iCloud Development Held Up By 'Deep Organizational Issues' at Apple

Development on new features for iCloud is being held up by "deep organizational issues," according to a new report from The Information, which suggests organizational problems are complicating iCloud products and holding up releases. Much of The Information's report requires a subscription to access, but the article's introduction gives a hint at what's going wrong at Apple.

With iOS 8, Apple introduced some major overhauls to iCloud, including iCloud Drive, which allows users to see all of their files in a dedicated folder on the Mac, similar to Dropbox, and iCloud Photo Library, an ambitious project that lets users upload all of their photos to iCloud.

icloudphotolibraryhero
It seems these features may not be as fully fleshed out as Apple would like, especially when it comes to iCloud Photo Library. iCloud Photo Library wasn't released to the public until iOS 8.1, and it remains in a beta testing phase, with speculation suggesting that iCloud's negative public image due to hacked celebrity accounts and photo leaks may have led to its delay.

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.

According to The Information, Apple's "photo vision" has yet to be "fully realized," with internal problems like the lack of a centralized iCloud team leading to iCloud Photo Library's delayed beta release and the lack of the Photos for Mac app, which isn't expected to be completed until 2015.

Photos for Mac, which will integrate with iCloud Photo Library for a complete photo editing and management system, is said to be taking on elements of both iPhoto and Aperture, two apps that Apple has opted to discontinue in favor of the Photos for Mac app. Launching iCloud Photo Library without a companion Mac app leaves a major piece of the iCloud puzzle missing, as users are not able to edit iCloud Photo Library photos natively on their laptops and desktop computers.

While iCloud Photo Library will remain incomplete for some months yet, Apple has been adding features to the iCloud Photos web app as a stopgap measure. Just last week, the company added a much-needed upload feature to its iCloud.com website, allowing users to add photos to iCloud Photo Library outside of their iOS devices for the first time.

iCloud Photo Library is not the first Apple service that's been delayed by organizational issues within the company. iOS in the Car, which later became CarPlay, saw development issues ahead of its official launch as it did not fit neatly into an existing hardware or software category. Internal issues have also been said to be affecting the development of the Maps app and the introduction of new features, like transit directions, due to poor planning, project management issues, and an ongoing loss of developers.

Top Rated Comments

zorinlynx Avatar
103 months ago
My biggest problem with the whole iCloud Photo Library is the "all or nothing" approach Apple seems to have towards it.

For example, enabling it will disable the ability to sync photos from Aperture or iPhoto to your phone. Completely.

It's as if Apple expects me to upload my entire photo collection (several hundred GB) to the cloud to be able to continue to do what I do now, which is view selected parts of my photo library on my phone.

Not. Bloody. Likely.

Photos are among the most important data I have. They are irreplaceable. A few are private and I don't want them on the Internet. Apple has also failed to tell us exactly how we are supposed to BACK UP the iCloud Photo Library. All indications point to the cloud library being authoritative. Does Apple really expect us to trust them with the ONLY authoritative copy of our photos? Are they insane?

They did not think this through. Hopefully the delays mean they ARE thinking it through now and will implement it properly. However, I'm not holding my breath and I'm keeping my options open for now.
Score: 109 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Stephroll Avatar
103 months ago
"deep organizational issues,"

understatement of the year
Score: 43 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Wild-Bill Avatar
103 months ago
Maybe they should reconsider their decision to scrap Aperture. :rolleyes:
And maybe they should consider getting away from this insane yearly OS release nonsense. They are clearly releasing things not yet ready for prime time (iOS 8, OSX 10.10).

The "core rot" at Apple is getting worse.
Score: 42 Votes (Like | Disagree)
doug in albq Avatar
103 months ago
Apparently, to Tim Cook, all that matters is selling hadware. As long as there is no drop in that, all else is fine or can be pushed back to the next software update. This mode of operation will catch up to Cook and his hardware sales eventually.
Score: 25 Votes (Like | Disagree)
oneMadRssn Avatar
103 months ago
My biggest problem with the whole iCloud Photo Library is the "all or nothing" approach Apple seems to have towards it.

For example, enabling it will disable the ability to sync photos from Aperture or iPhoto to your phone. Completely.

It's as if Apple expects me to upload my entire photo collection (several hundred GB) to the cloud to be able to continue to do what I do now, which is view selected parts of my photo library on my phone.

Not. Bloody. Likely.

Photos are among the most important data I have. They are irreplaceable. A few are private and I don't want them on the Internet. Apple has also failed to tell us exactly how we are supposed to BACK UP the iCloud Photo Library. All indications point to the cloud library being authoritative. Does Apple really expect us to trust them with the ONLY authoritative copy of our photos? Are they insane?

They did not think this through. Hopefully the delays mean they ARE thinking it through now and will implement it properly. However, I'm not holding my breath and I'm keeping my options open for now.

I completely agree. I think we should copy and paste your post into Apple's feedback page.
Score: 19 Votes (Like | Disagree)
centauratlas Avatar
103 months ago
Nailed it.

My biggest problem with the whole iCloud Photo Library is the "all or nothing" approach Apple seems to have towards it.

For example, enabling it will disable the ability to sync photos from Aperture or iPhoto to your phone. Completely.

It's as if Apple expects me to upload my entire photo collection (several hundred GB) to the cloud to be able to continue to do what I do now, which is view selected parts of my photo library on my phone.

Not. Bloody. Likely.

