Apple Experiencing Issues With iCloud Services and Retail Store Systems

Apple today is experiencing problems with a host of iCloud-related services, as outlined on the company's system status page. Affected services include all of the basic iCloud services, as well as services like Find My Friends, Find My iPhone, Game Center, Photos, and Screen Time.


The company says only that "some" users are affected, but social media reports suggest the outage is fairly widespread.

Apple is also having problems with its retail store systems, with a number of users reporting that employees are unable to complete customer purchases or support requests.





This article, "Apple Experiencing Issues With iCloud Services and Retail Store Systems" first appeared on MacRumors.com

Discuss this article in our forums

Apple Launches New iCloud for Windows App in Microsoft Store

Apple today introduced a new iCloud for Windows app designed for PCs, according to a blog post shared by Microsoft. The new app is designed to allow Apple users to access their iCloud content on their Windows 10 PCs.

The iCloud app for Windows includes iCloud Drive, iCloud Photos, Mail, Contacts, Calendar, Reminders, Safari Bookmarks, and more.

What you can do with iCloud for Windows

- Safely store your photos and videos in iCloud. With iCloud Photos, any new photos and videos that you take on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch automatically download to your PC. And you can upload new photos and videos from your PC so that you can access them from your other devices too.
- Use Shared Albums to share photos and videos with just the people you choose. Then invite friends to add their own photos, videos, and comments.
- Get your documents on every device you use with iCloud Drive. Simply drag your documents into the iCloud Drive folder on your PC and access them at any time, on any device.
- Keep your iCloud Mail, Contacts, Calendars, and Reminders up to date automatically between your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Mac, and PC.
- Keep your Internet Explorer, Firefox, or Google Chrome bookmarks on Windows the same as your Safari bookmarks.
- Update your iCloud preferences, see how much iCloud storage you're using, delete items to free up storage, and update your storage plan whenever you want.
According to Microsoft, the iCloud Drive feature on Windows is powered by the same Windows technology behind the OneDrive Files On-Demand Feature, which lets users be more productive offline on mobile devices and quickly share files on iOS.


Apple has a support document for getting started with iCloud for Windows, which basically requires having an existing iCloud setup on an Apple device.


Windows users can download iCloud for Windows from the Microsoft Store starting today.


This article, "Apple Launches New iCloud for Windows App in Microsoft Store" first appeared on MacRumors.com

Discuss this article in our forums

Apple Pay Now Accepted for iTunes, App Store, Apple Music, and iCloud Purchases in Some Countries

Apple Pay is now an accepted payment method for iTunes, App Store, and Apple Books purchases, as well as Apple Music and iCloud storage subscriptions, as reflected in a recently updated Apple support document.


To link any credit or debit cards set up in the Wallet app with your Apple ID account, navigate to Settings > iTunes & App Store. Next, select your Apple ID email and then tap View Apple ID > Manage Payments > Add Payment Method. The cards should be listed under a new "Found in Wallet" section.

This functionality is rolling out as a server-side change in the United States, Canada, Australia, Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Russia, Ukraine, and the United Arab Emirates, so it is not available for all users yet.

In the United States, users can also link an Apple Pay Cash card to an Apple ID account.

There are a handful of benefits to Apple Pay billing for Apple ID account-tied purchases, including the ability to conveniently add multiple credit or debit cards, the improved security of Apple Pay, and the ability to better manage Apple Music and iCloud storage subscriptions from the Wallet app.

This functionality arrives ahead of the launch of the Apple Card credit card in the United States this summer.

(Thanks, Dean Lubaki!)


This article, "Apple Pay Now Accepted for iTunes, App Store, Apple Music, and iCloud Purchases in Some Countries" first appeared on MacRumors.com

Discuss this article in our forums

Apple Says Some iCloud Services Experiencing Slowness

Apple has updated its System Status page to reflect ongoing performance issues with a handful of iCloud services.

Apple says some users "may be experiencing slower than normal performance" when using the iCloud Drive, Notes, or Photos apps, while some users "may be experiencing a problem" with iCloud storage upgrades.

The issues began around 6 a.m. Pacific Time, according to Apple. We'll update this post once the issues have been resolved.


