Apple is now storing all your iCloud files and photos in Google Cloud

For the first time, Apple has revealed it is now using Google Cloud to store all your iCloud files, instead of Microsoft Azure.

Apple is now storing all your iCloud files and photos in Google Cloud

As reported by CNBC, Apple’s latest iOS Security Guide, published in January, reveals it uses Google Cloud Platform for features including My Photo Stream, iCloud Drive, and iCloud Backup.

Although some US news outlets reported a deal between the competitors almost two years ago, this is the first official confirmation Apple is using Google’s cloud storage for iCloud.

“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…but in the latest version, the Microsoft Azure reference is gone, and in its place is Google Cloud Platform,” explains CNBC.

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Although CRN reported in 2016 that “Apple has also significantly reduced its reliance on Amazon Web Services”, the iOS Security Guide still retains its reference to Amazon’s S3.

Just because Google is responsible for storing users’ data, it doesn’t mean the company can do anything with it, because everything is securely encrypted.

“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,” explains the iOS Security Guide.

“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.”

It’s not clear which of the iCloud services use S3 and which use Google Cloud Platform, and there are no additional references to Google in the document.

One thought on “Apple is now storing all your iCloud files and photos in Google Cloud”

JoAnne says:
Google said I had to have their cloud service and charge me 1.99 a month. I already have iCloud with Apple and am charged .99 a month for extra space. Can I drop the Google cloud service without risk?
Steve Larner says:
Yes, iCloud uses Google’s Cloud, but you should consider iCloud as a separate service. The two services are associated on their end but not on the consumer’s end. They are still two different services for the consumer.

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