Posted by John on August 22nd, 2009
Closed platforms – happen.
excerpted below, please click above link for full article
Analysis: Apple, AT&T and Google Voice
Apple has finally made it clear what they have against Google Voice-type apps. Apple doesn’t want anyone messing with their stuff.
Apple on Friday posted its response to the Federal Communications Commission’s Google Voice iPhone app inquiry on their Web site, and the company finally made it clear what they have against Google Voice-type apps: Apple doesn’t want anyone messing with their stuff.
Their argument sounds oddly plaintive: Apple “spent a lot of time and effort” developing their phone interface, so they don’t like that Google “replac[es] the iPhone’s core mobile telephone functionality and Apple user interface with its own user interface for telephone calls, text messaging and voicemail.”
A tiny violin plays for Apple. But the line is clear: Apple sees their platform as their house. Software developers are guests, and they can’t rearrange the furniture. The iPhone is not a completely open platform – but only fools ever believed it was.
There’s a lot of fun in Apple and AT&T’s responses to the FCC’s inquiries. For one thing, the FCC made the common error of thinking Google Voice is a VoIP program. It isn’t; it’s a complicated sort of universal messaging system mashed up with a voicemail server and some other stuff.
AT&T declares that “AT&T does not have direct knowledge of the particular features or functionalities of that application,” and that “we look forward to learning more about Google Voice.” Apple chimes in that “Apple does not know if there is a VoIP element in the way the Google Voice application routes calls and messages.”
Ba-dum-ching! It’s practically “Google Voice – what’s that?”
Apple, meanwhile, also runs through a list of VoIP programs they do approve of (such as Skype) as part of their argument that Google Voice isn’t VoIP, it’s a denigration of Apple’s hard work at building a phoneinterface.
• Yes, AT&T bans using VoIP apps on the iPhone over their cellular network. But as we know, they allow VoIP apps on Windows Mobile to use their cellular network. So what’s going on here? It’s not about network congestion, it’s just about money, AT&T says.