Apple has now shut down Google’s ability to distribute its internal iOS apps, following a similar shutdown that was issued to Facebook earlier this week. A person familiar with the situation tells The Verge that early versions of Google Maps, Hangouts, Gmail, and other pre-release beta apps have stopped working today, alongside employee-only apps like a Gbus app for transportation and Google’s internal cafe app.
“We’re working with Apple to fix a temporary disruption to some of our corporate iOS apps, which we expect will be resolved soon,” says a Google spokesperson in a statement to The Verge. Apple has not yet commented on the situation.
There are two sides to this story. One the one hand, I’m glad Apple is taking measures and revoking some of these companies’ developer rights. These kinds of privacy-invading apps are a terrible idea, even if people get paid for them, and no platform should allow them. On the other hand, though, I would much rather have such tactics be wholly illegal on a national level, since leaving such decisions in the hands of easily corruptible corporrations – see Apple and China – is a recipe for disaster.