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Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Google Voice banned from the App Store. No VoIP, no Skype, no Voice. Which application will be killed next?

The title is ironice. Skyp, indeed, is there, but Skype calls over 3G aren't allowed due to contractual restrictions. Taking into account that Skype won't stay logged in unless you don't keep the application open, I fail to understand what should the application worth for. Anyway, today, while checking the news, I stumbled upon this article.

Earlier today we learned that Apple had begun to pull all Google Voice-enabled applications from the App Store, citing the fact that they “duplicate features that come with the iPhone”.

Oh yes, the iPhone is a phone. Using your voice to make calls indeed seems a functionality duplication. But that's not the point. The point is that Apple has created sort of an ecosystem (which is exaggeratedly proud of) around the iPhone SDK and the App Store. It seems that things are all there to start a developers' competition. Something which, in principle, goes at progress' and users' sake. With some gotchas, to use an euphemism. The reality is bitter than that: Apple itself is a blocker. Its dos and don'ts too often play against the end users' interest, as is the case with its Google Voice ban. AT&T being the evil behind the scene is not a justification to me. It's Apple who's banning. I won't either comment on Apple's ethics, if it's true that Kovacs himself personally approved Google's project. Was it true... well, it would simply confirm that Apple's more interested to worthy compromises rather than its users, which are still a wealthy niche.

This brings me back to the adagio: open or closed platforms (and formats)?

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