With Twitter’s possible inevitable collapse, I find myself wanting to go back to the blog. You know, before the whole microblog.
Twitter was never perfect and maybe it can and will be better. Time will only tell. RSS never died. Podcasting and feed readers still power the truly democratized web envisioned decades ago. Newsletters are also a thing still?
Also spoiler alert for those who gave up on RSS the day Google Reader died… there are a ton of options now and they’re all pretty good. Even local options that don’t require a platform. But the social options aren’t there in most cases, but that’s okay. You can just share what you find on Twit…. your blog.
Hello and welcome back to another weekly roundup. After last week’s gigantic post I figured I’d scale down things this week to the basics1. So let’s get to the tasty treats… no… stop… just read the roundup.
Hello and welcome to this week’s roundup. I’ve been enjoying Awesome Games Done Quick this week which is a week long video game marathon raising money for the Prevent Cancer Foundation. It’s always a light of positivity for me.
2022 is still only two weeks old but it feels like it’s been a month already.
Let’s get to the round up (which is pretty dense this week.)
Google Buzz has debuted with a lot of buzz itself. A few privacy concerns have popped up that Google has addressed here, and here. Google Buzz has an advantage: A huge head start of users via Gmail. I envision Buzz being a social aggregator nearing the awesomeness of what Friendfeedwas before Facebook acquired them is. Currently it’s no where near real time which they will improve upon. Google has made Buzz a core product integrating it to its mobile site, Reader, Gmail and even circumventing Latitude for a mobile location service.
It’s young, and has plenty of room to grow. But it’s already ages ahead of where Twitter and Facebook debuted. I think you’ll find yourself using it more and more as time goes on.
For those who know me, you know that I would give my first born child to Google. So what happens when my beloved iPhone creator Apple rejects something Google makes? I get sad and depressed like Mommy and Daddy are fighting. Recently it was announced that all Google Voice related apps on the iPhone App Store were removed for “duplicating functionality already on the iPhone.”
Google Voice is a service that allows you to keep one number and forward it to any phone you own. Google gives you one number for life, for free. Tons of features come with it, it’s essentially your own personal call center. You can block callers, screen calls, and set times for which phones ring. There’s tons more that I’m not mentioning. It’s absolutely amazing and it’s something that the Telcos should have come up with years ago. But they didn’t. Now Google’s got it and there isn’t even a competitor for this type of service, let alone one for free.
Google recently opened the flood gates for Google Voice to the public and has been sending invites like crazy. This must have what triggered the events that recently passed. Two apps were already available in the App Store – GV Mobile and VoiceCentral. They’ve been around since May. They were paid apps developed by third party developers. The main reason people want these apps is to be able to show their Google Voice number on outgoing calls, and to review all history on their Google Voice account. These apps also integrated with your iPhone address book. But these apps were pulled this week, and then Google admitted that Apple denied their official app that was submitted six weeks ago. Again, the apps were pulled for “duplicating functionality already on the iPhone.” You may want to re-read that. And come on, how many notes apps are in the App Store?
There are several reasons why this is and should be upsetting to iPhone users.
First, Apple is now aggressively blocking an incredibly useful app. Something that is new, that no one else has. Their acceptance to date has been pretty inconsistent. They’ve hindered functionality of apps like Google Latitude, and Skype. But this was a flat out block, and a retroactive one at that. The apps that were already in the store were APPROVED for months, then retroactively denied. People paid money for them, and now if they need to clear their iPhone, they won’t be available.
Second, Google has already released this app to all Blackberry phones, including those on the AT&T network. So AT&T already has this app functioning on another device on their network. Some have suggested that AT&T is not ready for the growth of the iPhone userbase, even though they’ve dropped the price of the phone down to a mere $99 to gain… more iPhone users.
Third, most people are placing the blame entirely on AT&T. AT&T is scared of Google Voice, even though to use the service… you have to have a wireless phone number to use it wirelessly. It’s not a VOIP app. I will be using my AT&T minutes to make calls on my iPhone. You can also text from Google Voice, which is maybe what they are afraid of. But most people are going to keep their texting plans too (because $30 a month is a reasonable price). So if AT&T thinks they are going to lose money on it, they are wrong. They will lose money by for blocking it, as a lot of people will move to the Android platform which has a much more open acceptance for applications developed for it.
Fourth, and last. Apple has been so inconsistent with its approval of apps that developers may not want to take a chance on any kind of application that “duplicates functionality already on the iPhone” or improves upon it. Why spend money and time developing an application if you have no certainty on whether that app will show up a month or two later? Apple and AT&T are blocking true innovation on an already innovative phone. Why not improve it and foster even greater unimaginable uses for the phone?
I am greatly upset with this new trend Apple is setting, and as a consumer I should be allowed to put whatever I want on my phone as long as it doesn’t interrupt with AT&T’s network. Android and the Blackberry will have time to catch up to the iPhone if this continues. Even if you aren’t a Google Voice user, you should still remain concerned. Hopefully these are just growing pains that we can laugh at in a year.