iOS 8 “Reset All Settings” reported to wipe iCloud Drive docs
iOS 8 might be taking another PR hit this week, though hopefully in a more limited fashion. Some users have started reporting that iOS 8’s option to reset their phone’s settings erased iWork files stored in the beta version of iCloud Drive, with some left without an option to recover them at all.
iCloud Drive was first shown to the public in beta version of iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite. To some extent, it tries to put Apple’s iCloud service on par with popular cloud storage offerings like Dropbox or Google Drive, allowing users to store almost any type of file on iCloud. Naturally, Apple’s own proprietary products and file formats, particularly documents, spreadsheets and slideshows from its iWork suite, enjoy preferential treatment. Unfortunately, that doesn’t seem to be helpful in the case of this bug.
This iOS feature warns users that all settings on their iPhone or iPad will be lost but in the same breath assures them that no data or media files will be deleted. That, however, may have applied only to files stored on the device itself because proceeding with the operation will actually delete files stored on iCloud Drive. Ironically, the damage seems to be limited to iWork documents while random files remain untouched.
The matter is exacerbated even further because of limited recovery options. Despite having one of the prettiest and probably most sophisticated end user-friendly backup feature via Time Machine, some users are left without reprieve. In particular, some of those on the public Yosemite beta report not finding any backup of their iWork files stored on iCloud, though Maverick users may have more success in that regard. Even worse, depending on your point of view, is the fact that iCloud Drive doesn’t seem to have any backups itself, a fact that users found out when going through Apple’s customer service.
Considering that iCloud Drive is still in its infancy, hiccups like this could at least be expected as growing pains. That said, the more horrifying problem is that users could potentially be left without any way to recover those lost files. Considering that iCloud Drive’s availability is still relatively limited, Apple might be able to stop the issue from spreading further. Unfortunately for those already bitten by the bug, they might have to bid farewell to those lost documents, unless they have kept their own backups outside of iCloud and Time Machine.