On Thursday, Apple(s AAPL) quietly unveiled a new, very detailed and public systems status page for users and developers to monitor the status of the company’s sometimes unreliable cloud-based services.
The page shows Apple Services, Stores, and Cloud and whether they are operating as normal or they are encountering an issue. While Apple had a more basic way of notifying of systems outages before, this new chart is notable because of its detail: on a single page you can see whether anything from Siri to GameCenter, to any of the App Stores or any iCloud service is on or offline. Below that is a detailed timeline showing the timing of the outage and how many users were affected.
It may seem small, but this is a necessary step. Apple realizes and is taking seriously how its web services and their status are crucial to their users’ experience — iCloud, Siri, Mail, iMessage have all had major service disruptions in the last few months.
It’s also a sign that Apple may be taking CEO Tim Cook’s Cook’s stance on being more open about some things to heart. As he told Businessweek last week about what’s changed since he became CEO: “There are lots of little things that change, and there will be lots of little things that change over the next year and the years thereafter. We decided being more transparent about some things is great—not that we were not transparent at all before, but we’ve stepped it up in places where we think we can make a bigger difference…”
This is a good thing to be open about, especially as iCloud is becoming the glue that holds together all of Apple’s hardware, software and services.