Syncing without iCloud Drive

Michael Pearson's Avatar

Michael Pearson

26 Jan, 2017 02:36 AM


I love the Bear app. It's been a great replacement for Evernote. I purchased the Pro update, and everything syncs well between my iPhone and iPad. However, I used Dropbox with symbolic links on my Mac. Because of the symlinks, iCloud Drive conflicts with Dropbox on my Mac, and Bear won't sync to my Mac. Is there anything I can do, short of removing my symlinks and enabling iCloud Drive? Do you have any plans to support syncing via Dropbox or some other service?


  1. Support Staff 1 Posted by Danilo Bonardi on 26 Jan, 2017 10:11 AM

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    Hi Michael,

    I suggest to ask to Dropbox or Apple about your symlinks problem, I'm afraid I can't help you.

    We'll consider other forms of sync in the future but right now is not one of our priorities.


  2. 2 Posted by Greg Saxton on 06 Sep, 2017 11:58 PM

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    Hi there
    I also love the bear app and purchased pro so that I could sync between devices. It was syncing well between my iPhone and MacBook however my company made me install Jamf on my MacBook and within that install they have included a profile which restricts iCloud. Now I can't sync between devices and the value that bear gave me over other editors is now gone. I suspect that many organizations do the same things with people using MacBooks. Any way of getting this to sync via something other than iCloud?

  3. Support Staff 3 Posted by Danilo Bonardi on 07 Sep, 2017 12:26 PM

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    I'm afraid iCloud is the only option available.

  4. 4 Posted by User on 07 Sep, 2017 04:38 PM

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    I hope you will continue to support iCloud for synchronization. With a solution like Day One with its own cloud, the App Bear would be useless for me and I cancel the pro subscription.

  5. 5 Posted by Elliot on 06 Dec, 2017 03:44 PM

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    Just wanted to +1 here. My company disables iCloud Drive like most enterprises, so sync is impossible with Bear. I love the app (nice work!), but unfortunately no sync is a dealbreaker.

  6. 6 Posted by Ritwick on 13 Dec, 2017 07:09 AM

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    My company disables iCloud by policy as well. So, like many other users, I can't use sync. Without sync, I can't move off Evernote, even though Bear is so much faster, easier to use and elegant!

    Please give us another way to sync. Dropbox works, or charge more for sync with built-in S3 support.

  7. 7 Posted by tod.w on 13 Dec, 2017 08:21 PM

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    This is an honest question:
    Do companies disallow connection to any/all cloud services or just iCloud? If just iCloud, why that service and not Dropbox, Evernote, Amazon, Microsoft, or Google (the least secure cloud)? Sounds pretty capricious to me. I'm truly puzzled by all the other open connections and no explanation why iCloud is not.

  8. 8 Posted by Ritwick on 14 Dec, 2017 04:04 PM

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    My company (one of the FANGs), does not physically block anything other than iCloud, although there are written policies against using Evernote etc to store work files. I've never understood why only iCloud is physically blocked, other than the fact that it may simply be easier to enforce on the company-owned macbooks using an administrative policy. But it does feel arbitrary.

  9. 9 Posted by Elliot on 15 Dec, 2017 04:14 AM

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    @tod.w iCloud is the only service that is actually blocked for me. I'm assuming that's because it's the only service with OS-level integration that can be easily disabled on enterprise-provisioned machines. I can still access iCloud from the web, along with all the other services that you mentioned, but my company has policies in place that disallow their use for work-related stuff. I agree that it's puzzling, but that's enterprise for you.

  10. 10 Posted by tod.w on 15 Dec, 2017 05:28 AM

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    @ritwick & elliot: thanks for your comments. It remains a mystery. I recall working at a Silicon Valley outfit in the late 90s that provided all Windows computers. There were a bunch of who were allowed to bring our own Macs as long as we understood that IT wouldn't (couldn't?) help resolve problems. That actually turned out to help the firm as we never had problems and IT had to reduce their staff as a result.

  11. 11 Posted by Vu Tran on 23 Dec, 2017 02:30 PM

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    I'm on the same boat. Can't have iCloud Drive enabled using the corp laptop. I love bear app though. Please enable separated theme purchase from your app. I would imagine it's as simple as forking the code, make the theme available by default and published a separated app (might be Colorful Bear or some thing) to app store with a price tag. It will be a fantastic stop-gap for people like me who want to support the app but was not able to.

    Another old thread that also request the same thing:

    Would you be able to share the upcoming features and if this make it to the list?

