More than a dozen iCloud services were unavailable or responding slowly for 7 hours

By Christian Zibreg on May 21, 2015

According to Apple’s status page, multiple iCloud services have been experiencing various issues for six hours straight. “Users may experience slower than normal response when using most iCloud services,” reads a notice on the webpage.

More than a dozen iCloud services were affected at post time, with many services going completely offline.

UPDATE: Apple said that all services were restored as of 6:30am PT, adding that the outages affected a whopping 40 percent of iCloud users. Read More

 

Apple doubles previous iCloud Contacts limit to 50,000 contact cards

By Christian Zibreg on May 15, 2015

As indicated in the official support document which was updated last evening, Apple has now doubled the previous iCloud Contacts limit from 25,000 contacts to 50,000 items.

These contact cards can be shared and synchronized with the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad devices, as well as with Mac and Windows PCs, and can be accessed through any modern web browser at iCloud.com. Read More

 

Apple acquires database company FoundationDB to bolster web services

By Jake Smith on Mar 24, 2015

As it looks to build out its web services, Apple has acquired FoundationDB, a company that specializes in speedy, durable NoSQL databases, Apple essentially confirmed to iDownloadBlog after TechCrunch first reported the news.

“Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans,” the company said in a boiler plate statement it gives when it acquires smaller companies.  Read More

 

Apple issues an apology for iTunes/iCloud downtime, blames outage on internal DNS error

By Christian Zibreg on Mar 11, 2015

Chances are you’ve by now realized that Apple’s content stores and other iCloud services are experiencing widespread downtime.

Earlier this morning, Twitter lit up with complaints from users around the world who reported being unable to download apps, music, movies, TV shows and books, as well as buy in-app content, with some even unable to sign in to online service like iCloud Mail.

In an official statement issued to CNBC, Apple’s apologized for inconveniencing customers and said the multi-hour outage is caused by “an internal DNS error” at the firm. As you could imagine, they’re scrambling to produce a fix.

UPDATE: following what became an eleven-hour long outage, the App Store and iTunes services are now back online. Read More

 

App Store, Mac App Store iTunes/iBooks Store and other iCloud services experiencing outage

By Christian Zibreg on Mar 11, 2015

If you’re unable to update your apps or buy books and music on Apple’s content stores, you’re not alone — there’s trouble in iCloud. Apple’s App Store, Mac App Store, iTunes Store and iBooks Store services have been experiencing widespread outage for straight six hours now.

At first, the company’s iCloud Status Page would not acknowledge the downtime. Earlier this morning, the company refreshed the dashboard which now shows the App Store, Mac App Store, iTunes Store and iBooks Store as being unavailable “for all users”.

UPDATE: following what became an eleven-hour long outage, the App Store and iTunes services are now back online. Read More

 

iCloud Photo Sharing: one of Apple’s best kept secrets

By Oliver Haslam on Mar 2, 2015

If you’re a frequent reader then you may remember my thoughts on Apple’s iCloud Photo Library beta and my lack of faith in Apple and its ability to keep my photos safe. Nobody wants to lose photographs of their kids or loved ones because Apple’s cloud solution had a meltdown one day.

And I just don’t have any expectation of that not happening at some point.

During my time spent testing iCloud Photo Library I rediscovered one feature that I had actually forgotten about since the days of the iOS 7 betas. It was as feature that I never made great use of at the time because some key members of my family didn’t have iPhones, but now that they do, I decided to revisit it.

The feature I am talking about is iCloud Photo Sharing, and it’s really rather good. Read More

 

iWork for iCloud now available to everyone

By Cody Lee on Feb 26, 2015

Apple today removed the beta tag from its iWork for iCloud productivity suite, which it opened up to non-Apple device owners earlier this month. Now, anyone with a modern browser and an Apple ID can utilize the web-based office apps which include Pages, Numbers and Keynote.

