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Google to join Apple, AT&T in FCC hot seat

post #1 of 52
Thread Starter 
While Apple and AT&T have long been seen as the suspects in a Federal Communications Probe into the blocking of Google Voice from the App Store, Google, rather than playing the role of victim, may also be under fire after each company files comments Friday.

A new report from USA Today states that Apple, AT&T and Google are all soon expected to explain to the FCC their role in the ongoing Google Voice saga. The government began looking into the matter after an application that accessed Google's free telephony service was blocked from use on the iPhone. But the report also notes that Google has engaged in similar practices with its Android mobile phone platform, allegedly preventing a full-featured Skype application, for Internet-based phone calls.

"Android users get Skype Lite, a watered-down version of the original that routes calls over traditional phone networks not the Internet," the report states. "As a result, long-distance calls are still cheap or free, but cellphone minutes are gobbled up every time a Skype Lite call is made."

By comparison, Apple and AT&T allow a Skype application on the iPhone App Store. However, that program only allows calling via Wi-Fi, and 3G access for phone calls is blocked.

"Most 3G networks should support Skype presence and chat," Skype's official iPhone Web site states. "However, Skype calling is not possible via the iPhone. Please note that data usage costs apply for using Skype over 3G mobile networks, so we recommend an unlimited data plan."

Skype told USA Today that Android does not support a full-featured version of Skype. And Google admitted it blocks VOIP connections at the request of "individual operators," without naming T-Mobile, the only U.S. carrier for Android at the moment. However, a T-Mobile representative denied that the company has requested Google to block Skype. Like Apple, Google must describe its process for reviewing and approving applications for the FCC. Those filings are expected Friday.

Google plans to offer a full-featured, browser-based version of its Google Voice application on the iPhone in the near future. And the Android maker claims the "latest version" of its mobile operating system would support VOIP, but no applications have been submitted.
post #2 of 52
It's just one big party now.
post #3 of 52
I wonder if their will be the same wailing and gnashing of teeth and cries of 'unfair, unfair' if google does get investigated? Or is it only wrong to question Apple and their policies?

"My 8th grade math teacher once said: "You can't help it if you're dumb, you are born that way. But stupid is self inflicted."" -Hiro. 

...sometimes it's both
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"My 8th grade math teacher once said: "You can't help it if you're dumb, you are born that way. But stupid is self inflicted."" -Hiro. 

...sometimes it's both
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post #4 of 52
it's OK when Google does it because they're not evil. says so in their corporate charter
post #5 of 52
Its seems silly to me for a phone carrier to allow such an app, since the phone carrier partial pays for the phone and make their money via customer calls.

If people want to use Skype on their mobile via internet without restrictions, then mobile carriers should make customers pay the full price for the phone, like us in India.

I actually agree with Google and Apple partial blocking the full use of Skype. If you want to use Skype buy one of their own mobile phones.
post #6 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by souliisoul View Post

Its seems silly to me for a phone carrier to allow such an app, since the phone carrier partial pays for the phone and make their money via customer calls.

If people want to use Skype on their mobile via internet without restrictions, then mobile carriers should make customers pay the full price for the phone, like us in India.

I actually agree with Google and Apple partial blocking the full use of Skype. If you want to use Skype buy one of their own mobile phones.

You can buy them unsubsidized....you still can't use VoIP.

But, even with the subsidized phones, you more than pay the subsidy back with just your monthly contracted fees. Restricting voice usage simply guarantees additional revenue.

"My 8th grade math teacher once said: "You can't help it if you're dumb, you are born that way. But stupid is self inflicted."" -Hiro. 

...sometimes it's both
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"My 8th grade math teacher once said: "You can't help it if you're dumb, you are born that way. But stupid is self inflicted."" -Hiro. 

...sometimes it's both
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post #7 of 52
Carriers would better convert their unused voice minutes in data ones and lease them to all kinds of skypes. Everyone could become happier.

