Apple uses rival Google’s servers to store iCloud data
There have been some reports on Google’s iCloud win in 2016 but Apple never provided confirmation.Updated: Feb 27, 2018 11:35 IST
Apple for the first time has admitted that it uses Google’s cloud servers for data storage for its iCloud services.
The company made the revelation in its latest iOS Security document which was uploaded on its website. “The disclosure is fresh evidence that Google’s cloud has been picking up usage as it looks to catch up with Amazon and Microsoft in the cloud infrastructure business,” CNBC reported late Monday.
There have been some reports on Google’s iCloud win in 2016 but Apple never provided confirmation.
“For years the document contained language indicating that iCloud services were relying on remote data storage systems from Amazon Web Services, as well as Microsoft’s Azure,” the report added.
Apple on its website says, “iCloud stores a user’s contacts, calendars, photos, documents, and more and keeps the information up to date across all of their devices, automatically. iCloud can also be used by third-party apps to store and sync documents as well as key values for app data as defined by the developer. Users set up iCloud by signing in with an Apple ID and choosing which services they would like to use. iCloud features, including My Photo Stream, iCloud Drive, and iCloud Backup, can be disabled by IT administrators via MDM configuration profiles. The service is agnostic about what is being stored and handles all file content the same way, as a collection of bytes.”
“Each file is broken into chunks and encrypted by iCloud using AES-128 and a key derived from each chunk’s contents that utilizes SHA-256. The keys and the file’s metadata are stored by Apple in the user’s iCloud account. The encrypted chunks of the file are stored, without any user-identifying information, using third-party storage services, such as S3 and Google Cloud Platform.”
S3 here is Amazon Web Services (AWS). Earlier, the document just mentioned S3 and Microsoft’s popular Azure platform, which is now missing from the updated one.
The latest iOS Security document which gives a detailed explanation of the technology choices it makes to keep its users from getting hacked, the company disclosed it’s using Google’s Cloud-computing infrastructure to store iCloud data such as photos, files and data backup.
However, there is no indication if Apple is also relying on Google for additional computing work.
When phones powered by Google’s Android software appeared on the market, Apple co-founder and then-CEO Steve Jobs was famously outraged by their similarity to Apple’s competing iOS, according to CNET.
“I’m going to destroy Android, because it’s a stolen product. I’m willing to go thermonuclear on this,” Jobs had reportedly declared. However, now it appears that Apple is willing to do business with Google.
First Published: Feb 27, 2018 11:34 IST