Photos are among the most important data I have. They are irreplaceable. A few are private and I don't want them on the Internet. Apple has also failed to tell us exactly how we are supposed to BACK UP the iCloud Photo Library. All indications point to the cloud library being authoritative. Does Apple really expect us to trust them with the ONLY authoritative copy of our photos? Are they insane?

They did not think this through. Hopefully the delays mean they ARE thinking it through now and will implement it properly. However, I'm not holding my breath and I'm keeping my options open for now.
Score: 17 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

iphone 14 pro max vs 13 max 2

Camera Comparison: iPhone 14 Pro Max vs. iPhone 13 Pro Max

Thursday September 29, 2022 7:44 am PDT by
The iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max introduce some major improvements in camera technology, adding a 48-megapixel lens and low-light improvements across all lenses with the new Photonic Engine. We've spent the last week working on an in-depth comparison that pits the new iPhone 14 Pro Max against the prior-generation iPhone 13 Pro Max to see just how much better the iPhone 14 Pro Max can be. Subscrib ...
maxresdefault

Apple Responds to Video Testing Crash Detection Feature With Junkyard Vehicles

Friday September 30, 2022 9:11 am PDT by
The Wall Street Journal's Joanna Stern recently traveled to Michigan to test Apple's new crash detection feature on the iPhone 14 and Apple Watch Ultra. In response, Apple provided some additional information about how the feature works. Stern recruited Michael Barabe to crash his demolition derby car with a heavy-duty steel frame into two unoccupied vehicles parked in a junkyard — a 2003...
iphone 14 iphone 14 plus in hand feature

iPhone 14 Is Secretly Hiding a Beloved Mac Feature

Friday September 30, 2022 3:24 am PDT by
The iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro models bring over a longstanding Mac feature, but the setting to enable it is off by default. The feature, which is actually a new accessibility option, allows the iPhone to play a startup chime like the Mac. When enabled, the sound comes alongside a new shutdown chime. The Mac has featured a startup chime since 1987's Macintosh II, and the iconic "bong"...
adaptive transparency airpods pro

iOS 16.1 Beta Brings Adaptive Transparency to Original AirPods Pro

Thursday September 29, 2022 1:08 pm PDT by
The third beta of iOS 16.1 that was released earlier this week expands the Adaptive Transparency feature introduced with the second-generation AirPods Pro to the original AirPods Pro. As noted on Reddit, first-generation AirPods Pro owners who also have the AirPods beta software will now see an "Adaptive Transparency" toggle in the AirPods section of the Settings app. The 5A304A beta...
iOS 16 Wallpaper Spectrum Feature

Five Wallpaper Apps to Check Out for iOS 16's New Lock Screen Depth Effect

Thursday September 29, 2022 9:08 am PDT by
One of the biggest new features in iOS 16 is a completely redesigned iPhone Lock Screen. The new Lock Screen is entirely customizable, letting you change the colors and fonts, add widgets and new wallpapers, and more to make your iPhone uniquely yours. Of course, even before iOS 16, you could customize your Lock Screen with a wallpaper of your choice. iOS 16 takes the Lock Screen wallpaper...
tony blevins car

Apple Procurement VP Departs Company After Vulgar TikTok Comment

Thursday September 29, 2022 12:38 pm PDT by
Tony Blevins, Apple's vice president of procurement, is set to depart the company after he made a crude comment about his profession in a recent TikTok video, reports Bloomberg. Blevins was in a video by TikTok creator Daniel Mac, who was doing a series on the jobs of people he spotted with expensive cars. After seeing Blevins in an expensive Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren, Mac asked Blevins what ...
tim cook malala

Tim Cook: Not Too Long From Now, You'll Wonder How You Led Your Life Without AR

Thursday September 29, 2022 7:26 am PDT by
Speaking at Università Degli Studi di Napoli Federico II in Naples, Italy, Apple CEO Tim Cook said that not too long from today, people will wonder how they led a life without augmented reality, stressing the "profound" impact it will have on the not so distant future. At the university, Cook was awarded an Honorary Degree in Innovation and International Management and also sat down for a...
Hero0005

Best Apple Deals of the Week: M2 MacBook Air Hits New All-Time Low Price at $1,049, Plus Sales on AirPods Pro and More

Friday September 30, 2022 9:05 am PDT by
This week's best Apple deals focus on the AirPods Pro, AirPods Pro 2, and M2 MacBook Air, including numerous all-time low prices on these devices. You'll also find up to 50 percent off discounts on Anker and Eufy accessories on Amazon. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us...
zuckerberg metaverse

Apple CEO Tim Cook: 'I'm Not Really Sure the Average Person Can Tell You What the Metaverse Is'

Friday September 30, 2022 12:51 pm PDT by
Apple CEO Tim Cook has been touring Europe this week, sitting down for interviews with various media publications. Augmented reality has been a running theme in Cook's discussions, and it is a topic he brought up again in an interview with Dutch publication Bright, which is part of RTL News. "I think AR is a profound technology that will affect everything," Cook said, echoing comments from...
ipad pro m1 feature

Gurman: Apple Event This October Remains Unlikely, No Touch ID for iPhone 15

Sunday October 2, 2022 6:41 am PDT by
Apple is developing new iPad Pro, Mac, and Apple TV models, and at least some of these products will be released in October, according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. However, Gurman continues to believe that Apple is unlikely to hold an event this month. In the latest edition of his Power On newsletter, Gurman said "the big iPhone 14 unveiling last month was probably it for Apple in 2022 in...