Notes Plus v6.2 release (May 23, 2019)

#1

We sincerely apologize for our recent releases with issues like data duplication/loss caused by iCloud. We’ve learned a big lesson from these mistakes. We understand those issues have affected your valuable notebooks badly (it hurts us here too!). There could still be some more hidden issues that we couldn’t cover during test, rest assured our team is working around the clock to fix bugs. We’re committed to provide frequent updates and make Notes Plus stable.

As you may know in last update, our team decided to move from old format with resource files (each notebook is saved under a folder with a lot of resource files) to new packaged file format (each notebook is a file). This change is vital for Notes Plus to work well with iOS’s Storage Optimization feature from iCloud syncing (the iOS will automatically optimize and evict files to iCloud server when your device is in low storage).

We realize the process appears to be much complicated than we anticipated as it’s related to some external factors like the way iOS optimizes files and some “blackbox” syncing activities from iCloud, it resulted in some malfunctioning behaviors you were experiencing.

In v6.2 release, we fixed related bugs with data duplication/data loss that users have reported. Now, when you install Notes Plus v6.2 and have iCloud syncing enabled, Notes Plus will execute a migration tool to convert your notebooks on iCloud to our own Notes Plus file format (.npn). This will take for a while if your library has a lot of notebooks. Please make sure to have Notes Plus stays while the migration tool is running so it can download all relevent resource files and migrate your data. If you close the app before data migration is complete or it’s stuck halfway, then you can resume this data migration tool by going to Tools at the upper right corner, go to App Settings, scroll down to the bottom of the list, tap “Migrate Data”.

You can reply to this topic or create a new post on “Support” box to ask questions about the release.

P/S: We still need new beta testers to help us testing Notes Plus - please let’s know if you would like to sign up. Thanks!

pinned #2
#3

Thanks for the efforts to fix the bugs, I installed the update, so far so good, good job!

1 Like
#4

I think this has solved the problem for me, thank you so much for the quick fix!

1 Like
#5

Now My note storage capacity is 9 Gbyte after generated multiple note.
and now updated 6.2, the note file of library root location has disappeared after migrate. However, if I exit app and run the app again, I can see the files in the folder where the previous save file is located. If I move a folder to the upper folder, it will not be visible on the root. When I look at folder and files in iCloud.com, they are quite messed up. I’m just waiting for the end of the sync iCloud.
I think this app has problem overall for note file, structure and cloud sync.
Please let me know how to do…?

#6

Now I can see note file at root. I will wait a little longer.

#7

In earlier version of Notes Plus, the app used resource file format (each notebook contains a lot of resource files like html, js, svg, etc…). iOS has a back-end iCloud feature called iOS Storage Optimization and when your device is in low storage, the system will automatically evict files to iCloud Drive server to have extra storage for storing other stuffs on the device, “evicted” files are now like an alias (placeholder) to tell iOS that your files are there but the content is saved on iCloud server and the files will be downloaded when the system needs them. Notes Plus couldn’t access these “evicted” (cached files) and the content is not showing properly in previous version.

Now, we have v6.2 with a data migration tool to download everything from iCloud server to local iPad so the app can pack everything into a new packaged file (each notebook is a single file rather than a bunch of resource files). This format is better for iCloud syncing and iOS Storage Optimization feature. At the first time you launch app from iCloud syncing, it would take for a while if the library has a lot of files. You can do this to reduce downloading time if it’s stuck or taking forever:

  • Quit Notes Plus from background (swipe up at the bottom and swipe up on Notes Plus to quit it from multitasking completely)
  • Open Files.app on your iPad (see https://support.apple.com/en-vn/HT206481), then locate to iCloud Drive >> Notes Plus >> Notebooks > try to delete the notebook copies from your app library.
  • Wait for these changes are synced back to server
  • Now, launch Notes Plus and the migration will run again (or you can go to Tools > App settings > tap “Migrate” button).

Let’s see if that works?

#8

I can not see the Notesplus Folder in the Files App.
just can see on the web(iCloud.com)

#9

Hi @Bryan, it’s ok to delete your files via web-based iCloud version (www.icloud.com) too!

#10

My copy of 6.2 ( iPhone) seems to like the name Notes Plus beta for the iCloud folder name? I was on beta but then loaded the release 6.2. Ran it after renamed old folder. It created s new folder Notes Plus beta with one notebook named First Notebook.

