Why are Apple’s cloud services so weak?

“Stop me if you’ve heard this one: “Weeks after its high-profile launch, Apple’s [new cloud service] has been drawing widespread criticism from [iPhone/iPad/Mac] users angry about a troubling pattern of [lost files/downtime/crashes/bandwidth overages/skin rashes],” Rob Pegoraro writes for Yahoo Tech. “(Just kidding about the rashes. Sorry, Apple.)”

“This moment-of-truth story about flaws found in a new Apple service is becoming a core part of the Apple news cycle, up there with next-iDevice rumor stories and one-month-later assessments of life with Apple gadgets,” Pegoraro writes. “But why?”

“Two longtime Apple observers could only suggest that this pattern of dysfunctionality lies in the company’s own sense of its priorities, however misguided it might be,” Pegoraro writes. “‘Apple is more interested in moving fast on the OS (both iOS and OS X) sides than making sure its software (iTunes, iPhotos, and Photos, notably) keeps up, and services seem to fall below that,’ wrote Glenn Fleishman, a Macworld columnist with some two decades of experience covering the company. ‘If services quality and reliability were truly important to Apple, it could deploy them well.’ ‘Many of Apple’s services are free, and those that aren’t don’t contribute to the company’s bottom line in a significant way,’ wrote Adam Engst, who co-founded the TidBITS newsletter in 1990 and still runs the site. ‘In Apple’s world, services are always subordinate to software, and software exists to sell hardware.'”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: As we wrote last month:

It’s a shame alright. It’s also incompetence.

This is just the latest in a years-long litany of outages and issues.

If Apple, the world’s most valuable company, can’t figure out cloud services by now, there is something wrong with Apple’s management. There is something wrong with Apple’s priorities. The cloud is the future. It needs to be a top priority, not an afterthought. It needs to work. Not be a running joke that fouls up people’s lives. An iPhone with a wonky cloud is a wonky smartphone. A Mac with a faulty cloud is a faulty personal computer. The same goes for iPad, iPod, Apple Watch, and Apple TV.

The success of Apple’s hardware products depends on iCloud (and all that it entails) just working.

Time’s up. What’s it going to take to finally get your iCloud act together, Mr. Cook? Who’s responsible (Eddy Cue is Apple’s Senior Vice President, Internet Software and Services) and what’s the price, if any, that they pay for repeated failure?

Maybe it’s time for Cue to button up his shirt, park the Ferrari, and get to work? Or perhaps it’s time you threw some cash at some Google and Amazon employees in order to get some people in there who can perform competently since your in-house staff obviously can’t handle it?

Can anyone tell me what MobileMe is supposed to do? (someone helpfully gives the answer) So why the fuck doesn’t it do that? …You’ve tarnished Apple’s reputation. You should hate each other for having let each other down. — Steve Jobs, August 2008.

Jobs then named a new executive on the spot to run the team.

Apple fails yet again in the cloud: How to use Apple Music without iCloud Music Library – July 23, 2015
Jim Dalrymple: Apple Music is a nightmare, and I’m done with it – July 23, 2015
Apple Music, Beats 1, App Store service restored after four-hour outage for some users – July 21, 2015
Why Apple’s iMessage is unreliable: Apple is juggling too many balls in the cloud – June 23, 2015
Apple’s iTunes and App stores’ costly 12-hour outage – March 12, 2015
Apple’s iTunes, app stores, iCloud services experience outages worldwide – March 11, 2015
iCloud is a major weakness: Will Apple ever fix it? – January 25, 2015
iCloud accounts at risk after hacker releases tool allowing access to any login – January 2, 2015
Apple’s online stores hit with 2nd outage this week – September 4, 2014
Overnight outage of Apple’s iCloud, online store lasted hours – October 9, 2013
Service outages affect Apple’s App Store, iTunes, and FaceTime for hours – August 7, 2013
Apple’s iCloud services again hit by worldwide outage – April 23, 2013
Apple confirms multiple service outages; App Store, iTunes and Calendar still down for some – February 21, 2013
Apple’s iMessage and FaceTime suffer another significant outage Sunday – November 19, 2012
Apple’s iTunes Match down as Apple’s iCloud problems continue – November 19, 2012
Class-action lawsuit accuses Apple of botching MobileMe to iCloud transition – May 18, 2012


  1. it took over a week to get our 24,947 songs (aac lossless) moved to icloud. the ones that matched went pretty quickly but the 6,000 or so that didn’t match took a long time.

