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Sync problem with Bamboo Spark Inkspace app

Posted: Wed 25. Jan 2017, 05:50
by mosheC2017
I have been using the Bamboo Spark for about 6 months. The way I use it is by takin notes all day long, at lectures. When back at home, the sync works, but misses pages. Somtimes many pages. I tried several ways to take nores. 1 take note on a page, then press the page botton and initiate a new page and so on. Then I tried to write a long note, and then split it in pages. But it missed syncing the note. Customer support only suggested reseting, which I did, but no avail. I use the Inkspace app in android.

Any thoughts?

Re: Sync problem with Bamboo Spark Inkspace app

Posted: Wed 25. Jan 2017, 07:59
by wacom1
If you have Android 6, make sure to turn On 'location based services'. There is a known bug in Android, where Bluetooth connections intermittently stop, don't see a BT devices etc. This could cause such a sync problem as well.

Re: Sync problem with Bamboo Spark Inkspace app

Posted: Thu 4. May 2017, 22:38
by NoneValle
Any news on this? I have the same issue. Tech support did not reply my opened case and now I have an extremly expensive and heavy case to carry my Tablet.

Worst client experience ever

I activated location (though its certainly not needed for this kind of application unless you are trying to somehow spy your customer) and it still fails

Re: Sync problem with Bamboo Spark Inkspace app

Posted: Fri 5. May 2017, 06:38
by wacom1
It is a known problem that Android Bluetooth connections are not stable enough for data transport, if 'location based services' is off. You won't notice it with short bursts of data transfer or a BT headset, but for Spark there is data send in both directions. In this case activation location based services helps a lot for reliable connections.

Re: Sync problem with Bamboo Spark Inkspace app

Posted: Tue 16. May 2017, 05:57
by lizardb0y
Android uses MAC address randomisation as specified in the Bluetooth LE standard when scanning for devices. This is implemented in order to maintain some privacy from third parties trying to track you using BLE or WiFi beacons from your device, and is perfectly normal. Thuis is why it's tied to the Location Services service, and is not a bug but rather a correct implementation of the standard. Indeed the MAC randomisation is typically built into the BLE chipset and is not actually done by the OS, which just turns it on or off.

there is some expplnation of this on the Android Developer site.

If the Inkspace App to scan for the Spark then the Spark will always see a different MAC address each time. If the Spark is expecting a beacon from the Android device using a consistent MAC address that might explain the issue. If the Spark were properly paired with the Android device (using the Bluetooth pairing settings) this would not be an issue, but that is not how it appears to have been designed.

Re: Sync problem with Bamboo Spark Inkspace app

Posted: Tue 16. May 2017, 08:52
by wacom1
Thanks for your explanations. - As far as I understand a direct pairing of Bamboo Spark with Android devices is not possible, because there is no BT profile for such an input device - it doesn't operate as mouse, but is sending vector data and there is no system driver/handling for that. That is why pairing needs to be done individally within apps (same on iOS).

Re: Sync problem with Bamboo Spark Inkspace app

Posted: Wed 17. May 2017, 04:00
by lizardb0y
wacom1 wrote:Thanks for your explanations. - As far as I understand a direct pairing of Bamboo Spark with Android devices is not possible, because there is no BT profile for such an input device - it doesn't operate as mouse, but is sending vector data and there is no system driver/handling for that. That is why pairing needs to be done individally within apps (same on iOS).

Yes, that is correct. With BLE devices which typically transmit only small amounts of data (think fitness trackers) there is no OS level pairing process in the way there is with mice, keyboiards, headsets and the like. Instead there is an application level pairing. The application and device code must be specifically written to allow persistent connections as the MAC addresses change. There is a good plain language explanation of this process on the Bluetooth SIG blog.

Essentially the problem appears to be caused by flaws in Wacom's implementation that does not account for persistent connections with LE privacy. It may well require both a Spark firmware update and an app update to resolve this issue. Note that even with location services turned on randomisation is still used for beacons as required by the specification and Spark syncing is thus proving unreliable.

I get at best 1 page in 3 successfully syncing, and often losing an entire day's notes. Unsynced notes are permanently lost in contradiction to Wacom's assertion that they will be stored until they are successfully synced. I assume that Wacom have failed to implment any post-transfer success or integrity checks. I have therefore had to resort back to a pad and paper with Evernote document scanning for the lost notes. Unless this issue is resolved it renders my Bamboo Spark entirely pointless and a waste of money.

Re: Sync problem with Bamboo Spark Inkspace app

Posted: Wed 17. May 2017, 08:01
by wacom1
Perhaps something is not ok with your Spark. After transfering a page from Spark to your mobile device a checksum is send and verified in the App. If that is ok, a command is send back to the Spark to delete that page from memory. Without that command the page is kept and will be synched again. - The reaction on the side of Spark is a fixed program in firmware, it should not be possible, that data disappears that has not been transmitted successfully to the Inkspace App.

Re: Sync problem with Bamboo Spark Inkspace app

Posted: Wed 17. May 2017, 22:38
by lizardb0y
wacom1 wrote:The reaction on the side of Spark is a fixed program in firmware, it should not be possible, that data disappears that has not been transmitted successfully to the Inkspace App.

Thanks for the info. It's good to know that checks should be being performed to avoid data loss.

If it were only me experiencing this problem I'd certainly agree that it is likely to be a fault. I see reports of exactly the same issue from others. I've had a support call open for some time but that seems to just go around on circles of "reset your Spark, clear cache and app data, reinstall the app, re-login to your account" with no resolution in sight. Hopefully this goes somewhere more fruitful soon.

Re: Sync problem with Bamboo Spark Inkspace app

Posted: Wed 12. Jul 2017, 08:23
by takeoo111111
Hey,
are there any news/progress in this case? Can be predicted when an update will be available?

It would be good for Wacom's image to tell their customers what is going on, what the progress is and what to expect in the future. Just don't try to bury that there are problems by telling them to do a reinstall/reset etc. it just wastes our/your time and the customers get annoyed even more.
It's really a great product but the user experience is highly unsatisfying. It's not an issue that cannot be fixed!