What started as a pretty big Facebook issue transformed into an equally-sized Google issue, and Apple has responded in kind.
The Verge reports on Thursday that Apple has pulled the plug on several different Google-owned iOS apps, blocking the company’s internal apps. This prevents Google from distributing these apps altogether, meaning early versions of Google Maps, Hangouts, Gmail, and other “pre-release beta apps have stopped working today”. Google’s other internal apps, like Gbus for transportation and Google’s own cafe app, have also stopped working.
The block comes on the heels of details regarding Google’s “Screenwise Meter” app, which worked in a similar way to Facebook’s Research VPN iOS app to collect user data, basically unrestricted. In those cases users agreed to have their data mined and collected by each company, all in return for monetary compensation in one way or another. The issue, though, came down to how these companies handled Enterprise Certificates. Both companies were using these certificates to distribute apps to iOS users, which is against Apple’s App Store policy.
Apple blocked Facebook’s app and the social network eventually removed the app altogether from the App Store — but not before Apple pulled their certificates and stopped Facebook’s own internal apps from working as well. Google, for its part, did pull the Screenwise Meter app the same day it was discovered and reported on, but that hasn’t stopped Apple from doling out the consequences of knowingly running afoul of the App Store rules.
This is an interesting situation, as Apple has every right to implement ramifications for those who break clearly-printed rules to its digital storefront. But the company is definitely enacting a lot of power, which is not sitting well with some.
What do you think?
[via The Verge]