Sunday, March 15, 2009

Infinite SMS app killed by Google

At the beginning I always believed Google is a great company, an honest company that supports openness spirit in its products and platforms. But when Google decided to block an iPhone application that harnesses its Google Talk chat program to provide a free text-message service, I think I've changed my mind (a bit)...

"Infinite SMS is a third party app that has been using Google technology to provide free SMS to users, while we were paying for the cost of the text messages," a Google spokesman said via e-mail.

Infinite SMS was popular with iPod touch users who wanted to send text messages as if they had iPhones, according to the developer Inner Fence. But when the 99 cents worth app became one of the 10 most-downloaded apps in the App Store just after its release last month, Google blocks the particular app when the numbers of users were growing too big.

Inner Fence said he built the application using an open protocol made available by Google for just such a purpose. "We never could have guessed that the two of us would write an app too big for Google," the company's founders said. ;-p

"Google has claimed no grievance with Infinite SMS other than its success. Their given reason for the block isn't abuse or wrongdoing; it's that we brought too many users (and thus too much cost) to an experimental service," Inner Fence said.

Google said it would continue to offer free SMS through Google Talk, but it will block Infinite SMS and other non-Google clients that use the service to deliver text messages starting on Wednesday, as reported by PC World.

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