By: Nick Gambino

Exactly a year after its launch, the Data Transfer Project now boasts Apple as its newest addition to the open-source project that already includes Google, Microsoft, Facebook and Twitter. The idea behind the Data Transfer Project is it will allow users to easily transfer between these platforms without the need to download and re-upload, which can be a real headache.

At first glance, it might seem like these various entities are cavorting with the enemy, something Apple has not been a fan of it. (Though, in this post-Jobs era, they’ve definitely lightened up.) Allowing for interoperability and ease of transfer makes the platform more appealing than a competitor who doesn’t offer that option. So this democracy is still very much rooted in capitalism.

For now, the Data Transfer Project is mainly coding and back-end stuff without a lot of user-friendly tools for the average Joe to do anything with. Though, there is the promise that the eventual goal is for it all to be neatly packaged into consumer platforms or stand-alone products. Ease-of-use is what makes for widespread adoption.

For users, this means they should eventually be able to do things like transfer photos on Facebook to the Apple Photos app without a ton of extra work or any intermediate step. It should be as simple as plugging in your destination and hitting “transfer.” To be clear, the project has a lot more to do before that function is available throughout all participating platforms.

“We are continually making improvements that might cause things to break occasionally,” the website for the Data Transfer Project says. “So as you are trying things please use it with caution and expect some hiccups.”

The project relies on more partners coming on-board to allow it to have any future. Companies like Google, Facebook, and Apple lend it legitimacy and with billions of users between them, it means the majority of us will be on the receiving end of the benefits of its code.

There are a billion options for us to choose from when deciding on the service for our music, our photos, our social media and so on. It’s comforting to know that these competitors are starting to play nice and allow us to easily switch between their platforms.