Is the a mechanism for changing the name of the folder in iCloud?

Then killing notes plus, I deleted the iCloud beta folder and restored the name of the original folder. I let that sync as a first-run and now I have duplicates that have different page counts and different covers, etc.
I did not download all to show some .npn files and some other (original?) files. Note also that not all notebooks duplicated.

#11

After installing 6.2 over beta 7, my iPad using Dropbox sync, duplicated everything with some naming errors thrown in.
The view of the Dropbox folder seems to confirm at least some of the duplication but not all. (What are the grayed out files matching the folders?)

And this update did not go through a migration on first startup.

Is Dropbox using the .npn now or still doing resource syncs. It was my understanding that Dropbox would not change. What happened here.

#12

Hi, I’ve spent my day trying to get back to normal.
I’ve noticed some improvements as I can rank my sheets, transfer them from one notebook to the other (the copy on the other hand doesn’t work), page deleting works fine also.
But I don’t get how the “automatic backing” is working. I’m using dropbox and I have to wait hours for thousands of files to up and download. In fact it doesn’t seem automatic to me as I have to click on it to do the synchronisation ?!
I still have folder who didn’t update to .npn files, how should I do as the “migration tools” only works with icloud.
Last but not the least I didn’t recover my lost files.
Sincerely

#13

Hey everyone.

I’m a long time user of this app. I have over four years of personal notes, journals and all sorts of other info stored in Notes Plus.

Like many others I was fairly horrified at the thought of losing all that data. Even the 6.2 upgrade doesn’t resolve the problem for me because I have literally GBs of duplicated data. The app just freezes trying to migrate it, and worse it’s creating even more duplicates every time it tries again.

That’s the bad news, but there is a silver lining.

If you get onto your Mac, and manually unravel your notebooks folder, you can at a minimum recover ALL your notebooks into a readable format. After all, the app is merely displaying SVG files from an HTML page. Thank goodness it’s that simple.

So to unravel the huge mess, this is what I’ve resorted to doing:

  1. Exit Notes Plus on your iPad. Don’t start it up until you’ve done all of the following;
  2. Navigate to your iCloud Drive in Finder, and locate the Notes Plus Beta folder. Inside that you’ll see a folder called Notebooks.
  3. If you’re using folders like I am, all your notebooks will be inside those folders.

What you’re going to see here if you have as big a mess as I do are:
Subfolders, Notebooks in an older non-packaged format. Notebooks in a package format but not .npn and then if you’ve attempted to migrate using the app, a bunch of .npn files which are also going to be duplicated if you’ve had a few goes at trying to get the app to work like I have.

If you look at the file dates and sizes, you’ll see there are outright duplicates. What you’re really looking for here is an original that comes up in Finder as a “Package”. Bear in mind some of the folders are actual notebooks. They have actual notebook pages in them as follows:

image

What’s more that 1 folder you can see there is a notebook page whose contents look like this:

image

If you preview the page.svg file you’ll see your actual handwritten notes.

Fortunately if you right click on one of the .npn files, you can also view package contents, and inside see the folder structure shown above, and ergo, view your svg pages. Thank goodness for standard formats.

So to continue on with the recovery;
4. In Finder sort your files by name. That way it’s easy to spot the original and duplicates.
4a. If you’re paranoid, copy all the Notebooks folder first onto your local drive. I had over 20,000 files so that just wasn’t an option. With all the duplicates it was something like 20GB of data or more.
5. Delete the duplicates. Keep .npn files. They’re already converted.
5a. Remember to explore subfolders. There’ll be lots of duplicates in there.

IMPORTANT
Once you’ve done all the above, copy the whole folder somewhere it won’t be lost! At least you’ll have a viewable copy of all your notes.

I haven’t finished cleaning up all my duplicates and restarting the app to see what new merry hell it might wreak on the files. None the less I’m comfortable no data has been lost.

@duynguyen Please never ever move away from the underlying standardised file formats that you’re using. That has been the single saving grace of this entire mess. That they can be exported and viewed in a web browser if need be.

Inspite of all the stress, anguish and frustration, I still think this is a great app. I’ve got zero confidence in your storage engineers. I hope this thing sorts itself all out in the near future.

Thanks.

#14

Hi Duy,

Thanks for the update; but the process outlined above is not working for me. I spent hours deleting thousands of duplicates from the iCloud Notes Plus Beta folder using my Mac; but then Notes Plus on my iPad starts to re-upload the deleted packages and folders — adding them back to iCloud.

