Some users hit by four-hour iCloud issues affecting Find My, iCloud Drive

Posted:
in General Discussion edited November 2020
Users of Apple's online services endured a number of issues on Sunday, with outages affecting a variety of iCloud features, including iCloud Drive, the iCloud Keychain, and the Find My app, among others.




Visible on Apple's System Status dashboard, the problems commenced at approximately 9:02am eastern time, across 14 different areas that include iCloud connectivity in some form. Across the collection of services, Apple advised "some users are affected," with the main issue for each being an inability to access the service itself or aspects within each.

The status page has since been updated to show all the issues as "Resolved." The issues were fixed at 1:57pm Eastern Time, which put the time to resolution at 4 hours 55 minutes.

Apple isn't listing any of the services as enduring an "Outage," as it did in September, but describes each as having an "Issue" instead. It is unclear how many users were affected, but Apple's description and avoidance of using the outage term suggests it is a small section of its total user base.

For example, iWork for iCloud's issues relate to users being "unable to share new files or add people to shared files. Meanwhile the Find My app wasn't allowing some users to find the location of people or devices, to list registered devices, play sounds, remotely wipe devices, or place them into lost mode.

The appearance on the System Status page is a confirmation that Apple is aware there are problems, and was working to rectify the issues. Typically such outages last a few hours, and are quickly fixed by Apple's support teams.

The list of services affected are:
  • Find My
  • iCloud Account & Sign In
  • iCloud Backup
  • iCloud Bookmarks & Tabs
  • iCloud Calendar
  • iCloud Contacts
  • iCloud Drive
  • iCloud Keychain
  • iCloud Mail
  • iCloud Storage Upgrades
  • iWork for iCloud
  • Mail Drop
  • Photos
  • Screen Time
Update 2:15 P.M. Eastern Time, November 1: Report updated with resolution to issues.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 7
    I’ve noticed a Shortcuts issue as well. Cannot add any shortcut. 
  • Reply 2 of 7
    dewmedewme Posts: 4,527member
    I don’t understand this statement: 

    “Typically such outages last a few hours, and are quickly fixed by Apple's support teams.”

    Outages that “last a few hours” have not, by definition, been fixed quickly. The downtime clock starts ticking as soon as the outage begins. 
  • Reply 3 of 7
    ivanhivanh Posts: 597member
    i was just working on a Word doc. It’s contents were disappearing like i had never written anything for hours. 
  • Reply 4 of 7
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 6,540administrator
    ivanh said:
    i was just working on a Word doc. It’s contents were disappearing like i had never written anything for hours. 
    Microsoft has been having some issues today too, and it's probably that. Even if you were saving in your Documents folder synced with iCloud, the local copy would be intact.
    edited November 2020 muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 5 of 7
    Issues in Photos has been going on for a couple of days. I haven’t been able to edit and save pictures since Wednesday.
    edited November 2020
  • Reply 6 of 7
    MacProMacPro Posts: 19,505member
    dewme said:
    I don’t understand this statement: 

    “Typically such outages last a few hours, and are quickly fixed by Apple's support teams.”

    Outages that “last a few hours” have not, by definition, been fixed quickly. The downtime clock starts ticking as soon as the outage begins. 
    It's all relative.  Try getting hit by a hurricane and losing power so your AC's off when it's over 100°F and 100% humidity.  'Outages lasting a few hours' is 'quickly' trust me. :)
  • Reply 7 of 7
    dewmedewme Posts: 4,527member
    MacPro said:
    dewme said:
    I don’t understand this statement: 

    “Typically such outages last a few hours, and are quickly fixed by Apple's support teams.”

    Outages that “last a few hours” have not, by definition, been fixed quickly. The downtime clock starts ticking as soon as the outage begins. 
    It's all relative.  Try getting hit by a hurricane and losing power so your AC's off when it's over 100°F and 100% humidity.  'Outages lasting a few hours' is 'quickly' trust me. :)
    Of course it's relative. It's relative to the customer's line of business that's disrupted and the severity of the service disruption. In 2016 the average cost of downtime for businesses was $260,000 per hour. I've worked with automotive plant supervisors who've quoted me $50,000 per minute for downtime. On the other hand, me losing access to "Find My..." for an hour isn't costing me a dime. 

    My point is that when a company like Apple gets into the "services" business and if they don't want to be portrayed as a novice, or a baby service provider of services that people cannot really rely upon, they really need to be keenly aware of how the best-in-class service providers measure actual performance. There are metrics and there are quantifiable targets that they can aspire to attain. There are specific business and engineering investments that can be made to improve service availability, such as redundancy, failover, backups, and geographic distribution of resources. For a data driven company like Apple, being able to quantify what "quality" means is essential to maintaining an honest and equitable relationship with their customers.

    Establishing quality of service expectations and guarantees is a high bar to attain, but we shouldn't expect anything less from Apple. So in my opinion, saying "outages last a few hours, and are quickly fixed" is us (not Apple) saying that we are willing to set the bar too low. But in reality, if you read the service level agreements that Apple provides for its services, they basically guarantee nothing other than your ability to use their services at your own risk and opt out if you don't like it. I guess if you look at it from Apple's perspective we should be happy as long as they "eventually" get things working again, no matter how long it takes. You have no other choice other than the exit door.

    Like you said, it's relative.
    edited November 2020
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