Apple Bans Google From Distributing Internal iOS Apps (Updated)

Posted on February 1, 2019 by Mehedi Hassan in Apple, Google, Social with 24 Comments

Update: Apple has told BuzzFeed that the company is working closely with Google to provide the company with new Enterprise Developer Program certificates so they can once again distribute their internal apps. “We are working together with Google to help them reinstate their enterprise certificates very quickly.” an Apple spokesperson told BuzzFeed. The news comes after Cupertino reinstated Facebook’s certificates for the Enterprise Developer Program.

Original story follows. 

Facebook was recently banned by Apple from distributing internal iOS apps after the company violated Apple’s terms of conditions. The social network giant used Apple’s Enterprise Developer Program, supposed to be used for distributing internal apps only, to deliver a secret Research app that paid teens in exchange for their data. (Update: Apple has lifted the ban on Facebook’s internal apps as of 18:36 EST). 

Shortly after, Google was revealed to be running a similar program. The company’s Screenwise Meter app used to monitor how people use their iPhones, in exchange for gift cards. The company also used Apple’s Enterprise Developer Program, violating the same ToCs Facebook did. After the app was revealed to be using Apple’s Enterprise Developer Program, Google stopped distributing the app through the program and disabled it on iOS devices quickly.

And now, The Verge is reporting that Apple has now blocked Google’s Enterprise Developer Program certificates. That means the company is no longer able to distribute internal versions of its iOS apps to employees. This includes early versions of its apps like Google Maps, as well as the Gbus app used for transportation within the Google campus.

The move from Apple is a big deal here. The company was accused of treating Facebook unfairly after reports of Google exploiting similar techniques, and the ban on Google should make things fair. Still, some are accusing the iPhone maker of abusing its power, but the move here is completely fair.

Both Google and Facebook violated Apple’s terms of conditions, and the punishment here is very straight forward.

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