iCloud subscriptions are a huge part of Apple’s business model these days. The fees charged to iOS and macOS users contribute greatly to the company’s burgeoning Services division, bringing in recurring revenue amid slowing iPhone hardware sales.
As such, the firm is keen to hang onto iCloud users and their monthly contributions. So it makes sense that, until now, getting your data to a rival service like is a right royal pain in the butt. Relief is coming through the Data Transfer Project, which has announced Apple has officially joined Microsoft, Google, Facebook and Twitter as key contributors.
The idea behind the project launched last year aims to bring online service providers together under an open source framework that enables users to seamlessly and directly port data between two platforms.
Those behind the project say it’ll be great for trying out a new storage service, leaving one completely, or backing up data to a difference cloud locker. So, if you want to switch everything from iCloud to Google Drive or OneDrive, Apple’s participation in the project could make this easier.
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The service is in active development, but isn’t live yet. Eighteen contributors are already on board, but the presence of Apple is likely to push this service into the mainstream. The company was conspicuously absent when the project was confirmed a year ago, but the Apple officially jumped on board this week.
“The contributors to the Data Transfer Project believe portability and interoperability are central to innovation,” the project page reads. “Making it easier for individuals to choose among services facilitates competition, empowers individuals to try new services and enables them to choose the offering that best suits their needs.”
Whether this will convince more people to leave iCloud, or whether it’ll bring more people into the fold remains to be seen. Regardless, users will surely appreciate the flexibility.