CloudKit Stories February 5, 2016

Apple has quietly added a server-side API to CloudKit, following an announcement on the developer news blog. This will enable developers to add a lot of functionality to apps powered by CloudKit, enabling developers to interact with the iCloud CloudKit database outside of user interaction with iOS, Mac or web apps. The web service API enables developers to run independent code on servers that can add, delete and modify records in the CloudKit stack.

Until now, interaction with CloudKit has been limited to the APIs Apple provided in apps. Although this was useful, it lacked the options for more advanced use — most modern apps rely on servers to perform tasks whilst users are away. With the addition of the web API, developers can create many more types of applications using CloudKit as the backend. For instance, an RSS reader app can now add new feed items to the CloudKit stack from the server. Before, this action could only occur when a user opened a CloudKit-powered app, which was essentially impractical and meant developers had to use other tools.

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CloudKit Stories June 2, 2015

Update 2 9:45PM ET: Users this evening again reported issues centered around iCloud. The outage affected all store services, according to Apple’s status page. It appears to have been resolved, however, with the exception of Game Center.

Update: After about an hour of downtime and still with no admission from Apple of anything ever having gone wrong, iCloud services seem to be coming back online now.

Despite being listed as fully functional on Apple’s status page, it seems iCloud is once again down for many users. Reports across Twitter and in our own experience here at 9to5Mac have verified that iCloud and the App Store (and possibly other Apple services) are currently down.

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CloudKit Stories August 25, 2014

Apple says Yosemite and iOS 8 beta 4 and older will lose CloudKit functionality tomorrow

Apple has sent an email developers alerting them to the fact that certain older betas of iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite will no longer be able to take advantage of CloudKit functions like MailDrop, iCloud Photo Library, or iCloud Drive. This is likely due to an older sandbox server being taken offline as the operating systems come closer to reaching their public releases.

Developers who wish to keep testing against these features will need to update to at least beta 5 of each operating system. CloudKit and its various applications are part of iOS 8 and Yosemite, which will be required for all users who wish to use these functions when they are released later this fall.

Apple will unveil its next-generation iPhone 6 in just over two weeks. The two new devices are expected to ship with iOS 8 pre-installed.

CloudKit Stories July 21, 2014

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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CloudKit Stories June 16, 2014

Apple considered buying Parse before building new CloudKit feature itself

In an extensive profile of Parse co-founder and Facebook executive Ilya Sukhar, The Information reveals that Apple considered purchasing the cloud services startup before Facebook:

Mr. Sukhar, a mobile programming prodigy, had already rejected offers from Apple and Dropbox, which were more interested in the company’s four talented founders than its business, according to people who were involved in the conversations. Facebook persuaded Mr. Sukhar and his colleagues that it had much bigger plans.

Apple’s interest in Parse is interesting because of the recently announced CloudKit feature for iOS 8. CloudKit, just like Parse, allows developers to leverage pre-designed and implemented servers to control the backend of applications. This makes the development team and process quicker and simpler for building iOS applications. It’s interesting to see that Apple decided to build a Parse competitor itself rather than move forward in acquiring the company (or another player in the area). The entire profile is well worth a read and it provides an interesting perspective as to how a start-up co-founder has been integrating his company into Facebook.

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