Print 32 comment(s) - last by pandatech.. on Mar 31 at 11:57 PM

Google has began censoring applications on its supposedly "open" G1 phone, due to overlap with services provided with its carrier T-Mobile. It has already yanked a number of tethering apps which T-Mobile is not fond of.
Google takes a page from Apple's playbook

When it comes to mobile apps, Apple has truly set the industry standard.  It was the first handset maker to launch an applications marketplace of the size and scale of its App Store, which recorded over 10 million downloads in its first week.  Other companies would launch similar marketplaces in coming months, like Google's Android Marketplace, or Microsoft's upcoming Sky Market.

However, Apple also received plenty of criticism for its censorship tactics.  Apple denied many applications including a proposed South Park application, for a variety of reasons.  Some rejected or removed applications were deemed offensive; others unlocked forbidden capabilities like tethering or true third-party browsing (not Safari WebKit based). 

Despite the negative reception over such moves, it appears Apple was leading the mobile industry yet again, as Google has reportedly resorted to practicing similar tactics with its Android Marketplace, which sells apps for its G1 smart phone.  T-Mobile, the G1's U.S. carrier, was not too pleased when tethering applications started popping up on the Android Marketplace.  In response, Google took down the apps and informed developers that the apps breached their Developer Distribution Agreement.

It is unclear at this point whether Google has weeded out all tethering apps, and exactly what its standards are.  However, it is clear T-Mobile's terms of service prohibit unofficial tethering.  The author of one of the rejected apps, Wifi Tether for Root Users, says that in a lengthy and heated exchange, Google cited this as a reason for the rejection.

The moves are creating quite a stir as Google has market the G1 as an "open" phone.  It has often taken jabs at Apple over its iPhone application censorship in the past.  Now it finds itself in the same sort of situation -- its carrier, T-Mobile, doesn't want to lose revenue from apps which offer features for free that the carrier charges for (tethering), so it is now forced to comply and remove the offensive app.

The start of G1 app censorship was foreshadowed last year when a "kill switch" for applications was discovered.  However, it was rarely used -- until now.

The whole situation has many G1 users quite unhappy, but it appears to be a sad reality of the smart phone world.  Ultimately, smart phone makers are at mercy of their carriers.  And carriers hate to lose revenue to rebel applications.

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RE: How long will it take?
By omnicronx on 3/31/2009 12:23:07 PM , Rating: 3
Of course you agree, you probably do not want to pay for tethering. Bits are bits, but when you can download 10x more bits on your computer than on your cell phone, there may be a cause for concern. I never go over 500MB per month with normal cell phone usage which includes streaming from my home PC. Meanwhile I tether while on vacation for a few days and easily surpass the GB mark.

You want a service, you pay for it, this sense of entitlement these days is getting out of hand.

RE: How long will it take?
By aebiv on 3/31/2009 1:08:30 PM , Rating: 3
I agree, it is up to the provider, but when I pay for "unlimited" they shouldn't care how I use the unlimited.

Even with a 5gb a month "soft cap" why should AT&T care how I use my data? It could be on my phone or on my laptop and the speed isn't going to be any different. Sure, I may use up more bandwidth quicker on the laptop due to some of the sites and programs I run, but I'll still probably get a phone call at 5gb saying I need to stop.

The tethering thing will die. It has to. I've xfered on average about 2gb a month WITHOUT tethering.

RE: How long will it take?
By omnicronx on 3/31/2009 1:23:26 PM , Rating: 2
This is where I agree, I don't think the plans are exactly fair, but that's where competition comes in. Someone is always going to offer something better.

Yes tethering plans are too high right now, but that will change as the demand raises and more pressure is put upon the carriers. But I am sick and tired of hearing people complain about their inability to tether, you have an unlimited mobile phone plan, not an unlimited use my phone as a modem plan.

As time goes on you will see all carriers specify this in your contract, I know mine already does.

RE: How long will it take?
By omnicronx on 3/31/2009 1:26:01 PM , Rating: 2
Worst part of it all is all your geniouses that support tethering do not realize that the more people like you take advantage of it, the slower normal data rate plans will go down.

RE: How long will it take?
By Suntan on 3/31/2009 2:48:15 PM , Rating: 3
Meanwhile I tether while on vacation for a few days and easily surpass the GB mark.

So let me get this straight, you’re on vacation… …and you’re still glued to the internet on your computer…

Sounds like a lot of fun had on those vacations.


RE: How long will it take?
By omnicronx on 3/31/2009 4:38:31 PM , Rating: 2
I mainly stream music, and perhaps the odd Movie if we (my girlfriend and I) get bored.

Thanks for taking the time to go totally off topic and make a jab for no reason though.

-Omni AKA 'I'm so Cool because I sign my name on a blog website'

"What would I do? I'd shut it down and give the money back to the shareholders." -- Michael Dell, after being asked what to do with Apple Computer in 1997

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