We mean Apple no harm.

People are lovers, basically. -- Engadget livebloggers at the iPad mini event.

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post #8 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by al_bundy View Post

it's OK when Google does it because they're not evil. says so in their corporate charter

Apparently, but it still isn't enough to keep them from being investigated. So, who shall rise, in righteous indignation, to their defense against these absurd accusations?

"My 8th grade math teacher once said: "You can't help it if you're dumb, you are born that way. But stupid is self inflicted."" -Hiro. 

...sometimes it's both
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"My 8th grade math teacher once said: "You can't help it if you're dumb, you are born that way. But stupid is self inflicted."" -Hiro. 

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post #9 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tulkas View Post

You can buy them unsubsidized....you still can't use VoIP.

But, even with the subsidized phones, you more than pay the subsidy back with just your monthly contracted fees. Restricting voice usage simply guarantees additional revenue.

Also guarantees that you sending your revenue/profit to another company, who do little to advertise and support your marketing expenditure. The calls maybe free for Skype to Skype callers, but you pay for non-skype users.

As I said, if you want to use Skype, buy one of their smartphones.

Soul
post #10 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by souliisoul View Post

I actually agree with Google and Apple partial blocking the full use of Skype. If you want to use Skype buy one of their own mobile phones.

Whoa, let's not muddle these two cases.

Apple approved Skype onto the App Store, but it's limited to Wi-Fi.

Google approved Skype onto the Android Market, but it requires the use of the customers voice minutes.
False comparisons do not a valid argument make.
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False comparisons do not a valid argument make.
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post #11 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by souliisoul View Post

Also guarantees that you sending your revenue/profit to another company, who do little to advertise and support your marketing expenditure. The calls maybe free for Skype to Skype callers, but you pay for non-skype users.

As I said, if you want to use Skype, buy one of their smartphones.

Soul

You also said you would agree if AT&T made customer buy unsubsidized phones. They can, but you now don't agree?

As far as where profits and revenue are going, no, not all revenue can go to AT&T just because they are the provider. With your ISP at home, do you only visit sites and use internet services that are owned or approved by your ISP? If not, then you are potentially creating revenue and profit for the sites you visit and the services you use that are not going to your ISP. Would you honestly wait for your ISP to permit you? If you have ever used a third party calling card at home or on your cell, you are redirecting revenue from your provider...should you not be allowed to do this?

"My 8th grade math teacher once said: "You can't help it if you're dumb, you are born that way. But stupid is self inflicted."" -Hiro. 

...sometimes it's both
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"My 8th grade math teacher once said: "You can't help it if you're dumb, you are born that way. But stupid is self inflicted."" -Hiro. 

...sometimes it's both
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post #12 of 52
This is one of those times when I'm glad I have a windows mobile phone on sprint lol.

Aint I a stinker?
post #13 of 52
Will we see this same kind of action if RIM refuses an app?
post #14 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by souliisoul View Post

Its seems silly to me for a phone carrier to allow such an app, since the phone carrier partial pays for the phone and make their money via customer calls.

If people want to use Skype on their mobile via internet without restrictions, then mobile carriers should make customers pay the full price for the phone, like us in India.

I actually agree with Google and Apple partial blocking the full use of Skype. If you want to use Skype buy one of their own mobile phones.

I can see your logic.

Oh, just read Wobegon's post ... seems we are incorrect and as he says ..."False comparisons do not a valid argument make."
Been using Apple since Apple ][ - Long on AAPL so biased
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Been using Apple since Apple ][ - Long on AAPL so biased
nMac Pro 6 Core, MacBookPro i7, MacBookPro i5, iPhones 5 and 5s, iPad Air, 2013 Mac mini, SE30, IIFx, Towers; G4 & G3.
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post #15 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by chronster View Post

This is one of those times when I'm glad I have a windows mobile phone on sprint lol.

Aint I a stinker?

