iCloud outage Dec 31st 2012 - Jan 2nd 2013

iCloud is an amazing technology, unfortunately it sometimes doesn’t “just works”.

Last year, during New Year’s eve, I received a bug report from a customer staying that Accessbox (our newest app) was failing to launch. With RememberTheOil we have experienced a few cases, specially during weekends where iCloud initial setup failed. Historically, this has been easily resolved with a few steps, but this time the issue seem more complicated.

I was able to duplicate the issue by doing a fresh install of the app. To my surprise, all my tricks to get the app working were failing. After long hours of research I discovered the other developers were facing the same problem. It became obvious for all the developers in Apple’s forums that this was an iCloud outage. Apple did not acknowledge the issue.

Any app using Documents and Data on iCloud where failing to upload data.

Eventually Apple fixed the problem during January 2nd. But the damage was done. I personally lost my family time during our vacations (that’s the price of being and independent developer) but also we lost the precious 5 stars ratings on RememberTheOil due to a bad review from a customer.

It makes us wonder if we should abandon the use of iCloud since all the negative reviews we have received to our apps have been mostly driven by iCloud problems.

But we learned a lot from this experience, and will make our apps stronger. I believe Apple will eventually fix their issues. In the meantime, we will keep helping our customers to solve this problems.