Each month, I seem to run out of data on my (allegedly) unlimited Verizon data plan.

The reason for this is simple: By the time I get out the door each morning, I invariably have not taken my iPad out of my bag since the previous evening. I settle in for my commute, and that’s when I start the process of downloading mail, PDFs, Tweets, etc.

I want an app that does the following:

Each morning at a preset time, it awakens the iPad. It updates a variety of apps in the warm bosom of my WiFi, including:

-Google Voice

Plus my media consumption of:

-TBP Mobile
-Any Podcasts I subscribe to

And syncs my updated calendar and contacts.

There is simply no reason to pay for the cellular bandwidth for this other than my writing takes precedence over my remembering to sync all of this.

Any suggestions as to how to script this? It seems like it should be pretty easy — even part of the IOS software.


Category: Web/Tech

Please use the comments to demonstrate your own ignorance, unfamiliarity with empirical data and lack of respect for scientific knowledge. Be sure to create straw men and argue against things I have neither said nor implied. If you could repeat previously discredited memes or steer the conversation into irrelevant, off topic discussions, it would be appreciated. Lastly, kindly forgo all civility in your discourse . . . you are, after all, anonymous.

30 Responses to “Find / Design This iPad App !”

  1. quadrillion.me says:

    I think it is more complicated than that.

    Every app that you mention above should expose an API, syncNow() that can be called externally.

    If such an API exists, then you can script.
    for eachApp in myList

    not sure whether the iOS framework provides a default API which every app *must* implement or not.

    If not, it looks a big ask for me

  2. VennData says:

    Ask Steve Ballmer, he’ll have it ready for you in a couple years, after someone else has done it.

  3. Drizzt says:

    Think you need an Android for that.

  4. cswake says:

    ++ Tasker for Android can do that. (And much more.)

  5. ryancerium says:

    It does seem pretty easy, doesn’t it? Unfortunately iOS doesn’t let apps cross-communicate. So any app you download can’t wake another app up and tell it what to do. That’s why you can’t download a pdf from your email and view it in Adobe Acrobat.

  6. abstutz says:

    The new(ish) podcast app does have a setting to auto-download when connected to wifi. Just go to utilities:setting:podcast app

    Select auto download: on; use cellular data: off

    It has never let me down. I always start my commute fully loaded.

    Only a small win on a great overall concept, but you have to take why you can get.

  7. Greg0658 says:

    I’ll pitch in what I can .. 1st not sure of your tech savyness – but imo your on it .. 2nd barely can keep on it with my equipment – why I shy away from these helps

    I’d suggest after your wifi download at teeth brush time – save to your own internal memory** then turn off 3G or 4G cell world re-downloading* and read from your offline offcloud memory .. that will define for you in the real 3D world what can be saved in this manor

    another suggestion is switch off videoApp downloads – audioApp is less bandwidth – but not text bandwidth either (? still pictures – not a biggy – then again you run TBP :-)

    * you may need a 2nd unit – because you don’t want to be without phone calls and a full working unit when you discover what you thought was available isn’t

    ** your question of an App that does all the sub text links without a click start – don’t know of one .. but if there’s a guy that can get 1 its you

  8. jswede says:

    1st, jailbreak. 2nd, download ischeduler


  9. speaking of..”…the warm bosom of my WiFi…”

    on the Tangent..

  10. ToNYC says:

    Only Steve Jobs could create the belief that anything was possible using whatever iWoz was available at the time. Now there is only remaining his artful packager, his industrial Carl Faberge, Jony Ive, and Tim Cook, the supply-chain whiz. The run-off of Steve’s embedded expectations out of a locked-down Unix variant that was born to do only so much, is best viewed as a long walk off a short pier.
    I remember the requests to put more on the page and then make it bigger; it reminded me to retire from that business.

  11. jonas says:

    It’ll never be a priority. The cell phone industry wants you to be dependent on cellular data. They want you to use up all that bandwidth for ads and background communications. Not for your discretionary data that you actually care about.

  12. richartruddie says:

    At first thought you would have to accept any of the updates or downloads perhaps via push notifications. It also looks like if you jailbreak your device you can setup an automatic downloader. Thought better to ask the apple community for you: https://discussions.apple.com/thread/4787016

  13. wisedup says:

    seems that iCloud tabs offer shared sync’ing of full web pages

    you could create simple script that runs on your Mac to access the reading list every morning –
    if the iPad is connected it should be sync’d with full pages so you can read off-line

  14. jelyon says:

    Another option might be a 4G hotspot like Clear’s. we have one and it works fairly well, though the logical caveats would apply, and acknowledging yet another monthly bill.

  15. Investradamus says:

    Tasker > *

    Also, have you looked at apps like Flipboard or Google Currents? You can aggregate all your newspaper/blog sources into one app. With Flipboard, you can also integrate your facebook, twitter, or whatever other social media account into the app as well as post from within the app or share media/articles from the app to your social media account.

    If you’re willing to let your ipad really flex its muscles, jailbreak it and then check out Timer Options:

  16. huxrules says:

    sounds stupid but why not set an alarm on the ipad for about when you wake up in the morning. you would have two alarms to turn off in the morning but that could possibly wake it up enough.


    BR: Flow. When I am writing, the last thing I want to do is interrupt that with admin tasks for the iPad.

