Problems with / TB 13.0.1 / iOS app

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Problems with / TB 13.0.1 / iOS app

Post by molar »


I've been using BirdieSync for several years without any problems (great product!) but recently ran into trouble yesterday when I decided to sync from both my iPhone and iPad. I experienced two problems, unable to synchronise without rebooting the device, and duplicates being left after synchronisation.

Installation / Upgrade
I upgraded from Thunderbird 12 to ThunderBird 13.0.1. I updated BirdieSync from to At the same time I installed the iOS update thats been made available in the app store this week.
When I uninstalled the old BirdieSync I ticked to leave all settings, synchronisation data and license on my computer.

First of all I synchronised with my iPhone, seemingly with no problems. There were two desktop modification events which I agreed with.

Now for the bad bit...I decided to install BirdieSync on my iPad.

To start with it wouldn't synchronise at all. It just kept on trying to connect to host and then ending after a second or so with no error message, despite having the same IP address and password settings as my iPhone. After rebooting the iPad it worked :?: and I was prompted to set up a new profile on the desktop. Both my iPhone and iPad profiles consist of just Contacts only.

During iPad synchronisation a lot of duplicates were created on my iPad (presumably normal during synchronisation?) and then duplicates were removed but a lot of duplicates were left remaining once it finished. There seemed to be two types of duplicates:
  • Businesses - Where the iOS contacts only had the Company field filled in (no First or Last Name field values) which gives contacts the Business silhouette image rather than the Person silhouette, duplicates were created in some (not all) cases with the company name set in the first name field of the duplicate.
  • Address Line 2 - Where contacts have an address set, duplicates were created in some (again not all) cases and those duplicates which were created all had a new blank line inserted between Street and Town when displayed in iOS.
I tried to use Thunderbird BirdieSync options to remove the duplicates but it identified 0 records.

After removing the duplicates manually, I re-synced the iPad without any problems but then ran into problems the next time I synchronised, this time from my iPhone.

From the iPhone I could not synchronise it without rebooting it (i.e. running into the same connection problem that I initially had from my iPad).

After a reboot and synchronisation on the iPhone, a lot of duplicates were created again, this time more than on the iPad. I had duplicates created with the Address Line 2 problem (more than last time), and now a lot of duplicated Business contacts. This time the business contacts were blank records when viewed in iOS except for a name field. There were no values in the address or telephone number fields of these business contacts.

Both iPhone and iPad are running iOS 5.1.1 and desktop is running Windows 7.

Hope this bug report helps.


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Re: Problems with / TB 13.0.1 / iOS app

Post by Birdy »

Hello Ben,

I think that your connection problem might be due to the fact that BirdieSync on the desktop can only connect to one device at a time. So if for instance your iPhone is connected, then the connection with the iPad will be silently rejected (with no error message: that should need to be improved).
So to connect a new device, ensure that the other one is disconnected from BirdieSync on the desktop.

A general remark when you first setup synchronization with 2 devices.
To avoid duplicates the recommended procedure is the following one:
- Synchronize your first device with Thunderbird (the best way to avoid duplicates is to do a "Replace" on your mobile device if all your Thunderbird contacts are up-to-date)
- Synchronize your second device with Thunderbird and choose "Replace" option at first synchronization. Don't choose "Combine" because if you do so, some contacts will be removed in Thunderbird and some new contacts will be created, leading to an additional synchronization with the first device the next time you connect it

When BirdieSync looks for duplicates, it only removes strictly identical items. So if you have a slight difference between two contacts, then they will be considered as different and both kept.

Regarding the 2 problems you identified that created duplicates:
- Business: Not sure how this problem occurs. You said that the First name was set to the Company field value. I made a test with contacts with only a Company field, synchronizing from Thunderbird to iPhone and iPhone to Thunderbird but couldn't reproduce the problem (First name field was not filled).
- Address Line 2: I made some tests with Address Line 2 filled on both iPhone and Thunderbird, synchronized them, reset synchronization: duplicates were properly removed.
Would you have a precise scenario which I could try reproduce to identify the problem ?


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