As seen in the above screenshot, users who don’t have an Apple ID can create one by following the “Create one now” link, regardless of whether or not they own a Mac or iOS device. All that’s required is that they give their name, email address, date of birth and pick security questions. Read More

 

Word, Excel and PowerPoint for iOS gain iCloud storage integration

By Christian Zibreg on Feb 17, 2015

Windows maker Microsoft today announced it’s bringing out new cloud storage integration to Word, Excel and PowerPoint apps for the iPhone and iPad, including the iCloud file picker on iOS and Office Online integration for viewing and editing.

The much appreciated support for Apple’s cloud-based storage permits customers to store their documents, presentations and spreadsheets to iCloud and access them on their other iOS and Mac devices. Read More

 

Will you trust iCloud with your memories?

By Oliver Haslam on Feb 6, 2015

The big news around the Apple blogs right now is the arrival of the first beta of Apple’s new Photos application for the Mac. Coming as part of the OS X 10.10.3 beta of Yosemite, Photos is the long awaited replacement for the aging iPhoto and to some extent, Aperture. In a world where we create gigabytes of photos each and every year, in part thanks to our iPhones, having a way to keep those images organized is vitally important to many of us. Apple thinks Photos, in combination with iCloud, is how we’re going to do just that.

But is it right? Read More

 

iCloud.com’s Photos web app gets image zoom function and sharing via email

By Christian Zibreg on Jan 26, 2015

German enthusiast blog iFun.de has spotted a pair of useful additions concerning the Photos web app on iCloud.com.

Two new features, which were added over the weekend, let you zoom in on an image via a new slider in the toolbar and send photos as email attachments directly from the web UI.

Previously, sharing via email was a tedious multi-step process where you had to download a photo to your computer before attaching it to an email message using a third-party desktop email application or a webmail service. Read More

 

Second Yosemite update looms: Wi-Fi fixes, iCloud Drive in Time Machine and more

By Christian Zibreg on Jan 26, 2015

Despite all the talk of a problematic decline in software quality, Apple is feeling your pain and isn’t standing still.

Currently in testing, a second update to OS X Yosemite is due later this week. First of all, Mac OS X 10.10.2 apparently squashes that annoying bug which manifests itself annoyingly as intermittent Wi-Fi issues.

Another one resolves a bug preventing your Mac from reconnecting to a Wi-Fi network after waking from sleep, causing you to manually disable and re-enable Wi-Fi, which gets old fast.

Next, iCloud Drive should be now accessible directly in Time Machine, including the ability to track changes to files and documents.

Moreover, 10.10.2 prevents the so-called ‘Thunderstrike’ hardware exploit which targets Macs equipped with high-bandwidth Thunderbolt ports and also includes other important fixes. Read More

 

Apple patents Touch ID iCloud sync, Apple Pay POS with embedded fingerprint sensor

By Christian Zibreg on Jan 15, 2015

Thursday, the United States Patent and Trademark Office published a very interesting and curious patent application by Apple which describes a technology seeking to synchronize Touch ID fingerprint data between devices through iCloud.

Titled “Finger biometric sensor data synchronization via a cloud computing device and related methods,” the invention would permit biometric data to be collected on a primary device, say your iPhone, and then uploaded to iCloud for dissemination to secondary devices. Read More

 

Apple patches serious vulnerability that let hackers take over your Apple ID

By Christian Zibreg on Jan 5, 2015

As of today, brute-forcing your way into your ex’s Apple ID or iCloud account by way of dictionary-based attacks is no longer a viable option.

As reported by James Cook of Business Insider, Apple’s reportedly patched a vulnerability in its iCloud service that determined hackers were able to exploit in order to hack into your Apple ID account.

Even though Apple IDs that employ weak passwords and don’t use Apple’s vaunted two-step verification feature were at greatest risk, we’re most certainly glad that Apple’s moved so swiftly to increase online security of its users. Read More

 

New Apple ID attack tool surfaces as Apple pulls Photos web app from iCloud.com

By Christian Zibreg on Jan 2, 2015

Friday, a new attack tool was posted to GitHub that uses brute-force dictionary attacks on iCloud and Apple ID accounts with weak passwords. Using a dictionary list containing more than 500 words, the ‘iDict’ tool pretends to be a legitimate iPhone device trying to log in to iCloud.com. Somehow, it manages to avoid Apple ID lockout restrictions.