This article, "Apple Says Some iCloud Services Experiencing Slowness" first appeared on MacRumors.com

Discuss this article in our forums

Multiple iCloud Services Experiencing Issues

Several of Apple's iCloud services are experiencing issues this morning according to Apple's System Status page.

Find My iPhone, iCloud Backup, iCloud Drive, iCloud Keychain, iCloud Mail, iCloud Notes, iWork for iCloud, Photos, News, and more are all unavailable for an unspecified number of users.


The outage has been going on since approximately 8:00 a.m. Pacific Time, so if you've been experiencing problems with iCloud services, this is why.

It's not clear when the issue will be resolved, but Apple often addresses these problems quickly. We'll update this post when all of the iCloud services have been restored to working order.

Tag: iCloud

This article, "Multiple iCloud Services Experiencing Issues" first appeared on MacRumors.com

Discuss this article in our forums

Apple Releases iCloud for Windows Update to Fix Incompatibility Issues

Apple this afternoon released an update for iCloud for Windows, which is the iCloud software designed to run on the Windows operating system for those who have both Windows machines and own Apple devices.

iCloud for Windows version 7.8.1 is designed to fix compatibility issues with the latest version of Windows 10.


Earlier this month, Microsoft blocked the iCloud for Windows software from being downloaded by Windows users after Apple discovered an incompatibility that could result in problems updating Shared Albums after users upgraded to Windows 10 version 1809.

At the time, Microsoft said that it was working with Apple to provide a version of the iCloud software compatible with the latest version of Windows 10.

The fix isn't mentioned by Apple, but the company did revise a support document that had previously suggested iCloud for Windows was only compatible with Windows 10 through the April 2018 update rather than the most recent update.


Discuss this article in our forums

Multiple iCloud Services Experiencing Issues

Several iCloud services are experiencing problems this afternoon, according to Apple's System Status Page.

iCloud Drive, iCloud Mail, iCloud Keychain, iCloud Contacts, iCloud Calendar, Mail Drop, Find My iPhone, and more are performing "slower than normal" for some users.


The problem has been ongoing since 8:51 a.m. Pacific Time this morning, and there's no word on when it might clear up.

If you've been noticing problems with iCloud services, this outage is the reason why. We'll update this post when the problem is resolved.

Tag: iCloud

Discuss this article in our forums

Apple Denies Report Claiming Chinese Spies Planted Microchips in iCloud Servers

Bloomberg Businessweek today reports that around three years ago, the Chinese military began inserting microchips on Supermicro server motherboards while they were being manufactured in China, providing the Chinese government with a stealth doorway into any network that used the tampered hardware.


The report cites an official who said investigators found the attack eventually affected nearly 30 companies, including Apple and Amazon, along with a major bank and government contractors in the United States.

The microchip was placed on the motherboards in a way that allowed it to inject its own code or alter the order of the instructions the CPU was meant to follow, according to the report. One government official said China's goal was "long-term access to high-value corporate secrets and sensitive government networks."

No consumer data is known to have been stolen, according to the report, but the extent of the attack appears to be unclear.

Apple was a longtime Supermicro customer, with plans to order more than 30,000 of its server motherboards in two years for its global network of data centers, which power services like the App Store and Siri.
Documents seen by Businessweek show that in 2014, Apple planned to order more than 6,000 Supermicro servers for installation in 17 locations, including Amsterdam, Chicago, Hong Kong, Los Angeles, New York, San Jose, Singapore, and Tokyo, plus 4,000 servers for its existing North Carolina and Oregon data centers. Those orders were supposed to double, to 20,000, by 2015.
The report claims Apple had around 7,000 of the motherboards in its data centers when its security team came across the microchips.

Apple reportedly discovered the suspicious chips on the motherboards around May 2015, after detecting odd network activity and firmware problems. Two senior Apple insiders were cited as saying the company reported the incident to the FBI, but kept details about what it had detected tightly held.

The insiders cited in the report said in the summer of 2015, a few weeks after Apple identified the malicious chips, the company started removing all Supermicro servers from its data centers. Every one of the 7,000 or so Supermicro servers was replaced in a matter of weeks, according to one of the insiders.