Na, just in the dark ages.
Been using Apple since Apple ][ - Long on AAPL so biased
nMac Pro 6 Core, MacBookPro i7, MacBookPro i5, iPhones 5 and 5s, iPad Air, 2013 Mac mini, SE30, IIFx, Towers; G4 & G3.
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Been using Apple since Apple ][ - Long on AAPL so biased
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post #16 of 52
The whole concept of charging for celphone minutes is outdated, really.

Cel service should be transitioned into flat rate data, with everything going over IP. They can make money off it; look how inexpensive unlimited minutes plans are now.

And I bet the companies would save some money too from not having to meter calls anymore.

Of course, you can't do this with pre-paid services, but those are in another boat anyway.
post #17 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tulkas View Post

I wonder if their will be the same wailing and gnashing of teeth and cries of 'unfair, unfair' if google does get investigated? Or is it only wrong to question Apple and their policies?

indeed.

in the end though, at least in the case of Apple, the answer to the question may be in the contract with ATT. That contract is very likely worded so that ATT has the exclusive rights during the contract period to all voice service and all cellular data service provided to Apple devices (which could also be why any tablet won't happen until the contract is over. at least one with 3g). Thus Apple had to cut down Skype and cut out Google Voice for bypassing ATT service in violation of said contract.

Which could put the whole issue into the hands of the FCCs review of the legality of carrier/device locking. If they decide the time has come to unlock all phones from all services, Apple will have no choice but to allow a full version of Skype and also Google Voice. Although any such decision might allow current contracts to play out, just no extensions and all new devices are sim unlocked.

My only hope is that the FCC doesn't have the power to force any company to make devices for all carriers. I would rather Apple spend their time making the current iphone better rather than having to make a Verizon/Sprint capable phone

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A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

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post #18 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quadra 610 View Post

Will we see this same kind of action if RIM refuses an app?

I expect so. People asked, when the FCC started investigating Apple, whether they would investigate Google for similar practices. Now we know they will/might. RIM should expect the same treatment. That is sort of the point. If they investigated Google or RIM, there would be nowhere near the level of outrage or indignation that the FCC's actions. But, if it is Apple, then the investigation is wrong and those agreeing with it are simply Anti-Apple haters and trolls.

"My 8th grade math teacher once said: "You can't help it if you're dumb, you are born that way. But stupid is self inflicted."" -Hiro. 

...sometimes it's both
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"My 8th grade math teacher once said: "You can't help it if you're dumb, you are born that way. But stupid is self inflicted."" -Hiro. 

...sometimes it's both
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post #19 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by wobegon View Post

Whoa whoa whoa, let's not muddle these two cases.

Apple approved Skype onto the App Store, but it's limited to Wi-Fi.

Google banned Skype altogether from the Android Market.

I think the issue here is that Apple banned Google Voice altogether, while Google banned Skype altogether, which isn't all that different.
post #20 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tulkas View Post

As far as where profits and revenue are going, no, not all revenue can go to AT&T just because they are the provider. With your ISP at home, do you only visit sites and use internet services that are owned or approved by your ISP? If not, then you are potentially creating revenue and profit for the sites you visit and the services you use that are not going to your ISP. Would you honestly wait for your ISP to permit you? If you have ever used a third party calling card at home or on your cell, you are redirecting revenue from your provider...should you not be allowed to do this?

these are issues that have been visited by the laws. and now the time has come that the carrier/device issue is being visited. Yes it seems a tad long in coming but frankly not really. No one really cared that much before smart phones became the rage and that happened about the same time as the iphone came into play. All folks really cared about before was keeping their phone number and having service at a decent price. So that's all that was dealt with by the legals.

Now with smart phones, we get issues of who services the phones, ETFs are becoming yet again an issue, rate plans (especially for texting) and so on. Given that cell phones as a primary phone only really kicked up in the last 3-4 years, I'd say we are on track.

