Thursday, July 11, 2019

iCloud Data Loss With macOS 10.15 and iOS 13 Betas

Max Seelemann:

Whereas in recent years, it was pretty safe to install preview versions early on, this year that’s definitely not the case (see for example this report on Cult of Mac).

Most impactful for us, however, is that the (great, great) updates done to iCloud are also leading to severe problems with the service. As iCloud is Apple’s sync service, it’s beyond our power to solve them, of course. Some public beta users reported synchronization outages and data loss that propagated to devices that did not even run the beta but were just connected via iCloud.

Craig Hockenberry:

If you have an iOS or macOS beta installed, disable iCloud on that device NOW.

If you don’t you’ll end up with data loss on your production devices. Also, these problems are not app-specific, things are fucked up at the framework level.

Judging from the release notes, Apple knew about many of the issues prior to releasing the betas, so it’s surprising that they chose to release the public betas earlier this year.

John Gruber (tweet):

Right now iCloud is dangerous on the beta OSes. That’s not a complaint in and of itself; if there weren’t bugs they wouldn’t be betas. But I think it was a bad idea for Apple to release public betas at this stage.

Craig Hockenberry:

Apple talks a lot about services being the future of the company, but then they pull shit like this and it makes me wonder if they have any clue that the most important part of a data service is protecting its contents.

Wil Shipley:

The real BS part of this is that there’s really no good way for us to restore iCloud data, which is becoming increasingly more of our data.

Max Seelemann:

I know what a beta is and what that means. But in times where everything is a beta, people tend to to forget.

imo, a company giving betas to millions of people is responsible for doing this in a responsible manner. As a minimum it’s to make sure to at least not delete data.

Colin Weir:

There’s also an implied level of stability in a public beta that’s not in a developer beta. We know they’re basically the same builds, but to normal users “public beta” means “safe, but some stuff might work weird"

So by putting out unstable developer betas and calling them public betas, they’re doing a big disservice

Steve Troughton-Smith:

iBooks is unusable in iOS 13 thanks to iCloud issues. It took three weeks (!) for it to re-index my iCloud library before it would let me open a book, and it deletes it and requires a redownload, citing space issues, constantly (I have 180GB free space). Local cache is whack

It’s definitely not the worst beta process by a long shot, but it’s definitely way too rough for public seeding on iPad. I’m losing touches constantly, which makes the software keyboard as bad as the MacBook Pro for reliability At least they’re consistent…

Craig Hockenberry:

We submitted a detailed DTS incident about corrupted/deleted iCloud documents in the iOS 13 beta. But guess what? DTS doesn’t support beta releases.

So it’s a public release, but not.

Steve Troughton-Smith:

from what I’ve seen, a lot of the time I run into ‘data loss’ is where some migration/indexing process has got stuck, making it look like I’ve got no/wrong data, and instead of waiting it out I try and fix it myself while the system is still broken

It’s very easy to panic and do a lot of damage when the OS makes it look like your data is screwed up, even when underlying data is totally fine and it’s actually some intermediary daemon process hanging in the bg. Sometimes you really do need to chill & wait for the next beta


9 Comments RSS · Twitter

Sören Nils Kuklau

I'm getting huge Time Machine Backups all of a sudden. Investing through BackupLoupe suggests the culprit is iCloud Photo Library.

But my Mac isn't on a beta. My iPhone, however, is.

So, my guess is: something about iOS 13 public beta 2 changed a massive amount of my photos, in turn triggering that change in the cloud, in turn triggering it on my Mac. If I'm lucky, it's like Steve Troughton-Smith says. It could be a minor metadata change that triggers reindexing (and, due to Time Machine's file-based MO, causes massive data transfers despite minuscule differences).

And/or it could be dataloss.


Nice, the more Data loss the better, I hope there is a public outcry and incident that causes something extremely important to be gone. We can finally have call for an option of Time Capsule for iOS. Something that is *NOT* part of the Cloud.

I don't sync my Desktop and Documents to iCloud on my personal and production devices.
I don't use iCloud Drive on my personal and production devices.
I only beta test Apple OS releases on devices used exclusively for beta testing.
I only beta test Apple OS releases with an Apple ID that is used exclusively for beta testing.

It's been a very long time since I trusted Apple's core cloud "services."

PS. The lengths that Steve Troughton-Smith goes to blame the user instead of poor Apple interface/notification design continues to impress.

[…] iCloud Drive – as others have mentioned, Apple has had major issues with iCloud Drive during these betas. To me it has shown itself in two […]

[…] iCloud Data Loss With macOS 10.15 and iOS 13 Betas […]

[…] and sometimes uploads get delayed or wedged. Once in the cloud, the files are subject to beta bugs, and you have only a very limited ability to restore the latest version of individual files that it […]

[…] for my email and calendar but have also started to move my files to OneDrive from iCloud Drive (I’m glad I didn’t try the recent macOS betas!). What’s the difference? I pay Microsoft for these services and they are regularly updated […]

[…] I also believe that features released mid-cycle can still surprise and delight. iPad Cursor support was met with near unanimous delight when it magically showed up in March. Even features that do lose a bit of their surprise by requiring more feedback from betas can still delight. Imagine if a much more stable iCloud Folder Sharing just appeared in betas sometime in February. Those who have been waiting for the feature would have been totally jazzed instead of being reasonably trepidatious after a truly rocky summer. […]

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