    1. Matched ones won’t have taken any time. Uploading files is as much as anything going to be limited by your connection with uploads generally being far slower than downloads.

  2. Me no trust iCloud, me sleep much better at night. Sad but true. As a stockholder I want Apple firing on ALL cylinders to be the true unequivocal leader in every space they’re in, with critic proof execution. With all the money they’ve got to accomplish this, there’s little excuse.

  3. I guess I’m lucky. iCloud has always functioned very well for me. My Pages, Numbers, and Text Edit documents sync between my two Macs perfectly all the time. My contacts, reminders, and other data do too. I am disappointed that other people have not had the same experience, so someone at Apple needs to get off their ass and fix this.

  4. I first signed up for Dot Mac services (the great great grandparent of iCloud) in December of 2002 right after getting my amazing 15″ Mac Powerbook. That 1.25Ghz PowerPC was such an eye opening experience. I’ve had Apple’s cloud services ever since, through at least 12 more Macs. I just don’t get the issues people are always in an uproar about. 99.99% of the past 13 years of mine with Apple’s cloud service have been flawless. My wife has had no issues. My daughter has no issues. My father and mother which I set up their accounts long enough ago that they have mac.com emails have no issues. We can’t be the only ones.

    1. I’ll add myself, my three brothers, my brother’s three kids, my three kids, and my mom to the list of satisfied Apple cloud customers. Never a complaint out of any of them. I’ve asked. Do some use other cloud services like Box or Dropbox? Yes. But that’s in addition to using Apples cloud. Most of the problems we have are cellular service related issues and the occasional app crash.

      1. So I get a down vote because I post personal and verified facts as regards my and my family’s experience with Apple cloud? Really!? My post doesn’t rate an up or down vote. It’s not subject to your opinion unless you’re questioning my integrity. I’m not saying others don’t have issues, simply that I know of no one that’s had issues. Tis fact. Live with it.

    2. Yesterday I spend ALL DAY till 2 in the morning trying to fix what AppleMusic did to my iTunes, without plenty success. iTunes app changed so much that people are lost trying to figure it out what once was usual. AppleMusic is totally intrusive, without asking. That’s just some of Apple softs and cloud system problems. So what? China is the goal. If Cook stopped making ‘social campaigns’…

    3. You’re not the only ones. Clearly there are issues with some users, and Apple needs to address them. I think a great deal of the problems are that a lot of people have no idea how to use iCloud. I still get asked all the time just what it is. If you don’t understand something, you certainly should not be using it.

      1. I enabled iCloud Music Library, and thousands of my tunes are now gone. Exactly what did I do wrong genius? What dont I understand about this? Music that was on my Mac is now gone, absolutely gone. All I did was start using Apple Music, by turning on iCloud Music.

  5. I don’t use Apple’s cloud services. Period. Thus, I have no problems. The main point of the article is a joke, though. A computer/smartphone/whatever without external data storage on someone else’s server is just as valuable if not more than one with such a service. After all, Apple managed to sell how many computers before the cloud showed up?

  6. Which cloud service is better? Google mainly has to keep read-only search engine running. Gmail has had some spectacular failures of its own. AWS has gone down more than once.

    The problem with iCloud is that it’s ambitious in scope and consumers actually use it.

  7. Cook needs to hire a SVP for cloud services. Right now Eddy Cue just has a hodgepodge of stuff that doesn’t neatly fit anywhere else. Clearly he either has too much on his plate or isn’t the right guy for the job.

  8. In the UK I rely on iCloud a lot too. There have been a few minor down times, but I’ve never lost anything and iTunes/AppleMusic works brilliantly. The moaners and groaners should take a deep look at themselves and check they’re using the service correctly.

  9. Why are Apple’s cloud services so weak?

    Lack of web programming know-how and a lack of willingness, for whatever reason, to invest in either learning it in house or hiring experts. Really, really sad of Apple.

    [Note Apple-haters: A fanboi criticizing Apple. No, this isn’t the apocalypse. This is what Apple fanatics do. We demand the best. You don’t.]

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