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A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

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post #21 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tulkas View Post

I expect so. People asked, when the FCC started investigating Apple, whether they would investigate Google for similar practices. Now we know they will/might. RIM should expect the same treatment. That is sort of the point. If they investigated Google or RIM, there would be nowhere near the level of outrage or indignation that the FCC's actions. But, if it is Apple, then the investigation is wrong and those agreeing with it are simply Anti-Apple haters and trolls.

I don't find anything '"wrong" at all about the investigation. That's all it is, an investigaton. I see no reason to get all bent out of shape over it. I should hope even the most strident Apple fans (and I'm really up there) feel the same way. Apple has been investigated quite a few times over other issues, and really, I fail to see how someone can get defensive over an inquiry.
post #22 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by charlituna View Post

indeed.

in the end though, at least in the case of Apple, the answer to the question may be in the contract with ATT. That contract is very likely worded so that ATT has the exclusive rights during the contract period to all voice service and all cellular data service provided to Apple devices (which could also be why any tablet won't happen until the contract is over. at least one with 3g). Thus Apple had to cut down Skype and cut out Google Voice for bypassing ATT service in violation of said contract.

Which could put the whole issue into the hands of the FCCs review of the legality of carrier/device locking. If they decide the time has come to unlock all phones from all services, Apple will have no choice but to allow a full version of Skype and also Google Voice. Although any such decision might allow current contracts to play out, just no extensions and all new devices are sim unlocked.

My only hope is that the FCC doesn't have the power to force any company to make devices for all carriers. I would rather Apple spend their time making the current iphone better rather than having to make a Verizon/Sprint capable phone

You may be right. It could be a contractual obligation to AT&T, but then it is just as wrong. Although, with regard to Google Voice, it isn't really the reasoning as Skype. I can see why AT&T would block VOiP and could actually agree with it, though I am a proponent of net neutrality. But in the case of Google Voice, the calls are still made over AT&T's voice line and they do not then lose the related revenue. What they lose is the long distance charges, but using alternative LD providers and calling cards is legal and should not be allowed to be the reason for denying the service or app. Also, killing the GV app, if for this reason, was stupid because you can still use the service on the iPhone, just not through a native app.

For the tablet, rumours are that it will go to Verizon. After seeing what happened when the turned down the iPhone, they might be more willing to a better contract with Apple.

"My 8th grade math teacher once said: "You can't help it if you're dumb, you are born that way. But stupid is self inflicted."" -Hiro. 

...sometimes it's both
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"My 8th grade math teacher once said: "You can't help it if you're dumb, you are born that way. But stupid is self inflicted."" -Hiro. 

...sometimes it's both
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post #23 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by ivan.rnn01 View Post

Carriers would better convert their unused voice minutes in data ones and lease them to all kinds of skypes. Everyone could become happier.

Quote:
Originally Posted by zorinlynx View Post

The whole concept of charging for celphone minutes is outdated, really.

Cel service should be transitioned into flat rate data, with everything going over IP. They can make money off it; look how inexpensive unlimited minutes plans are now.

And I bet the companies would save some money too from not having to meter calls anymore.

Of course, you can't do this with pre-paid services, but those are in another boat anyway.

When using 3G service, not Edge, voice and data are passed on the same channel. Voice traffic is basically going in a form of over VOIP along with the normal data traffic. The carriers are just holding on to the old way of doing things. Circuit switch voice is soooo obsolete.
post #24 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by Timon View Post

When using 3G service, not Edge, voice and data are passed on the same channel. Voice traffic is basically going in a form of over VOIP along with the normal data traffic. The carriers are just holding on to the old way of doing things. Circuit switch voice is soooo obsolete.

Quite so. It's now merely the question of business model. But dinosaurs can't catch an acorn as quickly as a scrat

We mean Apple no harm.

People are lovers, basically. -- Engadget livebloggers at the iPad mini event.

