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8/22/2009
02:51 PM
Dave Methvin
Dave Methvin
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Apple Clock-Blocks Google Voice

Politicians learned long ago to release unfavorable information on Friday afternoon. Apple decided to do the same with its response to the FCC regarding the company's policies on the App Store approval process. It's a self-promotional tldr of a document, but it provide an interesting perspective about Apple's treatment of Google Voice.

Politicians learned long ago to release unfavorable information on Friday afternoon. Apple decided to do the same with its response to the FCC regarding the company's policies on the App Store approval process. It's a self-promotional tldr of a document, but it provide an interesting perspective about Apple's treatment of Google Voice.Apple's most ludicrous assertion is that it hasn't rejected the Google Voice app, it simply hasn't approved the software after more than six weeks of inspection by the App Store team. You see, Apple has some concerns that Google Voice "appears to alter the iPhone's distinctive user experience by replacing the iPhone's core mobile telephone functionality and Apple user interface with its own user interface." Plus, the "Contacts database is transferred to Google's servers, and we have yet to obtain any assurances from Google that this data will only be used in appropriate ways."

Guess what, Apple. The user bought the iPhone. If the user decides that they want to replace that iPhone distinctive user experience with Google Voice and put their contact database in the cloud, they should be able to do that. If they don't like what Google Voice has done to their iPhone, they can uninstall the software. Apple should not be in the business of making those judgements, because they are not an impartial observer. I still can't help but think what would happen if this was Microsoft instead of Apple playing gatekeeper.

Delaying the approval of an app for weeks on end can be even worse than rejection, especially when there's no feedback from Apple about what is causing the delay. Google isn't alone in receiving the clock-block treatment; several other developers have complained that they have gotten slow responses and non-specific reasons for rejection. Let's hope that this investigation can show Apple the error of its ways.

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