Apple breaks Google’s internal iOS apps, but now it's restored

(Image Credit: TechRadar)

Update: Apple has restored Google's internal corporate apps, according to a Google statement provided to CNET.

Apple has purposely broken Google's internal iOS apps for improper use and privacy concerns, reportedly affecting its pre-release beta and employee-only apps software.

Revoking Google's enterprise certificate comes one day after Apple did the same to Facebook. Both companies misused their developer certification, which is supposed to be for internal-only apps for employees, to make consumer-accessible ones that collected user data. That's a no-no, according to Apple's rules.

But it wasn't specifically the user data collection that sparked Apple's ire. Instead, it was using the certification - which should only be used to create employee apps - to quietly make a consumer-accessible app, which circumvents Apple's standard review process.

Google voluntarily shuttered its own app in question, Screenwise Meter, yesterday after press attention and publicly apologized. Like Facebook’s app, Screenwise monitored how folks used their iPhones. 

And while it seems like Google’s app had less access than Facebook’s, it still broke Apple’s policy regarding its enterprise certificate: “Any developer using their enterprise certificates to distribute apps to consumers will have their certificates revoked.” 

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Apple’s move today to revoke Google’s certificate has blocked its use of early versions of Google Maps, Hangouts, Gmail and other pre-release beta apps, according to The Verge

A serious, but likely temporary block

Considering how important testing apps is to both Facebook and now Google, it’s likely the companies are rushing to fix their strained relationship with Apple – not to mention access to their iOS testing systems. 

Google is already in talks with Apple, notes Bloomberg’s Sarah Frier, and iMore's Rene Ritchie confirms that Apple is in talks with Google.

Facebook seems to have already negotiated to restore their certificate and reactivate their internal app library.

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David Lumb

David is now a mobile reporter at Cnet. Formerly Mobile Editor, US for TechRadar, he covered phones, tablets, and wearables. He still thinks the iPhone 4 is the best-looking smartphone ever made. He's most interested in technology, gaming and culture – and where they overlap and change our lives. His current beat explores how our on-the-go existence is affected by new gadgets, carrier coverage expansions, and corporate strategy shifts.