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article imageApple planning 'Pie' platform to unify its cloud services

By James Walker     Oct 6, 2016 in Technology
Apple is planning to unify its cloud services under a single platform dubbed "Pie," according to a report today. It also hopes to speed up product development and create more links between products by tying teams together in one division.
Apple wants to adopt a cloud strategy similar to the systems used by Google and Amazon, Bloomberg reported today. To facilitate greater growth of its services business, Apple will unite all its cloud teams under a single roof at the company's Infinite Loop campus in Cupertino, California. The current structure, where most services are developed independently in rented office locations, is hindering Apple's ambitions for the cloud, leaving it behind its rivals.
Apple's services division includes businesses like Siri, iCloud, iTunes, Apple Music, Apple Pay, Apple Maps, Apple Music and Apple News. These apps are used by millions of people worldwide. However, they are often perceived to be lacking in features and more buggy than alternatives developed by rivals such as Google.
The chaotic launch of Apple Maps is now a famous failure in the tech industry. Siri is generally considered to be less advanced than Google's digital assistant technology, leaving Apple struggling to participate in the emerging AI space. With the recently-launched iOS 10, Apple completely rebuilt Music and News, based on criticism from users. The apps were debuted only a year ago.
Considering Apple's services as a whole, a trend begins to emerge. The apps are popular with users but suffer from quality problems that aren't present in the hardware they run on. The current company structure slows down development and makes bugs more probable, according to people with knowledge of the changes ongoing at Apple who spoke to Bloomberg. By bringing the various teams responsible together, Apple intends to create services that are simultaneously more advanced and more robust.
The reorganisation will be accompanied by a rethink of Apple's cloud infrastructure. The company has developed a new platform known as "Pie" to host the code running critical services like Siri and iCloud. Pie has been developed internally by Apple so it suits the apps that run on it. It is said to be more performant than the current system while affording Apple additional control over its operation.
Some of Apple's services have already obtained their slice of Pie, people cited in Bloomberg's report said. Parts of Siri, iTunes and Apple News already run on the new system. The remaining products will be migrated to Pie over the next few years. To accompany the overhauled infrastructure, Apple is said to have developed its own photo storage system. This will reduce its reliance on the photo processing technology offered by Google and Amazon's cloud APIs.
Apple's restructuring and the introduction of Pie should improve consumer experiences of Apple products over time. Once the teams have settled into their new locations and Pie is fully online, Apple services should be more reliable and better prepared to rival the likes of Google and Amazon in the rapidly expanding cloud landscape. It is not clear when the move will be complete.
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