Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Messages on iCloud in iOS 11.3 Beta

Juli Clover:

Apple in iOS 11 promised a new Messages in iCloud feature that will allow customers to save their iMessages in iCloud and sync them across devices. Messages in iCloud was pulled from iOS 11 during the beta testing period, with Apple promising to reintroduce it at a later date.


According to Apple’s release notes, once iOS 11.3 beta 1 is installed, Messages will prompt users to turn on Messages in the Cloud when it is first launched.

Messages in the Cloud is automatically enabled for users who have two-factor authentication and iCloud Backup enabled, says Apple.

I haven’t seen an explanation of how this works. If you get a new iPhone, do you need to have another device still active so that it can encrypt all the old messages with the new phone’s key? Or does Apple now store a key in the cloud and gain access to your messages? Maybe there’s a clever solution to avoid that? I would hope so, since the feature is enabled by default.

I’m still plagued by problems with the basic iMessage service. Some messages arrive hours late or not at all. Messages sometimes says messages were delivered that weren’t.

After updating to macOS 10.13.3, I lost the ability to send messages from my Mac. It could receive them but would report a delivery failure, after a long delay, whenever I tried to send. Restarting and signing out and in again didn’t help like they usually do. I ended up having to delete a large number of entries from my keychain.

See also: Apple’s iOS 11.3 preview.

Previously: Apple Is Trying to Make iMessages More Private.

Update (2018-04-20): Steven Frank:

Bye, iMessage. It’s been a fun nearly 7 years of waiting for your out-of-sequence and non-delivery (but reported as delivered) issues to get fixed.

4 Comments RSS · Twitter

It looks like Two-Factor Authentication might need to be enabled for this to work, and if that’s the case then yes, there’s probably some re-encryption happening.


“Users with two-factor authentication and iCloud Backups enabled will get Messages in iCloud enabled automatically.“

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