Ap­ple’s plans for iCloud, Siri and iTunes

Ap­ple wants to move its cloud ser­vices teams un­der one roof as a bet on the fu­ture of the com­pany. Caitlin Mc­Garry re­ports

iPad&iPhone user - - CONTENTS -

Ap­ple has a plan to make its cloud ser­vices good: mov­ing the groups re­spon­si­ble for build­ing them into one build­ing so they can work to­gether.

The teams be­hind iCloud, Siri, Ap­ple Mu­sic, iTunes, Ap­ple News, Ap­ple Pay, and Maps all work un­der Eddy Cue, Ap­ple’s se­nior vice pres­i­dent of soft­ware and ser­vices, but they are phys­i­cally spread out. Ap­ple has re­al­ized that the phys­i­cal dis­tance is con­tribut­ing to slow bug fixes and prod­uct de­vel­op­ment, sources told Bloomberg, so the com­pany is cen­tral­iz­ing its cloud ser­vices em­ploy­ees at In­fi­nite Loop.

But it’s not just em­ploy­ees who will be work­ing to­gether in one place – Ap­ple is also re­port­edly mov­ing its cloud in­fra­struc­ture onto one in­ter­nally

de­vel­oped plat­form. The com­pany is al­ready mov­ing cloud ser­vices like iTunes onto its own sys­tem, though it could take a few years to move ev­ery ser­vice. Ap­ple is also build­ing an in­ter­nal photo stor­age sys­tem so it won’t have to use Google and Ama­zon’s servers any­more.

The im­pact on you at home

Ap­ple keeps point­ing to ser­vices as the fu­ture of the com­pany, es­pe­cially as sales of iPhones have slowed, but those ser­vices have big prob­lems. iCloud is a con­stant source of cus­tomer com­plaints, and iTunes is so un­wieldy that peo­ple would rather sub­scribe to any stream­ing ser­vice but Ap­ple Mu­sic to get away from it. But ser­vices are still grow­ing, so if Ap­ple brings its teams un­der one roof to work to­gether more seam­lessly, it might just catch up to Google and Ama­zon.

The fu­ture of computing is ar­ti­fi­cial in­tel­li­gence. Look at Ama­zon’s voice as­sis­tant Alexa, Google As­sis­tant and Google Home, Face­book Mes­sen­ger’s chat­bots, and Sam­sung’s re­cent ac­qui­si­tion of Viv, a voice as­sis­tant built by Siri’s cre­ators. Ap­ple could be lag­ging be­hind its com­peti­tors for three rea­sons: it’s per­fect­ing a prod­uct that will be leaps and bounds bet­ter than any­thing we’ve seen so far, it be­lieves that your per­sonal data should be tied to your de­vice and not stored in the cloud, or its cloud teams weren’t work­ing to­gether to­ward a co­he­sive vi­sion. Per­haps the real rea­son is a com­bi­na­tion of all three. But if work­ing un­der one roof makes iCloud and iTunes less of a headache to use, then we hope Bloomberg’s re­port is true.

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