Apple has today launched a new status page for its iCloud, store and general services that provides far more detail about status and uptimes of its various cloud and backend components. The page features detailed breakdowns of each service, categorized by section including Services, Stores and iCloud.

Each section is then broken down by the product that could be affected by service disruption. Below the ‘green light/red light’ sections is a detailed timeline that shows the exact percentage of users affected and which services had issues. That timeline rolls so you can view the last 24 hours or so of status updates.

Screen Shot 2012 12 13 at 12.21.38 PM 730x678 Apple rolls out new, far more detailed, status page for general Services, Stores and iCloud systems

The page features some nice little details, including the fact that Apple’s favorite shape, the round-rect, indicates an ‘all is well’ status. The icons are also hashed left for ‘stop’ or ‘bad’ and right for ‘good’ or ‘go’, as well as being colored green and amber.

Screen Shot 2012 12 13 at 12.52.25 PM Apple rolls out new, far more detailed, status page for general Services, Stores and iCloud systems

This additional level of detail is welcome, especially as Apple transforms into a full-on services company. Services like iCloud mail, iMessage, Maps and backups are ones that are integral to an iOS device user’s workflow, and it’s important that Apple owns this. There is a real need for culpability and transparency when it comes to these services.

As I wrote just before Apple CEO Tim Cook apologized about the state of Apple’s Maps:

Apple needs to be held accountable for its services if it’s going to be a services company.

iMessage has a safety net, because users fall back to SMS messaging on carriers. But you should have seen my tips inbox and Twitter feed light up with complaints and confusion from users the last time a big outage occurred, despite that net. Teens who use iPods as phones, iPad users and even iPhone owners without texting plans — they were certainly affected. And that’s not to mention iCloud mail outages, which also happen regularly enough.

As the services that Apple rolls out become things that we rely on completely, regular downtime is going to become less and less forgivable. Over the past several months, we’ve seen extended periods of downtime for iMessage, iCloud backups, email and more. It’s good to see Apple taking more responsibility, both publicly via its CEO and through user-facing tools like the status monitor.

Image Credit: Spencer Platt/Staff