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07 October 2023

Apple is killing the cloud as we know it

Hello. A technology novice may know that iCloud syncs their documents across all their devices— iPhone, iPad, and Mac. Someone a little more tech-savvy may understand that the cloud, as a general concept, is also used to offload computing burdens like speech-to-text and virtual assistants.

We all know that our data floating in the cloud is being kept, monitored, analyzed, and sold. Tell Alexa your hopes and dreams, how perhaps you are having trouble sleeping, and he'll blab to Jeff Bezos about it. Maybe Jeff uses that gossip to sell you a better mattress.

Google Assistant and Cortana (RIP) are both blabbermouths, too. It's not unreasonable to think Siri rolls with the same crowds. But I'm not so sure. Most of what you tell Siri never leaves your phone. Even for processing your voice, it's all done on your iDevice.

Listen, I get it. We live in a capitalist world with faceless shareholders and petulant billionaires. Why would Apple be any different? Part of me knows that enough time passes and my foot will eventually reach my mouth. But right now, based on the information available, it's clear that Apple is killing the cloud as we know it. And it's doing so in favor of on-device computing and storage.

Anything that floats in the air is encrypted and out of Tim Cook's reach. That's an incredible feat. It shows a path for tech companies to profit without soaking themselves in our data. Will Amazon or Google ever give up their data addiction? Likely not. But start-ups sprout every day.

Over the last few years, Apple has favored on-device computing and encryption:

  1. Siri processes on-device
  2. So does dictation
  3. And the Neural Network
  4. Our files live on our devices first
  5. All our stuff in iCloud is encrypted

Plus, iPhones increase storage every year like clockwork. We can get 2TB mobile devices. That's wild. I mean, it's overpriced like hell, but it's still amazing.

iCloud has essentially become a traffic guard that directs our digital lives from one iDevice to the next. And it never asks, "How's your day, hot shot?" That seems like a good thing.

Note: This post is mainly rushed thoughts. I'll keep adding and polishing.


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Assumed audience techies