Posts Understanding Pinboard Sync v1

Understanding Pinboard Sync v1

Pins 1.0 is built against the Pinboard v1 API which was modeled after v1 API and last updated back in 2014. It has a lot of limitations. By understanding how Pins works under the hood, you’ll be able to use the app more effectively.

Initial Sync

First time you log into Pins, Pins will perform an initial sync which can take a lot of time depending on how many bookmarks you have in your account. Don’t worry - Pins can handle anything from 1,000 to 100,000 bookmarks (and maybe even more). Tips:

  1. Turn Auto-Lock to 5 minutes by going to Settings > Display & Brightness if you have more than 30,000 bookmarks.
  2. Keep Pins open and do not switch to another app while it’s downloading your bookmarks for the first time.

The progress bar might appear frozen for a while and that’s normal. Pins needs time to properly communicate with Pinboard API. If it goes on for more than 5 minutes, retry, and if it still doesn’t work for you, contact me.

Your bookmarks are stored locally so that you have access to them anywhere, anytime.

Subsequent Updates

Once initial sync has been done, next time you pull-to-refresh to trigger an update, Pins asks Pinboard API to give it the new bookmarks only1. If nothing is returned, Pins retrieves the details of up to 1002 of your most recent bookmarks to see if you have changed any of them elsewhere (using the web site or another device) and update them accordingly.

Manual Updates

As of Pins 1.0, you can trigger an update by tapping on the Refresh button on the main screen or pulling-to-refresh any bookmark list. The app does this to avoid hitting on Pinboard server too much.

Automatic Updates

That being said, Pins will automatically perform an update of your bookmarks when you create a bookmark via the share extension or Shortcut.

Re-Download All Bookmarks

Because of the way Pins does its data sync, if you make changes to some ancient bookmarks elsewhere, Pins will inevitably get out of sync with Pinboard. In that case, trigger a re-download of all your bookmarks by either of these options:

  1. Long press on the Refresh button and choose Re-Download All Bookmarks.
  2. Or, go to ? > Troubleshooting > Re-Download All Bookmarks.

Log Out

Pins doesn’t automatically delete your bookmarks off the device upon logging out as it may take a lot of time to download everything. I leave that decision to you — if you really want to start from scratch, delete Pins off your device and reinstall it.

  1. What about updates? Well, this is an API limitation. 

  2. Why only 100? Another API limitation, sorry. 

This post is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 by the author.