There are really two iClouds; one works, the other doesn’t

“Recent criticism of Apple’s iCloud has exposed just how fractured the brand actually is behind the scenes. Developers are having problems with some of the technologies bundled together under the name and it’s causing some confusion,” Matthew Panzarino reports for The Next Web. “The truth of the matter is that there are really two iClouds, which couldn’t be more different.”

“There is the iCloud that powers consumer applications like backups and Mail, and there is the developer-facing aspect of iCloud which powers things like Core Data syncing,” Panzarino reports. “There are really two iClouds, one that services Apple’s consumer services, and one that is offered up to developers to integrate into their apps.”

Panzarino reports, “The iCloud that is used for apps and services like iMessage, Mail, iCloud backup, iTunes, Photo Stream and more is built on a completely different technology stack from the developer APIs that are causing problems. iWork actually does use developer APIs, but only the (still rough) document syncing, not Core Data, which has been causing the most issues.”

Much more in the full article here.

Related articles:
Apple’s broken promise: Why doesn’t iCloud ‘just work’? – March 27, 2013
Apple’s iCloud dominates U.S. cloud storage market with 27% market share – March 22, 2013
Dropbox CEO criticizes iCloud’s ‘bizarre limitations’ – March 4, 2013
Apple launches comprehensive System Status page covering Services, Stores and iCloud – December 14, 2012


  1. The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, a book on the misbehaving iCloud by the Scottish author, Robert Louis Stevenson-Cook, published by Apple Publications. Now available on the iBookstore for $9.99.

    This book weighs in at 5GB for the free version covering Chapters 1 through 10. For Chapters 11 through 20, an additional $20 is required. Annual subscriptions only.

  2. Hmm. Sounds like fragmentation. I thought that was an Android thing. Perhaps Apple and Google are not as different as many here would like to believe. (Sorry, couldn’t resist taking a shot).

      1. No, this is clearly illustrated as fragmentation in the physical sense AT Apple, with poor or low communication within what is supposed to be a collaboration. This problem is classic, as old as humanity.

        Then there is the software fragmentation, the result of the above problem.

        I rant about this further below.

  3. What an odd article. Core Data has an iCloud component but its about abstracting your model from the database engine that powers it. If you visit and click on the button at the bottom about “Local Storage” you can read a description of Core Data that barely touches upon the cloud: “persistence” being a key term. I haven’t implemented Core Data in iCloud myself, but when I was looking into that as a solution to a design issue I did read a lot of developer commentary on it and do see there are struggles. But from an architectural standpoint, Core Data in the cloud uses journal entries as a way of giving apps a way to update their data (sync). This isn’t what the article talked about at all. And to assert that Pages, Keynote, etc. need to use Core Data (a database) is kind of weird, too.

  4. I’ve seen exactly this phenomenon before while at Eastman Kodak. You’d think the solution would be obvious. It is to me. But there is so much more to human behavior than just solving the damned problem. You also have to solve all the crazy stuff going on in people’s heads as well as good old WORTHLESS management that enables the distracting behavior.

    Therefore, it may well be useful for Tim Cook to get a chief of sanity, of encouraging collaboration, and even of head bashing, to get this stuff done and perfected. Otherwise that damned CLUNKING SOUND just gets louder Louder and LOUDER! Then there is the point where everyone outside the company gets too tired of it and ABANDONS the ship. Never a good thing. The investment required to get people back on board is EXPONENTIALLY more expensive than just solving the damned problem and keeping the customers and clients delighted, as they deserve to be. They are, after all, the real bosses of the show, like it or not.

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