Feeds

Google tosses free texting

iPhone app vendors betrayed

3 Big data security analytics techniques

Google is pulling access to the XMPP API that allows third-party applications to send SMS messages with the Mountain View chocolate factory footing the bill, much to the annoyance of app developers.

Most notable amongst the companies taking advantage of Google's largess is Innerfence, whose "Infinite SMS" iPhone application was little more than a pretty wrapper for the API that allowed buyers to send SMS messages around the world while Google paid the network operators for the traffic. That was a relationship which was hardly going to last forever.

Innerfence didn't get a lot of notice of the API being pulled, as the company explained: "Our first warning was an unexpected call from Google on Monday, 9 March 2009, indicating that the service might be blocked as soon as the very next day". Innerfence immediately pulled its application from the iTunes store, but those who bought the application prior to that are pretty annoyed to be told it's now useless.

As one buyer put it: "Where is the money that I used to buy this SMS app? I want an explonation[sic] why we shouldn’t get a refund. Make a new app that does the same thing."

Making a new application to send free SMS won't be easy. Sending text messages isn't cheap as Twitter discovered, and while there used to be hundreds of gateways offering free texting in the hope of drawing traffic, Google is one of the last.

Even Google can't keep paying operators without any recompense, and it's issued a statement making it clear that while the API was publicly announced it never emerged from the Google Labs, and therefore third parties shouldn't have bet their business model on it. "While Google is supportive of third party apps, we've decided we can't support this particular usage of our system at this time," it said. "SMS chat is still just an experiment in the early testing stages in Gmail Labs."

Buyers of Infinite SMS should have understood that nothing is free, and if Google can't find a way of turning a profit by paying to carry other people's traffic, then odds are no one else is going to manage either. ®

Top three mobile application threats

More from The Register

next story
Virgin Media so, so SORRY for turning spam fire-hose on its punters
Hundreds of emails flood inboxes thanks to gaffe
A black box for your SUITCASE: Now your lost luggage can phone home – quite literally
Breakfast in London, lunch in NYC, and your clothes in Peru
AT&T threatens to pull out of FCC wireless auctions over purchase limits
Company wants ability to buy more spectrum space in auction
Turnbull leaves Australia's broadband blackspots in the dark
New Statement of Expectations to NBN Co offers get-out clauses for blackspot builds
Facebook claims 100 MEEELLION active users in India
Who needs China when you've got the next billion in your sights?
Facebook splats in-app chat, whacks brats into crack yakety-yak app
Jibber-jabbering addicts turfed out just as Zuck warned
Google looks to LTE and Wi-Fi to help it lube YouTube tubes
Bandwidth hogger needs tube embiggenment if it's to succeed
prev story

Whitepapers

SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.