open the app and upload while the app is active, which will be much faster.
    • IMPORTANT!!! If FOREVER® is closed by double tapping the home button and swiping up to close it, background app refresh will not execute until the app is launched again by the user.


  • iCloud Photos
    • iOS Settings App -> (tap account name at top) -> iCloud -> Photos
    • If iCloud Photo Library is OFF, photos are already just on the device.
    • If iCloud Photo Library is ON, we recommend Download and Keep Originals as the selected setting.  This allows auto-sync to access photo data directly from the device vs. attempting to download the full resolution version from Apple before uploading to FOREVER®.


  • Image Format
    • In iOS 11 Apple introduced High Efficiency Image Format (HEIF), which became the default setting on iOS devices.
    • iOS Settings App -> Camera -> Formats
    • High Efficiency: if this option is selected, FOREVER® will convert photo to JPG format when uploading, adding a small additional step to the upload process.
    • Most Compatible: if this option is selected, FOREVER® does not have to convert image data before uploading.
    • We recommend Most Compatible as the image format until FOREVER® supports HEIF natively.  This is not a must, but it does remove a conversion step during the upload process, increasing performance.


    • Other Tips
      • This may take a while.
      • Photos already uploaded will be de-duplicated.
      • Photos already uploaded but deleted from FOREVER® will be uploaded again.
      • Prevent Device Sleep: For a large volume of uploads-i.e. a Backup is performed-opening the Uploads screen will keep the app active automatically, preventing the device from sleeping.  We recommend plugging in the device to power until uploads are complete.
      • FOREVER® Badging: If the app is uninstalled and reinstalled, photos will lose the FOREVER® badging in the Camera Roll view.  To restore badging, a user can perform a device backup, but there are a few things to keep in mind.
      • Dedupe on Multiple Devices: For users with iCloud Photos ON on multiple devices using FOREVER®, just pick one device to Auto-Sync and upload.  Apple delivers optimally sized photos to different devices, and photo deduplication will not detect duplicates because photos vary slightly in size.


  • Order of uploads:  FOREVER® uploads oldest photos first. If there is a large volume of photos to upload, newer photos wait on older photos.




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