iOS 5 Update for iPad & iPhone is a Fiasco Due to Apple Server Problems

iOS updates for the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad are usually slow but steady and predictable events with occassional problems reaching update servers. This, however, is not the case with iOS 5 update today. The first clue was “restore” error message I saw after trying to update my iPhone 4. You can see what this looks like in this Business Insider article.

Updating To iOS 5 Has Been A Massive Headache

A second slow update attempt resulted in the same error. An attempt to upgrade my iPad 2 resulted in a different and more accurate error message:

The iPad “Todd’s iPad 2” cannot be restored at this time because the iPad software update server could not be contacted or is temporarily unavailable. Please try again later.

The Washington Post confirmed Apple’s server overload problems today.

iOS 5 goes live, servers creaking

The server overload problems are not restricted to iOS devices. Apple’s Mac OS X Lion operating system for desktop and notebook computers was also updated today to provide iCloud and other support. While my own Lion update went to completion, it was a very slow process (nearly two hours).

At the moment, iCloud is accessibe on my Mac running OS X Lion. But, I will have to wait for a successful update to either my iPhone or iPad before I can test iCloud there.