In a strongly-worded statement, Apple denied Bloomberg Businessweek's report:
Over the course of the past year, Bloomberg has contacted us multiple times with claims, sometimes vague and sometimes elaborate, of an alleged security incident at Apple. Each time, we have conducted rigorous internal investigations based on their inquiries and each time we have found absolutely no evidence to support any of them. We have repeatedly and consistently offered factual responses, on the record, refuting virtually every aspect of Bloomberg's story relating to Apple.

On this we can be very clear: Apple has never found malicious chips, "hardware manipulations" or vulnerabilities purposely planted in any server. Apple never had any contact with the FBI or any other agency about such an incident. We are not aware of any investigation by the FBI, nor are our contacts in law enforcement.

In response to Bloomberg's latest version of the narrative, we present the following facts: Siri and Topsy never shared servers; Siri has never been deployed on servers sold to us by Super Micro; and Topsy data was limited to approximately 2,000 Super Micro servers, not 7,000. None of those servers has ever been found to hold malicious chips.

As a matter of practice, before servers are put into production at Apple they are inspected for security vulnerabilities and we update all firmware and software with the latest protections. We did not uncover any unusual vulnerabilities in the servers we purchased from Super Micro when we updated the firmware and software according to our standard procedures.

We are deeply disappointed that in their dealings with us, Bloomberg's reporters have not been open to the possibility that they or their sources might be wrong or misinformed. Our best guess is that they are confusing their story with a previously-reported 2016 incident in which we discovered an infected driver on a single Super Micro server in one of our labs. That one-time event was determined to be accidental and not a targeted attack against Apple.

While there has been no claim that customer data was involved, we take these allegations seriously and we want users to know that we do everything possible to safeguard the personal information they entrust to us. We also want them to know that what Bloomberg is reporting about Apple is inaccurate.

Apple has always believed in being transparent about the ways we handle and protect data. If there were ever such an event as Bloomberg News has claimed, we would be forthcoming about it and we would work closely with law enforcement. Apple engineers conduct regular and rigorous security screenings to ensure that our systems are safe. We know that security is an endless race and that's why we constantly fortify our systems against increasingly sophisticated hackers and cybercriminals who want to steal our data.
Supermicro said it remains unaware of any such investigation, while Amazon denied having any knowledge of a supply chain compromise. Chinese officials did not directly address the report, stating that "supply chain safety in cyberspace is an issue of common concern, and China is also a victim."

However, in addition to the three Apple insiders, the report says four of six U.S. officials confirmed that Apple was a victim.

Apple did acknowledge a 2016 incident in which it discovered an infected driver on a single Supermicro server in one of its labs. Apple said that one-time event was determined to be accidental and not a targeted attack.

Early last year, The Information reported that Apple cut ties with Supermicro in 2016 after unearthing a security vulnerability in at least one of its servers, which seems to be the incident that Apple is referring to in its statement. Apple has since moved on to other server suppliers, including ZT Systems and Inspur.

Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Politics, Religion, Social Issues forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.

Tag: China

Discuss this article in our forums

How to Share Files Stored in Your iCloud Drive

You can share files you've synced to iCloud with Apple device-owning friends and colleagues using the step-by-step guide below. Whether you're sharing from a Mac or an iPhone, you'll be able to give people one-way access to the file, or allow them to modify the document if you're collaborating on a piece of work.

The sharing options you choose automatically sync across your devices, so you could, for example, share a file on Mac and change access permissions on your iPhone or on iCloud.com at a later time. The following steps assume Mac users are running macOS High Sierra or later and that iPhone or iPad owners are on iOS 11 or later.

How to Share iCloud Files From Your Mac


  1. Open a Finder window and locate the file in iCloud that you want to share. It could be in iCloud Drive or another folder that you sync to iCloud, such as Desktop or Documents.

  2. Click the file to highlight it.

  3. Click the Share button and select Add People from the dropdown menu. Alternatively, right-click (or Ctrl-click) the file and select Share -> Add People.

  4. Choose how you'd like to send your invitation to access the file. In our example, we're sharing a link via email. You can also click the chevron next to Share Options to control who can access the file (Only people you invite / Anyone with the link) and their permissions (Can make changes / View only).
  5. Click Share.

  6. Depending on how you chose to share the invitation, the relevant app will open containing a link to access the file. In our example, an email compose window appears, ready to add recipients and click Send.

