Steve Jobs announcing iCloud in 2011. Photo by Bloomberg.
Exclusive
Apple Facebook Google

What’s Holding Back iCloud

Photo: Steve Jobs announcing iCloud in 2011. Photo by Bloomberg.

In June 2011, Steve Jobs took the stage before Apple developers to announce a project close to his heart. It was iCloud, a system for syncing files across Apple devices. Mr. Jobs was particularly excited about the potential to sync photos, one of the most widely used media types, say people who work at Apple.

Yet today, the photo vision, codenamed Hyperion, has yet to be fully realized. The company took a step forward in June, when it announced iCloud Photo Library, a way to store full files of every photo users take with an iPhone or iPad. But this fall, the team missed the initial iOS 8 release, launching an opt-in beta version as part of a later update. Still missing: integration with a forthcoming Photos app for Macs.

Apple is great at building hardware and software that runs on it. But it has long struggled to build services reliant on software that runs remotely rather than on devices. While company executives say they are making progress, interviews with nearly a dozen current and former Apple employees paint a different picture.

Deep organizational issues are holding up releases and complicating products.

Get access to exclusive coverage
Read deeply reported stories from the largest newsroom in tech.
Latest Articles
 
The Briefing
The Role of Tech Founders in Stock Performance: The Information’s Tech Briefing
The Role of Tech Founders in Stock Performance: The Information’s Tech Briefing

Are founder-led firms necessarily better bets for investors than those led by managers? An article on Reuters concluded as much, reporting that “Major founder-led tech firms have seen their share prices double so far this year, comfortably beating a 7.8% gain for the S&P 500 index” and also doing better than those led by hired hands. The report focused on Netflix, Amazon and ...

Latest Briefs
 
Pakistan Lifts TikTok Ban After 10 Days
Neumann Didn’t Get Full $185M “Consulting” Payout, WeWork Exec Says
HeadSpin Under Investigation by DOJ, SEC for Financial Misrepresentations 
Stay in the know
Receive a summary of the day's top tech news—distilled into one email.
Access on the go
View stories on our mobile app and tune into our weekly podcast.
Join live video Q&A’s
Deep-dive into topics like startups and autonomous vehicles with our top reporters and other executives.
Enjoy a clutter-free experience
Read without any banner ads.
SPAC Pioneer Is Vindicated by Boom, Even as Bigger Banks Take Over Market
Markets
SPAC Pioneer Is Vindicated by Boom, Even as Bigger Banks Take Over Market
David Nussbaum has been waiting for this moment for 30 years. The 66-year-old banker helped pioneer the concept of special purpose acquisition companies—cashed-up, empty corporate shells looking for businesses to buy—in the early 1990s.
New Amazon Data: Retailer Wins Sales While Losing to Merchants on Listings
Data Point Policy E-commerce
New Amazon Data: Retailer Wins Sales While Losing to Merchants on Listings
Just 1% of the vacuum cleaners, immersion blenders and other household products listed on Amazon last year were sold by the retailer, with the rest coming from other merchants who use its platform.
New Data Show Reality Behind Self-Driving Truck Startup’s Funding
Exclusive Venture Capital Startups
New Data Show Reality Behind Self-Driving Truck Startup’s Funding
TuSimple, a prominent developer of self-driving semitrailer trucks that is worth more than $1 billion on paper, said last fall it had secured funding of $215 million from investors.
Apple Unveils 5G Phones: The Information’s Tech Briefing
The Briefing
Apple Unveils 5G Phones: The Information’s Tech Briefing
Apple brought all its usual marketing hyperbole to today’s unveiling of its latest iPhones, with breathless exclamation for new colors, chip speed and the ceramic cover that Apple promises will be less breakable.
Censorship Drama Engulfs Facebook, Twitter: The Information’s Tech Briefing
The Briefing
Censorship Drama Engulfs Facebook, Twitter: The Information’s Tech Briefing
There’s no question that Facebook and Twitter face an extremely difficult task in trying to keep misinformation from polluting their networks, particularly now, in the weeks before the election.
Cover Wall Street for The Information!
jobs@theinformation
Cover Wall Street for The Information!
If you’re interested in how the capital markets work, and you love the tech industry, The Information has a job for you.