I’ve tried turning off iCloud Auto backup on my iPad and selecting the delete files from this iPad option; but this fails — Notes Plus crashes every time … and after restarting Notes Plus, Auto Backup is still on and continuing to re-upload the deleted packages and folders.

What am I doing wrong? I need to permanently delete the duplicate notebooks.

Thanks.

#16

Hi @Dondi,

This isn’t an official response from the developers, but none the less I experienced the same problems as yourself.

Eventually the iPad will finish migrating. Just kill and restart the app everytime it freezes. Part of the problem is that the migration script doesn’t distinguish between duplicates and notebooks. Thus it migrates everything. In my case close to 100 notebooks were duplicated 14 times. That’s 1,400 notebooks to migrate = 20,000 files :face_with_raised_eyebrow:

I am considering deleting Notes Plus from the iPad, cleaning up the folder on my Mac then reinstalling the app. Deleting the app will remove it’s local files. It is a punt however. I have done it once before when I switched Apple IDs and needed to copy notebooks from one Apple ID to the other.

I’d advise playing it safe, keep restarting the app and wait for the migration then delete duplicates in the app.

Fingers crossed it eventually rights itself for you.

#17

I’d like to sign up to beta test. I like Notes Plus a lot although the shapes tool needs improving.

#18

Thanks @Davobot. I tried the “allow the app to migrate, then delete dips from the app” approach. It was tedious, but it worked for a folder that had 120 notebooks including duplicates.

However my main folder (work) now has 9,490 notebooks and selecting it causes Notes Plus to crash repeatedly. It’s apparently too many notebooks to render the notebooks listing without crashing the app.

I think I may need to default to your nuclear option — deleting Notes Plus, going back to iCloud and deleting duplicates again (since Notes Plus Auto Backup insisted on re-uploading all of the notebooks I previously deleted using my Mac), reinstalling Notes Plus and hoping my notebooks are reinstalled from the iCloud Auto Backup folder.

Are there any gotchas I need to be mindful of?

Thanks again for the suggestion.

#19

@Dondi

Make sure you have a satisfactory copy of your notebooks on your Mac.

I did that by copying to Downloads since that’s local storage and not iCloud storage. The latter has real issues with eventual consistency.

For notebooks I really cared about I used show package contents to view the SVGs. In some notebooks all I reliably had was thumb nail PNG files, but for older notebooks that’s enough.

So far I’ve avoided the nuclear option but I can understand in your circumstances why it’s necessary.

I’m not sure whether the Dev team are testing at scale.

I used to back up all my notebooks to Evernote as PDFs. I need to get back into that habit as tedious as it is.

Good luck.

#20

Well, I just wasted three hours deleting THOUSANDS of duplicate notebooks AGAIN from iCloud on my Mac, turning off iCloud Auto backup on my iPad, deleting notes Plus from my iPad, reinstalling Notes Plus — only to have notes Plus start uploading the PREVIOUSLY DELETED NOTEBOOKS to iCloud AGAIN!!!

How is it possible that the app is resuming file syncing to re-upload deleted notebooks — after I’ve turned off iCloud Auto backup, deleted the app then reinstalled it???

I’VE WASTED 7 HOURS TRYING TO RECOVER FROM THIS MESS. I’M SAD TO SAY THAT THIS EXPERIENCE HAS PUSHED ME TO THE POINT OF SERIOUSLY CONSIDERING ABANDONING NOTES PLUS AFTER 8 YEARS OF BEING A HAPPY USER AND PROMOTER — BECAUSE IT IS NO LONGER RELIABLE ENOUGH TO TRUST MY WORK TO.

#21

@Dondi

I wonder if the iPad files somehow weren’t deleted when the app was removed.

On my iPad I can’t actually see the notes plus folder. I’m assuming because the app is installed. I can see it on other devices.

What I’m assuming is when you delete off other devices you’re only deleting the local copy from that device, not necessarily the file from iCloud, or the iPad. So long as it has a copy, I don’t think it deletes what it has. iCloud drive via web might be the exception of one assumes that’s the source of truth.

Whatever the case when you’re dealing with big file numbers it’s really time consuming. I was more worried about not losing data. Having got that out of the way, duplication wasn’t so big a problem.

I think this is also an iCloud issue as much as it’s a notes plus issue.