Friday, 22 February, 2019


Apple punishes Google with iPhone app restrictions

Apple breaks Google’s internal iOS apps for the same reason it broke Facebook’s apps Apple declares war on enterprise customers
Melba Vasquez | 02 February, 2019, 01:12

Reports surfacing late on Thursday evening said that the functionality of some internal Google iOS apps had been restored, following close work alongside Apple.

Facebook says Apple is restoring its access to a key development tool that the iPhone maker disabled Wednesday.

Apple shut down Google's distribution of internal iOS apps on Thursday (31 January), following allegations that the search engine giant had violated Apple's app distribution policy in wrongly collecting user data for internal research.

According to a source from The Verge, the initial versions of Google Maps, Hangouts, Gmail and other beta applications (not yet released) have stopped working today, as have other internal applications for employees, such as a Gbus application for transport and Google's internal application for its coffee shops. The tech blog TechCrunch reported on Tuesday that Facebook paid people about $20 a month to install and use the Facebook Research app.

Apple has in the past revoked enterprise developer certificates from rogue developers who'd used them to distribute malicious iOS apps outside Apple's walled-garden. For now, the app appears to be available for Android phones, though not through Google's main app store. There's also nothing on Apple's System Status page to suggest that anything is wrong with the App Store, and Apple hasn't said anything, but based on the fact that half a dozen new tweets have popped up in the last five minutes, there's definitely an issue.

"The Screenwise Meter iOS app should not have operated under Apple's developer enterprise program-this was a mistake, and we apologise", Google said with its figurative tail clamped firmly between equally-figurative legs.

"We're working with Apple to fix a temporary disruption to some of our corporate iOS apps, which we expect will be resolved soon", Google said in the statement.

We'll have to wait and see if Google (or Facebook, for that matter) will get its certification back. "We are in the process of getting our internal apps up and running".

Google's "Screenwise Meter" ignored this and would gather data on websites visited, IP addresses and cookies beyond Google's own employees.

Business Insider obtained a leaked memo from Facebook executive Pedro Canahuati, which offers more detail on Apple's power over the social media giant. "To be clear, this didn't have an impact on our consumer-facing services", a Facebook spokesperson told TechCrunch.

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