Apple has become the latest partner of the Data Transfer Project, a scheme that involves Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Twitter, and other contributors to create an open-source way for users to shift their data between different cloud services.
Launched in 2018, the Data Transfer Project is working to produce software and systems to enable the transfer of a user's personal data from one data store to another. While the other big-name tech companies joined the project last summer, Apple has only just joined the effort.
Currently, if a user wants to move their personal data from services, they have to use the different export tools offered by each firm, such as Apple's Data and Privacy portal. While the data can be requested, it isn't offered in a standardized way that could be immediately used by another service.
The Data Transfer Project aims to change this by making the export and import tools of each company compatible with each other, allowing for a smoother transfer of data for consumers. The vast majority of the work is out of sight of consumers, using existing APIs and authorization mechanisms alongside service-specific adapters to translate data to a common format that can be plugged into the receiving service's API.
Ultimately, this could mean a situation where an Android user moving to iOS could request to port their customer data over from Google's services, including Play, over to Apple's servers.
So far the project has resulted in more than 42,000 lines of code across 1,500 files from 18 contributing entities. Since the launch, the project has added framework features such as cloud logging ad monitoring, as well as adding updated integrations for new APIs from Google Photos and Smugmug, and new integrations for Deezer, Mastodon, and Tim Berners-Lee's Solid.