The first time the app is synchronised it usually takes a long time because it needs to download the whole database over a typically-slow Internet connection. That isn’t a problem for people like supervisors who use the app often because they only need to send/receive new and changed data. For new app users though, it is important to make allowance for that first synch taking some time. It is hard to estimate the time, because that depends on database size and connection speed, but it could take an hour or more.
After the app stops saying “Synchronising” it will still continue getting information, especially image signatures. That is intentional behaviour, because signatures are images (a relatively large kind of data) and we don’t want to prevent people being able to use the app while waiting for that. You can see whether that ‘secondary’ synchronisation is occurring by looking for the synchronising icon in the top left corner of APE Mobile, it looks like spokes on a wheel, and turns continuously while getting secondary data. When that is complete then it will instead just appear momentarily every 15 seconds.
I recommend getting ALL of the data downloaded into a new app installation before using it fully, because the user won’t be able to get PDFs until that is all finished.
When the app displays “Synchronising”, it will prevent the iPad going to sleep, but the iPad can go into sleep mode during the secondary data download (stopping that prematurely). So I recommend temporarily preventing the iPad from going to sleep, by selecting “Never” in the iPad's Settings => General => Auto-Lock.
Preferably have the iPad connected to power during a long synchronisation, to prevent running out of battery power.
A new version of the app was released on 11/Sept/2015, which speeds-up synchronisation. Please see Subscribing to Projects.