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post #25 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by charlituna View Post

Which could put the whole issue into the hands of the FCCs review of the legality of carrier/device locking. If they decide the time has come to unlock all phones from all services, Apple will have no choice but to allow a full version of Skype and also Google Voice. Although any such decision might allow current contracts to play out, just no extensions and all new devices are sim unlocked.

My only hope is that the FCC doesn't have the power to force any company to make devices for all carriers. I would rather Apple spend their time making the current iphone better rather than having to make a Verizon/Sprint capable phone

We can only hope that the time has come. As remarked elsewhere, it's time the carriers (and cable companies, and other ISPs) are transitioned into dumb, neutral, unlimited pipes for a flat monthly fee. The era of allowing them to leverage their control of network access to force revenue out of customers and control what their customers can do should have been ended long ago. It's not in the public interest to allow this to continue: it stifles innovation and progress and harms consumers and business.

Frankly, I'm sure Apple would be very happy to allow a full blown Skype app on the iPhone. It's in their best interest to do so. They might not be so happy to allow Google Voice, but, c'est la vie.

As to forcing manufacturers to make devices for all carriers, this simply won't happen; it goes beyond the authority of the FCC. I would however like to see the FCC/Congress force the carriers to, in the future, create compatible networks on our spectrum which we are allowing them to use for our benefit. This would be absolutely no different than the mandate for TV stations to switch to broadcasting in HD. Along with unlocking, and treatment of wireless networks as no different than wired, this would create a level playing field for carriers, phone manufacturers and consumers and would well serve the public interest by increasing competition, stimulating innovation, and increasing consumer choice.
post #26 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tulkas View Post

You may be right. It could be a contractual obligation to AT&T, but then it is just as wrong. Although, with regard to Google Voice, it isn't really the reasoning as Skype. I can see why AT&T would block VOiP and could actually agree with it, though I am a proponent of net neutrality. But in the case of Google Voice, the calls are still made over AT&T's voice line and they do not then lose the related revenue. What they lose is the long distance charges, but using alternative LD providers and calling cards is legal and should not be allowed to be the reason for denying the service or app. Also, killing the GV app, if for this reason, was stupid because you can still use the service on the iPhone, just not through a native app.
.

Here is the problem I think ATT has with GV. If they decided to go with a FAV Five plan, cellphone users would essentially have unlimited calling at the cheapest plan that allowed Fav Five calling. All calls would be made and received via your google number. So....an ATT customer could get unlimited calling, SMS and data for a US price of $70. Versus $30 for data, $20 for unlimited text, $100 for unlimited calling....$150 total!
post #27 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by jsmythe00 View Post

Here is the problem I think ATT has with GV. If they decided to go with a FAV Five plan, cellphone users would essentially have unlimited calling at the cheapest plan that allowed Fav Five calling. All calls would be made and received via your google number. So....an ATT customer could get unlimited calling, SMS and data for a US price of $70. Versus $30 for data, $20 for unlimited text, $100 for unlimited calling....$150 total!

Sounds great. Lower prices like that would give AT&T a major competitive edge in the market. New customers would flock to them, especially if they increased the subsidies on the phones.
post #28 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by jsmythe00 View Post

Here is the problem I think ATT has with GV. If they decided to go with a FAV Five plan, cellphone users would essentially have unlimited calling at the cheapest plan that allowed Fav Five calling. All calls would be made and received via your google number. So....an ATT customer could get unlimited calling, SMS and data for a US price of $70. Versus $30 for data, $20 for unlimited text, $100 for unlimited calling....$150 total!

That may well be their reasoning, but if so, it is incredibly and unbelievably flawed.

1) Even without a native GV app on your iPhone, you still have 100% access to exactly what you described.
2) GV apps are available for other devices on the AT&T network.
3) What you described (free/cheap LD) is exactly what you can do on AT&T, every other cell carrier or your home line using calling cards or outbound call forwarding services. It is essentially using an alternative long distance provided. Laws and regulations already make this available to you, whether on AT&T or not.
4) Other apps provide SMS on iPhone and are allowed
5) Other apps automate using alternative long distance (calling cards, outbound call forwarding) and are allowed

So, they aren't really blocking what the want to block in this case. What they are trying to block is a legal alternative to profitable services they offer that are supplementary to the primary services that you contracted from them (voice and data service does not mean you have to use their LD service). And why block it on the iPhone but not on BB?

