Why iCloud is Apple’s worst product

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iCloud iPhone
What is happening with iCloud within Apple? Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

iCloud was hailed by Tim Cook back in 2012 as “not just a product. It’s a strategy for the next decade.” Yet these days, iCloud is something of a mess: Not only has it not gained significant features since launch, but a slate of very public hacks have made it a rare black mark on Apple’s security record.

What the heck happened? According to a new report, iCloud isn’t living up to its potential because, organizationally, it’s an orphan within Apple.

Claiming that she has spoken to more than a dozen current and former Apple employees, Jessica Levin of The Information says iCloud is being held up by a number of organizational issues.

Consider, for example, the iCloud photo project, code-named Hyperion, which stems from a directive of Steve Jobs to realize seamless photo syncing. iCloud Photo Library is a step toward what Jobs envisioned, and yet three years later, it’s still in beta, having missed the iOS 8 release.

What gives? How can a mission given by Jobs before his death still not be realized? Levin’s sources say the problem is Apple’s own internal structure: There’s no project manager overseeing iCloud Photo Library, and the company doesn’t even have a team working on iCloud’s core infrastructure.

Why? Because Apple thinks in terms of products, and infrastructure isn’t seen as a product within the company.

Obviously, this is an attitude Apple is going to have to address. As we expect more and more of Apple’s products and services to work together, invisible infrastructure will be the product that holds it all together. Hopefully, Apple will be able to address these philosophical issues sooner rather than later.

Source: The Information