Sunday, November 18, 2012

Apple's iMessage service experiencing another disruption

Apple says "some" users are unable to send and receive texts on the proprietary platform but does not indicate how widespread the outage is.

Apple's iMessage service is again experiencing issues, the third major disruption in the past two months.
The proprietary text messaging platform used between iOS devices, as well as Macs, is not allowing some users to send or receive messages from other users.
Apple's latest support status update from 1:34 p.m. PT says that "some users are unable to use iMessage" and promises a quick solution but does not go into further detail about the scale of the issue. 

The same status page also indicates that "some" FaceTime users are also unable to use that service but that all other services are functioning normally.  Both the iMessage and FaceTime services were restored this afternoon, according to a 4:41 p.m. status update.

CNET has contacted Apple for more information and will update this report when we learn more.
This is the third disruption in recent weeks. Outages in October and September left many users with the same message sending issues. Frustrated users turned to Twitter to voice their displeasure with the service:

@KendallJenner not receiving any texts... iMessage, you're annoying!

Apple introduced iMessage as part of iOS 5in October 2011, offering users on the iPhone, iPod, and iPad a way to communicate with one another for free as long as they had an Internet connection. Apple added the functionality to its Macs as part of Mountain Lion in July.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

iOS 6 Wi-Fi Problems Still Plague Some Users

Fixed? No not really....
Ever since iOS 6 was released I’ve been hearing from readers who are having problems with Wi-Fi on the iPhone 4S and iPad. And it seems that iOS 6.0.1 hasn’t fixed the problem.

It’s hard to get a proper fix on the problem. For some users, the option to enable Wi-Fi is completely grayed-out, while others are able to turn on Wi-Fi but are unable to connect to a network.

Some also claim that the problem affects the ability to use Bluetooth, with the option disable completely for some, and others unable to connect to devices.

A 148 page thread over on Apple’s support forum  has generated a number of possible fixes. Some claim that totally wiping their iDevice and then reinstalling iOS fixed the problems, while others say that resetting network settings (Settings > General > Reset > Reset Network Settings). For those who can enable Wi-Fi but not connect, changing the HTTP Proxy to “Auto” (Settings > Wi-Fi > [click on the blue arrow next to your Wi-Fi network]) may work.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

iMessage Suffering More Outages, Performance Issues


Apple’s iMessage service, which uses your data connection to deliver text and multimedia messages, was touted as an all-data solution to text messaging. It’s supposed to deliver messages sent from any of your contacts who are on iOS to all of your personal iOS and Mac devices, simultaneously. Except it doesn’t always do a very good job of this.

Apple has suffered two notable iMessage outages  in the past week, highlighting the continued growing pains of the year-old service.

“I hate when my iMessage decides to not work and my texts send as actual text messages #annoying,” disgruntled user @KellyTurner  tweeted last week. Another user, @adamtheteen , echoed that sentiment in the midst of the second bout of iMessage downtime this week: “I hate when iMessage just randomly stops working.”

I was also exasperated  by the continued bugginess of Apple’s messaging service, a pain point we brought up in our review of iOS 6.

There are more than 140 million iMessage users sending 28,000 iMessages per second, according to Apple’s latest stats. Clearly, it’s a high-volume service and must be challenging to support. But if you’re going to create a cloud-based service for this many users (200 million people are now on iOS 6, and through March of this year, Apple had sold 365 million iOS devices), you better have the resources to keep it running smoothly.

Google seems to be able to do it — well, except for that brief Gmail downtime  this afternoon.

Of the recent outages, the first scuttled iMessage and Facetime on Oct. 25 . The second, which happened Tuesday afternoon, was a larger iCloud-wide outage , affecting iMessage, FaceTime, and Game Center (along with iCloud itself). iMessage users found themselves sending messages that weren’t actually  being delivered, a frustrating predicament for both sender and receiver in a conversation.

“While I don’t believe these are serious, it’s not typical of Apple to have these types of system issues,” Gartner analyst Brian Blau told Wired via email. “You would expect that Apple would address the problems immediately, and if we see more outages, then Apple should at least let users know the source of the problems.”

Apple generally doesn’t comment on iMessage downtime, but there is a way to check if an issue is widespread or not by visiting the iCloud system status page . (Apple didn’t respond to our requests for comment, and both AT&T and Verizon deferred to Apple.)

Of course, these are not the first instances of iMessage problems. Users experienced widespread problems back in September , and others had issues getting things settled with their Apple IDs and getting things synced across Mountain Lion and iOS 6 after iOS 6 launched .

Last December, it was discovered that if your iPhone is stolen, your iMessages (and those of the new phone owner) could end up in the wrong hands. And when Messages launched in beta for the desktop in February, it came with a number of problems, including inconsistency with sending messages to phone numbers and e-mail addresses (a problem that seems to persist even now that iMessages is out of beta). The beta would also delay the sending  and receiving of messages on iOS devices, so users would receive no messages for a period, and then an influx of messages all at once.

iMessages certainly works a majority of the time. But for a service that needs to work every time — what’s the point of communicating if your communications aren’t actually being delivered? — there’s a lot of room for improvement.
So, what was that BS about Apple products "just working"?

Why would the iPhone need a manual?  I thought it was intuitive and didn't require any instruction.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Apple scolded over Samsung “copy” statement: Gets 48hrs to replace it

"Are you mockin' me Apple?"
Apple has been reprimanded by the UK court of appeal over its passive-aggressive handling of the “Samsung did not copy us” statement, and ordered to replace it with a new explanation on its UK homepage. The original, court-mandated statement was published last week, with Apple setting out a UK court ruling that Samsung had not copied the iPad with its tablets on a standalone page accessed from a link in the homepage footer. However, Bloomberg reports, Apple’s choice of words did not meet with judicial approval, and now the Cupertino firm must publish a more obvious statement and leave it on its homepage until December 14.

That linking was permitted by the initial judgement – Apple was previously under no obligation to present the statement any more obviously – but the text Apple composed was less factual in its stance than had been expected. Apple acknowledged the UK ruling, but went on to point out that courts in Germany and the US had ruled differently, closing with the statement that other jurisdictions felt that Samsung had indeed copied.

Apple has 48 hours to post the new statement, the judges said, refusing to listen to complaints that it would take longer to achieve. Apple had objected that it would take 14 days to make the amendments, a concern that one of the trio said he “cannot believe.” The notice was “untrue” and “incorrect” Apple was scolded.

“Apple must now within 48 hours publish a correction on their homepage with a link to the corrected statement in not less than 11-point font” Darren Smyth, EIP Partners

Lawyers for Apple argued that the company had acted in the spirit of the ruling, and pointed out that it was “not designed to punish” and “not designed to make us grovel.” Instead, lawyer Michael Beloff insisted, “the only purpose is to dispel commercial uncertainty.”

Those points failed to convince the judges, however. “I’m at a loss that a company such as Apple would do this,” Judge Robin Jacob said of Apple’s original statement. “That is a plain breach of the order.”