Developers encounter major iCloud issues in iOS 13 beta

What you need to know

  • Linea Developer Craig Hockenberry published an article detailing iCloud problems in the iOS 13 beta.
  • Hockenberry said iCloud should never be in beta.
  • Apple has since rolled back iCloud changes from Catalina and iOS 13.

There have been numerous reports from developers about the buggy beta cycle of iOS 13, from Springboard issues to app crashes. Turns out, one of the biggest bugs was related to iCloud.

Many of iCloud's latest issues are well documented in a new article written by Craig Hockenberry, who helped developed the drawing app Linea.

This year's beta release cycle for all of Apple's operating systems has been a mess. The months since WWDC in June have been a terrible experience for both customers and developers alike and the literal center of the chaos was Apple's iCloud syncing service.

Apparently, iCloud syncing in iOS 13 has become incredibly unreliable. Hockenberry said a number of Linea users reported lost data that had previously been in their iCloud Drive. Unfortunately, Apple's methods for recovering deleted files couldn't remedy the problem.

Exacerbating the issue, according to Hockenberry, has been Apple's insistence for users to try out the public beta of iOS 13, despite knowing iCloud was experiencing major issues.

"We did our best to understand the situation and provide information to Apple, but it felt like we were tossing bug reports into a black hole," Hockenberry said.

Beta releases can be a double-edged sword if you're not a developer. They offer the enticing opportunity to try out new features coming to iOS, but they can also seriously mess up your device, as Hockenberry notes. To Apple's credit, the company warns never to use beta software on your main device.

Hockbenberry said he can accept bugs that come with beta software. But not iCloud. "iCloud doesn't get to go into beta," Hockenberry said. "It needs to be reliable all the time, regardless of whether iOS or any other platform is in beta test."

With the prospect of iOS 13 releasing to consumers in late September, Apple has seemingly delayed iCloud features teased for the new software, including iCloud Drive Folder Sharing. The company has apparently performed a "full rollback" of iCloud changes from Catalina and iOS 13, according to developer Max Seelemann, so the final release shouldn't exhibit any syncing problems.

"I honestly think that's the wisest course of action at this point," Hockenberry said.

Apple is expected to unveil when Apple users can officially download iOS 13 and macOS Catalina at its September 10 event. Fingers crossed iCloud is good to go.

Brandon Russell