    PS: I’ve never used an alarm clock in my life. I get up whenever my brain thinks I’ve had enough sleep

  17. rashley314 says:

    That app is available… Called Alfred… Works for Bruce Wayne… Also does dry cleaning, cooks breakfast, etc…

  18. I am not looking to Jailbreak the ipad

  19. singfoom says:

    I don’t have an over-arching solution for you, but at least for your podcast consumption, there’s a great app called Downcast that automatically downloads your podcasts for you when you hit wifi and only then. Got it on the iPhone, I imagine there’s a version available for iPad….

  20. danm says:

    Everything is synched for me…

    On my surface, I have all my readings by provider. And I even wake up to a list of articles generated by categories defined by search buzzwords.

    Looks like Apple will need to crank up the speed on its treadmill…

  21. denis_bda says:


    What app are you using for managing your readings on your surface or do you have an article you can suggest to get that setup? Sounds great.


    Unfortunately without jailbreaking or considering another device, iOS doesn’t support what you want to do. In the same line of “you’re holding it wrong” the general premise is that Apple caters to a very specific user group. If your usage falls outside of that spectrum you’re out of luck for the time being.

    Of note, I have both a surface rt and an ipad 2. The surface has become my defacto tablet for getting anything done. These days I only use my ipad for games and my Zeo sleep app.

  22. jswede says:

    why would you not jailbreak? you’re really missing out. it doesn’t ‘break’ anything – just opens up your possibilities. much like android ecosystem. the ipad works perfectly fine and if you regret it you can just reset it back to factory settings.

  23. danm says:


    Nothing complicated. On my windows page, I have all the icons for each useful program… in the icon boxes you can see new undated info streaming in… new emails, new appointments from my calendar, messaging, news headlines, market info, contacts…

    My icons are grouped by utility. I have a group of icons for all my news providers… Microsoft aggregates and seems to have some kind of deal with them because I can read some articles without having a subsription.

    Then I have another group of icons which were created using buzz words… i.e. Canadian real estate bubble, pension funds… these stream articles with these buzz words.

    All my other computers and phones are synched. My headaches now is remembering to charge batteries!

    Another issue that is popping up is the need for putting limits. I am too connected and need to schedule “no techno” breaks.

  24. danm says:


    I’m a simple user… I’ll have to ask the techie in my house for more tips!

  25. constantnormal says:

    BR … if you are not willing to jailbreak the iPad (and I quite understand and agree with that decision), there is only one short-term anwser, that is to go Android. Of course, you understand that is not without its own problems and issues …

    If you really want a fix for this, it must come from Apple, and at the system, not the app level. iOS is constructed the way that it is in order to make it stone-simple for the non-tech user, from 2 to 102, and it works. They are not about to change that.

    But you have a platform, and a lot of influence that you could wield if you so chose … hey, if David Einhorn can get Apple to do what they were planning on doing anyhow, who’s to say that you might not be able to move the mountain?

    Here’s what I would propose:

    Set up a blog post for readers to use to send an email to Eddy Cue (and maybe Tim Cook, but he’s a busy guy and this is not part of his task list, he has people for that) requesting the introduction of a “Pro” version of iOS, similar to the server version of OS X, that has a lot of the capabilities within the system unlocked and made accessible. These would include (but not be limited to):

    1) a scripting mechanism that would enable interprocess control, similar to AppleScript (from a functional perspective only, I am not suggesting AS for the iPad), over apps that adhere to the API (which would be ALL of them)

    2) ability to specify a limited number of tasks that are permitted to perform background processing, under the control of the scripting mechanism

    3) a capability to sync keychains with a Mac thru iCloud (I’d be surprised if that does not arrive in iOS 7, but I’ve been expecting it for several releases now, and have always been disappointed)

    4) an ability to create simple “timer” scripts that would kick off simple events according to a schedule, possibly as an extension to the Calendar app, the way that alerts are managed in the OS X Calendar app, or by extending the Notifications support to act, as well as notify.

    You can add to this list, I’m sure there are other things that professionals would like to have, that will not work within the straightjackets that apps run under, that would of necessity require system-level support. I think that a “Pro” version of iOS would sell quite well in the corporate markets ($99 sounds about right to me, it ought to make Apple at least think about it).

    THAT is the only way that what you want can come about within the context of iPads. I’ll be a signatory to the request.

  26. koffeedragon says:

    Wow! Lots of great ideas here.

    If you’re still looking for a possible solution – you might checked out Launch Center Pro. It’s pretty flexible and might be just what you’re looking for. Honestly, a little geeky – but limited only to your imagination.

    Website is here: http://appcubby.com/launch-center/

    Basically, LCP enables users to script “actions”. Remember keystroke macros?
    Scripts can be associated with a button on the “launchpad.” Alternatively, you can also schedule them to occur at some later time.
    Supported apps are listed here: http://actions.appcubby.com/
    The twitter account is pretty helpful, too: @launchcenterpro

    Hope this helps!

  27. BR, I had this same problem for my business–I have employees that need to sync apps when they are on site before they deploy into the field where they often don’t have a cell signal. I hired consultants and developers and spent several thousand dollars to find the answer: Android.

    There was resistance for the switch, but remember that the perceived cost of switching is always greater than the actual cost. Stop on your way home today and buy a 7 inch, $200 Samsung Galaxy Tab 2. Keep your iOS devices for now. In 60 days you will know if it is the right answer. Worst case you will be out a couple hundred bucks and will have learned something about the future of both Apple and Android.

  28. danm says:

    Sorry… realized I was off topic… I was focusing on syncing functionality instead of dealing with the issue of data download!

  29. tnoll says:

    Don’t know if you have a desktop Mac but if you dock to it at night can you user Automator?

  30. Bob A says:

    why not jailbreak??? just do it

    apples rules are like having the church lady for a mom