November 19, 2012
Apple Experiences Outages To Some Of Its iCloud Services
Michael Harper for redOrbit.com — Your Universe Online
Apple´s iCloud is a service which tends to operate within 2 extremes. When it´s fully operational, iCloud works like a dream. Files, music and photos are available on each and every device, changes to contacts are almost instantly reflected on both Mac and other iOS devices, and iMessage allows one to chat on Mac without having to reach across the room for the iPhone. However, when it doesn´t work, it can be frustrating.
iMessage and FaceTime usually take the hit first, (Siri also goes missing from time to time, but that´s another story) often sending people to complain about this down time on Twitter and other Web sites. Though not an uncommon act of any company who provides cloud-based services, Apple has even set up a site for users to monitor the status of their cloud, and this weekend it´s likely many did.
According to Twitter, (and later confirmed on Apple´s iCloud System Status page) “some” users were unable to use iMessage and FaceTime on Sunday evening. While these services can sometimes go spotty for moments at a time, this recent outage was iMessage´s third time in as many months and just so happens to coincide with Apple´s release of iOS 6. Some members of redOrbit.com were a part of “some” users who were affected by this iMessage outage, with the messages to be sent stuck in “sending” limbo for several moments until finally going through as regular SMS text messages.
FaceTime is also listed in this latest service outage. Since it´s very likely more iOS customers use iMessage more frequently than FaceTime, this issue didn´t receive too much coverage.
Now, Apple has confirmed these issues and is now saying they´ve been fixed via their System Status web page.
iMessage is Apple´s device-to-device messaging service, allowing iOS and Mac users to send messages to one another without counting against their text message plan. iMessage has become so popular and widespread among the millions of iPhone and iPad toters that one mobile analyst has said it´s beginning to affect the national average of texts sent every month.
While Apple may have restored service to FaceTime and iMessage yesterday, many are waking up this morning and finding that they music stored with iTunes Match is now unavailable. According to AppleInsider, users began to notice this outage as early as 8AM Eastern this morning. These users are saying music stored in iTunes Match is not available for streaming and therefore cannot be played on their Apple TVs, iOS devices or Macs.
iTunes Match is a subscription-based service which has only been available for a little over a year. As such, many who signed up last year when the service first launched have just had their subscriptions renewed, causing some to wonder if something went awry in the auto-renewal process. This writer can also confirm these issues with iTunes Match, though the same System Service page at Apple.com currently says nothing about this outage.
While iTunes Match and FaceTime may not go down as often as other services, the folks at 9to5Mac.com managed to sum up the iMessage outage rather succinctly. In a tweet from last night, @9to5Mac said, “Yes, iMessage is down again. You guys want a post for something that happens a few times a week?”
Hopefully Apple continues to strengthen their iCloud services and makes these outages less of a common occurrence.
After all, it only “just works” if it just works.