  12. 12 Posted by ErikP on 24 Dec, 2017 04:29 PM

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    Just another +1 for dropbox - not because iCloud is blocked, but because I want to access the notes from many systems, including linux. I want a folder full of text files syncing with dropbox, and freedom to access them in different ways and via different apps on different platforms.

  13. 13 Posted by Mark Shropshire on 01 Jan, 2018 07:44 PM

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    I would like to be able to have the option to sync Bear notes to my Synology with an encryption key. OmniFocus does this via webdav. DevonTHINK also uses webdav and AES-256 for encryption. I find that Bear may end up with notes that I don’t want in the iCloud space.

    Encrypting Bear data on iCloud would be a great first step in this direction. The key is to make sure users can define their own private key.


  14. 14 Posted by Ted on 19 Feb, 2018 08:35 PM

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    I just purchased a year subscription, but it is useless to me because my work computer has JAMF on in and restricts iCloud. Another option would be good to have.

  15. 15 Posted by Ted on 19 Feb, 2018 08:39 PM

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    I am very glad for the trial, I was able to cancel. Thank you for that. If you support non-icloud syncing in the future, I will probably subscribe.

  16. 16 Posted by erikpearson on 04 Mar, 2018 10:38 PM

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    Unfortunately, I have the same situation. My company prohibits iCloud Drive. I’m disappointed as I loved the evaluation of the free version and just upgraded to pro to switch over from Evernote.

  17. 17 Posted by Mike Ory on 14 Mar, 2018 09:15 PM

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    +1 because I want to point out that at my corporation (162,000) people - you can probably figure out who that is - we have iCloud blocked and thus i can't use Bear anymore. Just kinda thought I'd point this out because you are leaving out a LOT of potential customers by not supporting another cloud sync service. Yes we can use dropbox, google drive, etc. Why not consider making iCloud the primary supported sync method and having something else as a beta / unsupported / use-at-own-risk option? thanks for the consideration

  18. Support Staff 18 Posted by Danilo Bonardi on 15 Mar, 2018 09:26 AM

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    Unfortunately is not that easy because Bear uses CloudKit which is a cloud-based DBMS service which works on top of iCloud's structure. We may have something to announce regarding this matter in some time. I'm sorry I can't be more specific but is a really work-in-progress project and with some uncertainties.

  19. 19 Posted by Genki on 19 May, 2018 03:45 AM

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    +1 again.
    I've been following this topic for a year+. I'm not able to use iCloud on my work machine– the same situation as above. I'd be more than happy with an option that works to sync without iCloud (happy to help develop it, too!) I love Bear, but this is a blocker for people like me for extended use or to fully switch over from other apps.

  20. 20 Posted by Sophia on 14 Jun, 2018 02:00 AM

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    I purchased the bear today but i'm pretty upset to figure out that iCloud is disabled in company desktop, laptop and phone and I couldn't share any notes among these devices (I got 5 devices.....). This is really the main blocker for me and I really hope there is a way to sync using google drive or dropbox instead

  21. 21 Posted by Miguel on 14 Jun, 2018 10:15 PM

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    Same issue as others. Love the product, but can't use iCloud.

  22. 22 Posted by Mike on 27 Jun, 2018 02:56 PM

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    Today my company disabled iCloud as well. I use(d) Bear extensively, love it, but am now forced to look for a replacement (or another job ;-)). Anyway, just to add one to this list. Any efforts for a sync alternative are very much appreciated.

  23. 23 Posted by Clara on 10 Jul, 2018 09:05 AM

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    Was ready to make the switch to pro, but I can't use iCloud Drive on my work computer.

  24. 24 Posted by Luke MacNeil on 15 Jul, 2018 08:47 PM

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    +1. No iCloud Drive, would love to use bear, but can’t.

  25. 25 Posted by Tom on 24 Jul, 2018 02:52 PM

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    I'm heavily invested in using AWS S3 storage for all my "cloud" storage needs (and I eschew adding more stuff to iCloud,) especially where I need a lot of cheap, reliable storage. I know, this may be quite non-mainstream, but it sure would be nice if I could use Bear with an AWS S3 bucket. There's full API support so it seems like this should be a simple programming job.

  26. 26 Posted by Matt on 26 Jul, 2018 03:12 PM

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    +1, iCloud Drive is disabled at work.

  27. 27 Posted by Aaron on 30 Jul, 2018 08:37 PM

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    +1 iCloud disabled on all work machines

  28. 28 Posted by MJ on 22 Aug, 2018 10:23 PM

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    +1 for me as well.

  29. 29 Posted by Chris on 09 Sep, 2018 04:00 PM

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    +1 Company has iCloud blocked but not Google Drive or DropBox.

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