Apple Shows Google The Web Hasn't Won - InformationWeek
IoT
IoT
Government // Mobile & Wireless
News
7/30/2009
08:12 PM
Connect Directly
Google+
LinkedIn
Twitter
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%
RELATED EVENTS
Faster, More Effective Response With Threat Intelligence & Orchestration Playboo
Aug 31, 2017
Finding ways to increase speed, accuracy, and efficiency when responding to threats should be the ...Read More>>

Apple Shows Google The Web Hasn't Won

The Web may be the platform of the future, but at the moment, Web development technology doesn't provide Google with a way around Apple's ban on its Google Voice app.

Apple's refusal to allow the Google Voice application for iPhones to be sold in its App Store has elicited raucous criticism and prompted peevish Internet users to disparage Apple as "evil," a term more often associated with Google.

Forbes writer Brian Caulfield has come to Apple's defense, insisting that Apple isn't evil for defending the considerable iPhone-related revenue it receives from AT&T. It's a fair argument, though one that doesn't consider whether AT&T generates that revenue through unreasonable pricing, as some have suggested.

Whether Apple will suffer any lasting damage from the incident remains to be seen. Few iPhone owners use Google Voice, so most don't know what they're missing. And online scolds aren't likely to derail company's momentum or diminish its popularity among its devoted fans. At most, the incident it likely to encourage a few iPhone users to switch to Android.

But Apple's rejection of the Google Voice app may be enough to bring the company to the attention of government regulators. Although spokespeople for the Federal Trade Commission, the Federal Communications Commission, and the Department of Justice all declined to comment on whether Apple's actions might merit regulatory scrutiny, Fred Von Lohmann, senior staff attorney for the Electronic Frontier Foundation, believes that Apple will have to confront questions about anti-competitive behavior.

"The Google Voice events this week underscore the fact that if you're worried about competition, you're worried about Apple," he said, noting that the incident shows why the EFF asked the Copyright Office to sanction the jailbreaking of iPhones.

Von Lohmann doesn't believe any government action is imminent. But the fuss made over Apple's ban probably means that regulators have noticed, he said.

(Update: On Friday afternoon, The Wall Street Journal reported that the FCC had initiated in inquiry into why Apple and AT&T banned Google Voice.)

Google meanwhile is pursuing a technical solution. But at present, it doesn't look like an iPhone Web app can match a native one, at least for Google Voice.

Some of the functions of the Google Voice app, like accessing voicemail recordings and transcripts or sending SMS messages via the Google Voice site, can be provided using HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. But other functions, like placing calls using a Google Voice number rather than a mobile phone number, require access to phone hardware. Current browser technology doesn't allow Web developers to make use of mobile device hardware.

Previous
1 of 2
Next
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security Enterprise
How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security Enterprise
To learn more about what organizations are doing to tackle attacks and threats we surveyed a group of 300 IT and infosec professionals to find out what their biggest IT security challenges are and what they're doing to defend against today's threats. Download the report to see what they're saying.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
IT Strategies to Conquer the Cloud
Chances are your organization is adopting cloud computing in one way or another -- or in multiple ways. Understanding the skills you need and how cloud affects IT operations and networking will help you adapt.
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.
Flash Poll