How to Share iCloud files on iPhone and iPad


  1. Launch the Files app on your iPhone or iPad.

  2. Locate the file in iCloud Drive that you want to share.

  3. Tap Select in the upper right of the screen.

  4. Tap the file to check it in the selection.

  5. Tap the Share icon in the lower left of the screen.

  6. Tap Add People in the second row of the Share Sheet.

  7. Tap the method you'd like to use to send your invitation. You can also optionally tap Share Options to control who can access the file (Only people you invite / Anyone with the link) and their permissions (Can make changes / View only).

  8. Depending on how you chose to share the invitation, the relevant app will open containing a link to access the file, ready for you to share.

How to Change Access Rights to a Shared iCloud File


Changing file sharing permissions via Mac or iOS is easy. Once you've shared an iCloud file, the Add People option you used in the above steps is replaced with a Show People option. Selecting this will display who has access to the file, including an option to Stop Sharing the file completely.


If you're on Mac, click the dotted icon next to a person's name to reveal options to change their permissions or Remove Access. If you're on iPhone or iPad, simply tap a person in the People list to access the same options.


Discuss this article in our forums

PSA: Your @Mac.com, @Me.com, or @iCloud.com Emails Sent via Gmail Might Be Marked as Spam Now

For the past several years, I have had my Apple-provided @me.com email address set up as an alias in Gmail, and enabled auto-forwarding of my iCloud emails to my Gmail account. This allows me to use Gmail as my one-stop-shop for sending and receiving emails from both my @gmail.com and @me.com addresses.


However, it recently came to my attention that many of my emails sent from my @me.com address via Gmail have automatically ended up in the spam boxes of my recipients—even those I've emailed regularly. This went on for a few weeks, with zero indication on my end, beyond a puzzling lack of replies.

Eventually, one of my recipients alerted me that my email went to spam, and I turned to Google to do some research. As it turns out, there is an industry-wide email authentication, policy, and reporting protocol named DMARC, and it appears Apple upped its DMARC policy to "quarantine" in July.

Essentially, this means that emails sent from an Apple-provided email address, such as @mac.com, @me.com, or @icloud.com, via a third-party email client such as Gmail, are now likely to be automatically marked as spam.

Al Iverson's Spam Resource explains:
If you monitor these things, you might have noticed that Apple's consumer email domains (iCloud domains) -- mac.com, me.com and icloud.com -- have moved to a "p=quarantine" DMARC policy. This means that if you have an email address in these domains, your ability to send outbound mail using an email service provider or other, non-Apple email platform to send mail, deliverability won't look so good. Mail may not be blocked outright (Apple didn't move to "p=reject") but moving to "p=quarantine" means it's much more likely that your mail could end up in the spam folder.
DMARC records on wiseTools confirm that @mac.com, @me.com, and @icloud.com now adhere to a "p=quarantine" policy.

DMARC is designed to combat one of the most common types of phishing attacks, in which the "from" address in an email is faked, so Apple moving to a "quarantine" policy is a good move in terms of security, even if it is an inconvenience for people who use an Apple email via third-party clients.

After learning this, I reached out to Apple for clarification, and while it didn't confirm the new DMARC policy, it did offer a potential solution for Gmail.

Apple told me that I should be able to avoid the marked-as-spam issue by ensuring that emails from my @me.com address are set up to be sent through iCloud SMTP servers: smtp.mail.me.com. Apple has a related support document.


When I opened my Gmail settings, I discovered that my @me.com address was already configured in a similar manner, although the SMTP server domain was smtp.me.com, rather than smtp.mail.me.com. After updating it to the latter, emails from my @me.com address via Gmail began to reach the inboxes of others.

For further testing, I then reverted back to smtp.me.com, thinking that my emails would be marked as spam again. However, all of my emails still landed in the inboxes of others, including contacts I emailed for the first time.

At this point, I'm not entirely sure what has fixed the issue for me, but hopefully tinkering with the SMTP server settings works for others. If not, and you have an important email to send via your @mac.com, @me.com, or @icloud.com address, make sure to send it from Apple's own Mail app or iCloud.com.

Tag: Gmail

Discuss this article in our forums