Potential iCloud Bug Keeps iDevice Users From Sending Invites To People

Scenario: You have an iDevice. Say a MacBook Pro, iPhone, or iPad, and you use the built in calendar to send an invite to a movie to your friends. The only thing is that your friends don’t get it. And no matter what you do, you can’t figure out why.

I’m here to say that it’s not you. It’s likely Apple. And I say that because there’s apparently a bug in the way iCloud handles the sending of invites with locations and addresses in them that stops the invite from getting to its intended destination. The specifics of the bug are as follows:

  1. Create and event in the built calendar on an iDevice.
  2. In the location field, enter a place or an address. Or in the notes section, enter an address like 123 Main Street.
  3. Add a recipient or two.
  4. Save the invite.

If you do the above, the invite will not get to its destination. But if you delete the invite that you created and create another one without anything in the location field, or an address in the notes field and send it to someone, it will work just fine. That implies it’s the presence of an address or place in the invite that causes the issue.

This has been confirmed by multiple users and is the subject of a lengthy Apple Discussions thread that started on December 10th. Though the problem dates back to at least two weeks before that. The timing of when this started is key because that’s about the time that Apple took steps to limit spam that was ending up in the Calendars of iDevice users. You also need to account for the fact that iOS and OS X/macOS actively scans e-mails, calendar entries and the like for things like addresses, dates and times, names, phone numbers, tracking numbers among other pieces of info. So it is entirely possible that Apple in its attempts to stop the spam that was hitting calendars, did something in iCloud that leveraged whatever scanning for info that they do and introduced this bug.

What’s Apple’s take on this? Who knows? As typical for them, they aren’t saying anything about it. The Apple Discussion thread indicates that they are aware of the issue. But there is no timeline for a resolution. That lack of communication won’t make users feel better. But at least you now know it’s not you. It’s Apple.

As for Apple, it would be nice if for a change you had something to say on this in terms that you know it’s a problem and when users can expect some sort of resolution? Don’t your users deserve that much from you?

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