Google Admits to Sidestepping App Store Rules

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News Posted: Wed, Nov 26 2008 12:01 AM

An earlier analysis of the new version of the Google Mobile App for the iPhone showed that in order to achieve some of its functionality, the ability to detect when the iPhone is raised to a person's head to perform a voice search, it had to use undocumented APIs. On Tuesday, Google admitted that it's been caught with its App Store rules down.

A Google spokesperson told C|Net that the Mobile App does indeed use undocumented APIs. At the same time Google denied that it was linking to private or dynamic frameworks, which is a far more serious charge.

The problem with the use of undocumented APIs, of course, is that those APIs can be changed at any time, rendering the application non-functional, or at least that particular feature.

However, more worrisome to other developers is the fact that according to terms of the SDK, such an app should not be able to make it through the App Store approval process. Since the App Store approval process has proved to be somewhat spotty at times.

The rules are supposed to make the playing field even for developers. The question is, did the app make it through because:
  • Apple missed the use of undocumented APIs
  • Google cut a deal
  • Google has political clout
If it's simply an oversight, will Google be required to rewrite its app? If not, how will other developers, who have cried foul in the past over App Store policies, react?

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3vi1 replied on Wed, Nov 26 2008 5:59 PM

>> If it's simply an oversight, will Google be required to rewrite its app?

Apple needs to either publish the API, remove the rule, or remove the Google app as an example. Any other action is hypocritical.

What part of "Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn" don't you understand?


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What's up with all the google apps on the Iphone anyway. Don't they have a competing platform.

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ice_73 replied on Thu, Nov 27 2008 11:00 PM

im not suprised at apple's reaction. apple is very anti-hacker, and anti-anything other than apple. btw bob, google doesnt have a platform really... they back android, and they also backed iphone (they had maps, youtube, and im sure im missing some other stuff). google wants an "open standard" on everything. this is why they bid in the fcc broadcast auction for the frequencies which are in use by current normal t.v.. google just wants everything open platform so google can develop and put its own apps there. which is a good thing, and a bad thing. while i love all the features of google, it will also block the smaller developers out in the long run (its harder to develop solid apps against a giant like google who has so much more resources).

my 0.02

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