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Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
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A number of developers are upset with an increasingly problematic iCloud server issue that is causing some apps that have implemented iCloud support to fail to sync properly.

iCloud-Bug-Feature-Green.jpg

As outlined on the Developer Forums and on Twitter, there are CloudKit connectivity issues that have been occurring since November. Some users of apps that have iCloud support built in are seeing the following message: "Request failed with http status code 503."

The developers behind popular note taking app GoodNotes have been seeing the problem frequently enough that they wrote a support document for customers who are running into the error message. The GoodNotes team says that the app automatically retries to connect and thus the issue gets solved eventually, but they're not sure what's causing the connectivity error to begin with.
HTTP 503 is a temporary error code ("Service unavailable") indicating iCloud servers aren't responding correctly to requests from your devices. The error typically gets resolved as GoodNotes automatically retries, but we're getting many reports of the error lingering on, causing sync failures.

This issue is not apparent to us and we've escalated the case to Apple Technical Support team for investigation. It seems it's happening to other apps as well.
Some developers have noted that their apps have worked without issue for years prior to the sudden appearance of the iCloud server issue that is apparently causing the error message. From a developer on Apple's forums:
I have the same issue with a relatively small percentage of my users. They are getting 503 errors now, but last year did not. My code hasn't changed. I'm not even sure how to file a bug report because I cannot replicate the issue on my devices and it's occurring on a relatively small percentage of my users.
A handful of developers have been able to get help from Apple engineering, and one was able to change their iCloud container for their developer account to fix the issue, but there appear to be many developers who are still having issues.


Other developers have resorted to building iCloud status dashboard into their apps so customers can see when iCloud is non-functional.




iCloud failures are a major problem for app developers because the end user of the app doesn't know that it's an Apple issue, so customers blame the app developers for a non-working sync feature that they have no control over.


Multiple developers have reported the iCloud syncing bug to Apple, but it has gone widely unaddressed based on the number of complaints and the fact that the issue has seemingly persisted for at least the last couple of months. It's likely that the problem popped up with the launch of iOS 15 and its sister updates, and it's not clear when a fix might be available.


Customers experiencing iCloud issues should be aware that it's likely an issue on Apple's end and not a bug that app developers can address at this time.

Article Link: Developers Unhappy With Bug Causing iCloud Unreliability
 
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BootsWalking

macrumors 68000
Feb 1, 2014
1,785
10,665
Now everybody getting a 503 put your mother-loving hands up and follow me,
Now everybody getting a 503 put your mother-loving hands up and follow me!
Now while he stands tough,
Notice that this company did not have its hands up
 
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GeoStructural

macrumors 6502a
Oct 8, 2016
863
2,776
Colombia
I'll continue to say it : iCloud has never been reliable.
I assume it's because its foundations come from the defunct MobileMe service.

Well said, even though people in this forum struggle to admit it. It is also poorly featured compared to other services of the same price.

The ONLY pro I find in iCloud is its connectivity with Apple devices, other than that there is little going for it.

As I write this I have been unable to sync my devices for over two weeks due to bugs and data duplicity, even though I am paying for 2 GB of storage.
 

alexe

macrumors regular
Nov 5, 2014
188
1,070
I find iCloud synchronization in general to be super unreliable and intransparent.

In the finder on my Mac, files often show for an eternity that they are currently uploading or downloading, with no indicator of the progress or if anything is happening at all.

Same thing with the Photos app both on my iPhone and on my Mac. Sometimes, even very few items take extremely long to finish synchronizing without any apparent reason.

Sometimes files don't sync at all, ever, and it's unclear why.

iCloud is the only cloud service out there where you sometimes have to apply absolute brute-force work-arounds like "try to delete the stuck file and add it again, then it might sync" 😂
 
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GeoStructural

macrumors 6502a
Oct 8, 2016
863
2,776
Colombia
iCloud sucks, I update a note in the Notes app on my iPad and it takes a long time to update it on my iPhone. Same for Files, Photos...

The Maps app is randomly bringing up very old addresses and pins I dropped years ago… My iPad is not syncing with my iPhone for weeks now and is frustrating because I use the device for work, not much for entertainment.

Also, how is that “privacy” argument strong when now my address appears to be one I deleted in 2015. 😠
 

vault

macrumors regular
May 3, 2009
210
159
Since November? Wow. I've been having issues since MobileMe. Books sometimes don't sync open page and Podcasts is a horrible mess. Safari open tabs stop syncing after almost every update. And my upload to iCloud drive is limited to 300KB/s when I have symmetric 600Mbps connection.
 

GeoStructural

macrumors 6502a
Oct 8, 2016
863
2,776
Colombia
Since November? Wow. I've been having issues since MobileMe. Books sometimes don't sync open page and Podcasts is a horrible mess. Safari open tabs stop syncing after almost every update. And my upload to iCloud drive is limited to 300KB/s when I have symmetric 600Mbps connection.

…And sharing links and Drag and Drop functionalities were added relatively recently, something that was available in virtually every other competing service for years.
 

bwintx

macrumors 6502
Jul 17, 2002
361
302
Stories like this are why I wish app makers wouldn’t succumb to the temptation to make CloudKit their apps’ only method of dealing with cloud storage. Give us options. Work, also, with cloud storage companies that aren’t being jerks about their respective APIs, especially where macOS and iOS users are concerned.
 
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