Friday, April 19, 2013, 02:21 pm PT (05:21 pm ET)
Apple's iCloud problems persist with two new service outages [update: 27-hour email issue reported]Coming on the heels of two issues last week, Apple's iCloud saw wide disruptions of service for Game Center on both Thursday and Friday, as well as isolated reports of iTunes Store downtime earlier in the week.
Update: Apple recently updated its iCloud system status page to reflect an issue with sending and receiving emails. According to the company, 0.008 percent of iCloud users were unable to use the service for 27 hours.
Users may have been unable to send mail from icloud.com. Affected users were able to use the mail application on their Mac, PC, iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch.
Source: Apple System Status
As Apple's presence in Internet services expands with every new iOS device sale, so does the importance of the company's iCloud backbone, which effectively becomes the digital hub for a growing number of users.
As noted by AppleInsider reader Gregg Mojica, earlier on Friday, Game Center became unavailable for half an hour, with "some users" affected by the down time. On Thursday, the same iCloud service saw two disruptions, one nearly 90 minutes long and another with 24 minutes of downtime.
Throughout the week, AppleInsider readers have been writing in about sporadic iTunes store troubles, and a quick check with Apple's Support Communities confirms that a number of users were having problems on Tuesday. Interestingly, users were hit with "Error (-50)" messages, or a network timeout issue usually caused by other software, such as firewall protection. The problem was resolved on Wednesday.
Source: Apple System Status
Apple's most recent iCloud woes come just days after a significant iMessage and FaceTime outage on April 9, which lasted for over five hours. Three days later, the two services went down again for about one hour.
In the past, service troubles like those described above didn't have the same impact on Apple's customer base as it does today, if only for the sheer number of devices now connected to iCloud. Being the de facto service for a multitude of core iOS features like messaging, email, iTunes access and more, even slight iCloud outages affect thousands of users worldwide.
While it remains unclear what exactly is causing the disruptions of service, Apple is building a new data center in Reno, Nev., which should aid the company in offering a more stable iCloud.
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