iCloud Mail experiencing issues with slower than normal responses

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iCloud Mail is currently experiencing service issues. The conflict has been impacting users for more than an hour and is currently ongoing according to Apple’s system status page. “Users may experience slower than normal response when using iCloud mail,” Apple’s description of the service disruption says.

It appears Apple’s App Store, iTunes Store, and iBooks Store also experienced down time with customers not being able to make purchases, but Apple’s system status page says that outage was resolved after just over an hour. The iCloud Mail issue, however, is ongoing. (Update: Resolved as expected.)

Nope, it’s not just you, John Hodgman, but we do miss your ads.

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Apple to again wipe all CloudKit data tomorrow, July 22nd

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Apple’s release notes for OS X Yosemite Developer Preview 4 reveal that the company will be wiping CloudKit data tomorrow.

This data has to do with the new iCloud storage APIs in iOS 8 and Yosemite as well as with the upcoming iCloud Drive online storage feature. It’s best to safely store anything of importance before tomorrow’s wipe:

CloudKit Note: All public CloudKit databases are scheduled to be emptied on Tuesday, July 22nd.

Apple previously wiped CloudKit data ahead of iOS 8 beta 3 and OS X Yosemite Developer Preview 3. Thanks, Genady!

Update: Apple has emailed developers about the wipe, noting that iCloud Drive, Photos, and other iCloud-related products besides CloudKit storage will not be wiped:

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iOS 8 beta 4 includes new Tips app with quick feature tutorials (Gallery)

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iOS 8 beta 4 brings a new app to the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch called Tips. The application, as the name implies, provides quick tips and tutorials about iOS features. The app will be updated on a regular basis with new ways to use iOS device features. Apple has also launched a Tips website (in beta) so these tutorials can be accessed from a Mac web browser. You can find a full gallery of the current implementation of Tips, below:

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Apple ID two-step verification feature rolls out to dozens of new countries

Apple this week has greatly expanded the availability of its Apple ID two-step verification, bringing the feature from 11 countries to 59 countries. Two-step verification for Apple IDs uses either iOS’s Find my iPhone application or SMS to provide login verification in addition to a password. The feature first rolled out for both Apple ID and iCloud IDs in early 2013 and it expanded to a few more countries later that year. Here are all the countries that support two-step verification (both the original countries and the new ones):

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Apple begins encrypting iCloud email sent between providers

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Last month Apple confirmed that it would soon beef up encryption for iCloud email following a report detailing security flaws in major email services. While Apple previously encrypted emails sent between its own iCloud customers, now the company has enabled encryption for emails in transit between iCloud and third-party services for me.com and mac.com email addresses. 

The change is documented on Google’s transparency website that shows the percentage of emails encrypted in transit for both inbound and outbound email exchanges (pictured below): Read more

Apple seeking ‘photography enthusiast’ retail employees to test OS X Photos app

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Apple is seeking employees from its own retail stores who have shown an enthusiasm for photography to test the upcoming OS X Photos application and iCloud Photos feature. Apple, last week, reached out to retail employees offering such a “career experience,” and here is the message to retail staff as provided by multiple retail employees:

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