Developers frustrated by iCloud sync problems amid Apple inaction


Over the last few months – and as has now begun to be more widely reported – an issue with iCloud has become apparent that is affecting a lot of popular third-party applications that depend on Apple’s cloud infrastructure for tasks such as syncing.

There is also much agitation at Apple’s lack of public acknowledgement of the problem. However, it has been reported that the company has been privately reaching out to some developers to confirm that the troubles they are experiencing with their apps are down to an iCloud server problem, instead of an issue with the app itself.

Hundreds of developers have responded to a thread on Apple’s Developer Forums. There, it appears that the central issue is the CloudKit technology that developers use for such processes as the syncing of user content across devices, and the encryption of data stored within an application.

The two-month-old thread references issues with CloudKit repeatedly displaying the HTTP status code 503 “Service Unavailable”, when attempts are made to pull data or query records. An HTTP 503 message appears when a problem is due to the server’s inability to handle the request, which further underlines that something is malfunctioning on Apple’s side.

The developers of GoodNotes have published a support article specifically addressing the 503 error. In the article, GoodNotes states that it has escalated the issue to Apple’s Technical Support staff for them to investigate, and that the problem “seems [to be] happening to other apps as well.”

However, putting aside Apple Technical Support queries, Apple has yet to officially confirm the issue’s existence – let alone that it is investigating the problem.

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