Why are there two Aeon Timeline iCloud Folders?

If you have used the previous version of Aeon Timeline on iOS and then upgraded to Aeon Timeline 3, you may discover that there are two different Aeon Timeline folders in your iCloud folder.

This is an unfortunate side effect of a requirement imposed on us by Apple that forced us to create a brand new developer account (see below).

Within Apple's iOS walled garden, it is not possible for an application to use an iCloud account created by another developer account, which means that our new Aeon Timeline 3 app has to create its own folder in iCloud.

What impact does this have?

The impact of this is minimal:

  • Aeon Timeline 3 is still able to read from the other Aeon Timeline folder when you navigate into it.
  • Aeon Timeline 3 is still able to open any Aeon Timeline 2 file stored anywhere in your iCloud folder, including the old Aeon Timeline folder

But it is definitely annoying, and potentially confusing! 

If you can't find a file where you expect it in iCloud, make sure you check for a second Aeon Timeline folder that may contain the file.

We can only apologise. Read on if you want the gory details.

Why did this occur?

As we have grown to take on more employees, our company structure needed to change to keep pace. As part of this, we formed a new company, Timeline.App Pty Ltd, in place of the trust that owned the application previously.

Unfortunately, we then ran head-first into a number of inflexible and illogical Apple policies:

  • We were unable to change our existing Apple Developer account to match our new company name and tax identification numbers (a legal requirement for us to continue), so Apple would require us to create a brand new developer account with no connection with the old one
  • Should we do so, we would then unable to transfer our old Aeon Timeline applications to be owned by this new developer account. Apple has a mechanism to allow this, but only for apps that do not have any iCloud entitlements
    • Which basically excludes every productivity app that makes use of iCloud (i.e. all of them) and was available on iOS 10 or earlier
  • We were told we could make a request for special consideration to have our account name changed if we provided evidence of why it needed to occur and could demonstrate that the ownership was the same.
    • However, this would only be possible if we did not create the new Apple account first.

We elected to make the request, as we knew that would give us the best possible chance to support our existing customers fully.

So we submitted all the documentation, including fervent arguments about why it would be a much better outcome for our users. Our Apple representative forwarded it onto the mystical group within Apple that could make the decision, and we waited.

And waited. And waited.

Our Apple representative could not tell us anything about the status of the request. Apparently the walls are built high within Apple.

After six months of receiving no response, nor any indication of when we might hear a response, we gave up.

We needed to create the new account so that we could launch iOS beta testing, which had been held up for months while we waited, and the moment we created that account, our original request was cancelled.

So we never did hear whether our request would have been successful. It is my honest belief that Apple never intended to provide any response to the request no matter how long we waited.