Apple’s iCloud Hit by Global Outage

The iCloud suite of services experienced an outage Tuesday morning, and a number of Apple users ran into trouble when they were trying to access their iCloud accounts. The exact number of users who have encountered this problem is unknown.

According to the updates, it appears that there were affected a number of iCloud-based services, including Mail, Find My iPhone, and Find My Friends. Users seemed to also have met with a “Connection Error” message explaining that “iCloud encountered an error while attempting to connect to the server.”

Furthermore, it appeared that some people were unable to create new Apple IDs or sign into the Game Center app. Some iTunes users had been unable to access the iTunes store or make purchases.

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However, the problems overall were resolved by about 1 p.m. PT, when Apple’s status page once again showed all services functioning normally.

This is not the first time Apple has this kind of problem, especially with iCloud. It had a similar problem last year, in September, when it was unavailable for a small number of users during several days. In some cases, the problem resulted in delayed e-mail messages that would arrive hours after being sent, but in other cases no mail would get through at all.

This means that the issues with iCloud uptime are not new, as the company has seen a number of service outages in recent weeks. Just last Friday, its iCloud-based email service, saw a 27-hour outage before operation returned to normal.

It is well-known the fact that more of Apple’s online services have suffered their share of outages in the past. For instance, on April 9 of this year, iMessage and FaceTime, two regularly used and popular services, were both down for a whole day. While some people may have been moderately annoyed by a FaceTime outage, iMessage problems are another story. Messaging is one of the most important features for mobile devices.

In addition, February 28, iCloud has had serious problems, and on February 21, some users encountered issues when trying to use Apple’s App Store, iTunes, iCloud, and the Mac App Store.

However, in December, following the big number of the outages of its Web-powered services. Apple has improved its online status page in order to include more detailed information on what is working and what is not. Not only that the page breaks down Apple’s services, online stores, and specific features within iCloud, but there is also “detailed timeline” showing a full day’s worth of activity and a rundown of any outages or issues with specific services.

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