Saturday, August 1, 2009

Apple Backlash! Tech-Celebrities Give Up On The iPhone.

By Benedict Wee

Steven Frank, Mac fanboy and co-founder of well known OS X development house Panic is giving up his iPhone.

The well-known developer wrote about his frustration over Apple's dismissive and biased attitude towards application developers of the iPhone and iPod Touch, not giving a clear explanation on why an app has been rejected from the store or pulling one that they've already approved before. App developers have been complaining about Apple's schizophrenic policy since day one of the app store's launch as they've put a lot of work into creating the applications but it wasn't till the company's latest fiasco that Steven decided enough was enough.

That fiasco being Apple's rejection of the official Google Voice app and the pulling of all other third-party apps that contained the Google Voice function which were already approved and in the app store.

Google Voice is Google's latest service which allows users to have a personal Google phone number that is not tied to any telco. The user has all of his/her contacts call that Google number while determining where a particular contact is allowed to be connected to.

The user can also make free calls by calling their own Google number and then inserting the number of the person that they want to call.

This new service is currently available only in the US and can be downloaded by Android and BlackBerry smartphones.

Steven downplayed AT&T's (the exclusive carrier of the iPhone in the US) culpability in forcing Apple to remove the apps by stating that they sell BlackBerries which can download the Google Voice application.

Despite being the rejected as a native application, Google Voice is still accessible by going though the iPhone's Safari browser. This is the same route iPhone owners have to go through to access Google Latitude as requested by Apple. This did not provide any solace for the frustrated developer of the Google Voice app however and he has released the application on the unofficial app store Cydia, available on jailbroken iPhones.

Steven also highlights that Apple still allows apps that let iPhone users send free texts to remain in the store. He also says that it is not only the developers who suffer from Apple's authoritarianism, but the iPhone users who are missing out on the great software available to other smartphone users.

Steven is not the only well known tech-celebrity to publicly denounce his iPhone.

Popular technology blog founder -TechCrunch- and creator of the Crunchpad web tablet Michael Arrington has also revealed in a post today that he is terminating his contract with AT&T and switching his iPhone to a myTouch 3G (a.k.a the HTC Magic). His reason: also not being able to use Google Voice.

Michael's public announcement was supported by sentiments of the readers who agree with his reasons as well as rival tech blog Gizmodo, who have also condemned Apple's approval process.

Steven is switching to a Palm Pre and he has sworn off buying any gadgets that carry the iPhone OSX (including the rumored Apple Tablet) and it is only a matter of time before the news of more people giving up the iPhone for similar reasons spreads.

Is the company that created the iPhone able to survive the seemingly unending PR nightmare? How long will the house of Apple stand before it comes crumbling down?

TechCrunch - I Quit The iPhone

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