People with complex passwords shouldn’t be concerned but those with simple ones based on commonly used words such as pet names are at risk. If you fall in that category, you’re wholeheartedly recommended to change your password and optionally enable two-step verification for your Apple ID.

Seemingly unrelated to ‘iDict’, the Photos web app mysteriously disappeared from the iCloud website this morning. Read More

 

Elcomsoft’s Phone Breaker can now help access iCloud data protected with 2-step verification

By Christian Zibreg on Dec 18, 2014

Moscow-based Elcomsoft, which produces a mobile forensic tool used by law enforcement around the world to gain access to a suspect’s iOS devices, has updated its Phone Breaker application which now makes it easier to bypass Apple’s two-step verification for Apple ID accounts in order to access underlying iCloud data, Engadget reported Thursday.

Not only does this include iWork documents stored in iCloud, but also data in third-party apps such as WhatsApp communications, 1Password password databases — even user dictionaries that may contain secret words and phrases — provided a user has enabled the app in question to sync data with iCloud.

Although hackers still need both your Apple ID username/password and a two-factor code sent to your trusted device (or a digital token stolen from your computer), once they do gain access to your account Phone Breaker can then create a digital token granting them permanent access to iCloud data, no two-step verification code needed — until you change your Apple ID password, that is. Read More

 

iCloud.com’s Find My iPhone replaces Google with Apple Maps for all users

By Christian Zibreg on Dec 9, 2014

Nearly two years after supplanting the stock Google Maps iOS app with its own much-maligned service that resulted in Scott Forstall’s ousting, Apple’s web-based Find My iPhone service available over at iCloud.com seems to have adopted Apple Maps backend for all users, reports 9to5Mac.

Previously, using the web-based version of Find My iPhone used to rely on Google Maps data. The move could indicate plans to roll out a web-based Apple Maps accessible to anyone through a web browser, allowing the iPhone maker to better compete with Google Maps. Read More

 

New report says deep organizational issues are hampering iCloud progress

By Cody Lee on Nov 24, 2014

A new report is out today claiming that Apple’s iCloud ambitions are being stymied by a wealth of organizational issues. Jessica Lessin of The Information spoke with roughly a dozen current and former Apple employees, who say these issues are holding up releases and complicating products.

Lessin uses the work-in-progress iCloud photo project—codenamed Hyperion—as an example. First unveiled in 2011, Steve Jobs’ vision for seamless photo-syncing has yet to be fully realized. iCloud Photo Library is a step in the right direction, but it missed the initial iOS 8 release and is still in beta. Read More

 

iCloud Photos app updated with new uploading capabilities

By Cody Lee on Nov 21, 2014

Apple updated its iCloud.com Photos app today, enabling the ability to upload photos. The feature, which developers have been testing on the iCloud beta site for the past two weeks, allows users to upload images to iCloud Photo Library.

Previously, those with iCloud Photo Library enabled in iOS 8 could view, download and delete their photos on iCloud.com, but there was no way to upload them. Now users can upload images—including those not taken with an iOS device. Read More

 

iWork for iCloud gets new languages, fonts, easier file renaming and more

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 21, 2014

As first reported by German blog Macerkopf.de [Google Translate], Apple has refreshed its iWork for iCloud suite of productivity web applications with several new features and improvements. Pages is now available in eight new languages:  Deutsch, Spanish, Brazilian Portuguese, French, Hebrew, Arabic, Simplified Chinese, Japanese, with bidirectional support for Arabic and Hebrew.

Keynote and Numbers have gained support for the same languages with the exception of Arabic and Hebrew. All three web applications have gained easier file renaming and a couple other editing features. Read More

 

Apple testing upload functionality on iCloud Photos

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 7, 2014

As part of yesterday’s batch of Apple app refreshes, among them the iMovie for iOS update which has enabled support for iCloud Photo Library and the ability to share videos with iCloud Photo Sharing, Apple has now added upload functionality to a beta version of the iCloud Photos web app available to registered iOS developers.

The features makes it easy to use a desktop computer to upload JPG images using the web interface at beta.icloud.com, making them available on all iOS devices and Macs that have iCloud Photo Library turned on. Read More

 
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