Skip to main content

Apple argues internally over the future of iCloud, report claims

apple ios developer academy logo
Apple’s iCloud remote storage service has been marred by sync issues, interface inconsistencies, and sporadic outages for the better part of its existence. Turns out there’s a reason: It’s a patchwork of third-party services held together by the technological equivalent of Crazy Glue. And exacerbating matters is a bit of an existential crises within the company. While some Apple employees want to see the platform rebuilt using in-house resources, others — namely, engineers a part of the company’s iMessage, iTunes, and iCloud group — are fearful of the impact a relaunch may have on their positions.

The squabble is apparently quite nasty. According to the Information, upper management wants the development team behind Siri to adapt the personal assistant’s underlying cloud techniques to iCloud’s more heavily used elements like photo backup and file storage, in effect forcing the designated iCloud division — a team which numbers in the thousands of engineers — to cede control. That has programmers up in arms: An engineering manager has reportedly resigned, and more are “likely” to follow.

Related Videos

Despite the internal upheaval, though, Apple is reportedly moving forward with a plan to significantly revamp its cloud-powered services. Reports suggest that the Siri-powering Mesos, an open-source, scalable framework based on “modern web programming concepts,” will form the basis of Apple’s next-gen Game Center, CloudKit, and Apple Maps ecosystems in mid-2017. The revamp of iCloud, meanwhile, reportedly codenamed “Project McQueen,” will take a tad longer because of the current incarnation’s complexity.

As of now, iCloud’s powered by a mishmashed backend made up of Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure. It will take significant time and effort to migrate away from the current system, but it’ll be worth the effort. According to VentureBeat, switching iCloud to Apple servers will pay the company dividends in three years. That’s not the only benefit: Apple gets infrastructure it can customize to its needs, too. Already, the company has apparently purchased land plots in Hong Kong and China for future data centers. Apple gets security guarantees from China — specifically, that iCloud user data is by hidden away from the prying eyes of the government and hackers.

What’s the takeaway for the average, iPhone-wielding Joe? If you’ve been burned by iCloud in the past, the wait for significant improvements is almost at an end — but first, Apple’s got personnel problems to deal with. For all parties involved, let’s hope they’re resolved amicably and expeditiously.

Editors' Recommendations

I created the perfect iPhone home screen — and you can too
iPhone 14 Pro with custom home screen icons and widgets

With iOS 14, Apple began to open the floodgates for software customization on the iPhone. For the first time, you could add widgets to the home screen and even change app icons to custom ones without the need for a jailbreak. And iOS 16 gave us some more customization options in the form of the lock screen, although the interface for that is su-par, to say the least.

While I see a lot of people still use a stock grid layout on their home screen, I took some time when iOS 14 first came out to customize my iOS experience. I enjoy that it’s not just a boring grid of stock icons — having custom icons and widgets really mix things up a bit and gives me a more informative home screen.

Read more
If you use this free password manager, your passwords might be at risk
Office computer with login asking for password and username.

Researchers have just found a flaw within Bitwarden, a popular password manager. If exploited, the bug could give hackers access to login credentials, compromising various accounts.

The flaw within Bitwarden was spotted by Flashpoint, a security analysis firm. While the issue hasn't received much -- or any -- coverage in the past, it appears that Bitwarden was aware of it all along. Here's how it works.

Read more
Android Auto just got a much-requested new feature
how to set up android auto thumbnail 2

Android Auto is an excellent platform that helps bridge the gap between a driver's phone and their car's control center, and now it's getting even better.

The latest update for the Android Auto beta adds an exciting amount of customization to the interface's widgets. Now, instead of the usual fixed layout that users have grown accustomed to, the widgets are interchangeable and able to be customized to best accommodate a driver's needs.

Read more