Though not common, over time there have been users who have reported entries duplicated either on their device or at Google/Plaxo. As we've made continued improvements to squash duplicates, we've kept in touch with those users. But, we want to broaden access to that information and make sure all our users know first, where duplicates can come from, and second, how to deal with them.
By far the most common cause actually isn't a NuevaSync problem at all, but a bug in the Apple synchronization client. The precise details are rather convoluted, but the quick version is that if an error ever happened when syncing, it was possible for the device to get confused and start adding entries it already had.
In response to that, we’ve written and deployed code that actively intercepts duplicates before they get committed. It isn't possible to intercept 100% of duplicates this way, but the results so far have been excellent. And since the code is in our server, it applies equally to devices of all types and versions: iPod, iPhone, Windows Mobile, Nokia, etc.
Apple apparently noticed the problem as well, and another major step came with the release of the 2.1 firmware. When we began testing the 2.1 beta releases a few weeks ago, we noticed an improvement in the devices' behavior; they did not create duplicates in the same circumstances as the 2.0 devices. This is a great enhancement for Apple users, and though we are still a little reserved about 2.1 (cf. some of our earlier posts), we are very pleased with this particular fix.
While those changes (and several other, smaller ones we've made) work to prevent duplicates, what do you do if you already have them? To answer that we have created some experimental tools to "dedupe" your account. The tools for Google Contacts and Calendar have been available for some time, but today marks the release for Plaxo. All these tools are specifically targeted at removing duplicates which might have been created through us. If your service offers its own tool, you may want to use that instead. Plaxo, for example, offers an advanced duplicate merging and removal tool which is well worth a look. Our tools are experimental and by their nature designed to delete entries. Make a backup first and exercise caution when using them!
They can be accessed at:
Detection and removal can take a few minutes, so be patient when it runs. If a lot of entries are removed, it is probably a good idea to resync your device afterward (cf. https://www.nuevasync.com/PublicSite/user/troubleshooting.htm), but that is entirely up to you.
By raw numbers, duplicates have never been common, but nevertheless they have been one of--and perhaps the--most serious of issues to us. With these new measures, we’re hoping most users will never have a problem. If you do, e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll do everything we can to get it fixed and you back syncing.
As always, many thanks to our users!