"My 8th grade math teacher once said: "You can't help it if you're dumb, you are born that way. But stupid is self inflicted."" -Hiro. 

...sometimes it's both
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"My 8th grade math teacher once said: "You can't help it if you're dumb, you are born that way. But stupid is self inflicted."" -Hiro. 

...sometimes it's both
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post #29 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

Na, just in the dark ages.

Yeah it definitely feels like it sometimes.
post #30 of 52
The problem is that AT&T is selectively saying "no Skype" on the iPhone when it allows it on other devices on their network. There's no good reason for that. The same for Sling player.

It's probably because the iPhone is "too popular" and it really would affect their bottom line.
post #31 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tulkas View Post

I wonder if their will be the same wailing and gnashing of teeth and cries of 'unfair, unfair' if google does get investigated? Or is it only wrong to question Apple and their policies?

It's wrong when any company does it. I'm glad that Google is also getting investigated. I really couldn't care less though because I'm an iPhone user and Apple/AT&T's practices bothers me.
post #32 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tulkas View Post

That may well be their reasoning, but if so, it is incredibly and unbelievably flawed.

So, they aren't really blocking what the want to block in this case. What they are trying to block is a legal alternative to profitable services they offer that are supplementary to the primary services that you contracted from them (voice and data service does not mean you have to use their LD service). And why block it on the iPhone but not on BB?

True True and true. But tell me...have you ever paid your credit card bill over the phone and was charged a processing fee of 4.95? What about paying your mortgage bill online for a fee...vs sending a check out by mail? Convenience! It's more convenient to do everything in one place than having to go to multiple places to get the job done.

But in the end, you are still right. What do you think is the reason for banning the app?
post #33 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by dagamer34 View Post

The problem is that AT&T is selectively saying "no Skype" on the iPhone when it allows it on other devices on their network. There's no good reason for that. The same for Sling player.

It's probably because the iPhone is "too popular" and it really would affect their bottom line.

It actually support the other side of the argument --- that AT&T has nothing to do with this "ban".

Plenty of other cell phone carriers ban VoIP outright --- O2 in UK, T-Mobile in Germany.

http://www.wirelessweek.com/Operator...IP.aspx?terms=

Why is AT&T getting blamed for all this? AT&T has not previously banned anything similar.
post #34 of 52
What happened to "Android will be the best phone because it will be open"?
post #35 of 52
We may not like it, but all of these companies must be free to restrict, or not restrict, whatever they want. As consumers we have the best option... to not use their services if we are unhappy with those restrictions.

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post #36 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by NasserAE View Post

What happened to "Android will be the best phone because it will be open"?

It will be open to the finest apps Google can offer.

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GOA

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post #37 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by jsmythe00 View Post

True True and true. But tell me...have you ever paid your credit card bill over the phone and was charged a processing fee of 4.95? What about paying your mortgage bill online for a fee...vs sending a check out by mail? Convenience! It's more convenient to do everything in one place than having to go to multiple places to get the job done.

But in the end, you are still right. What do you think is the reason for banning the app?

Given Apples ambiguous reason for why, we can't really know. What we do know:
1) Denying the app does not block any of the features of the GV service.
2) Other devices are allowed to have GV native apps on the AT&T network.
3) Other apps on the iPhone duplicate features provided by GV, individually, if not as a whole. This includes, SMS, calling cards, alternate long distance.
4) Third party GV apps were approved and for sale months ago and pulled very recently
5) The only way they could really block access to GV would be to block every single GV phone number and URL.
6) Google stated that the reason given by Apple for denying the app was that it duplicated existing functionality, even though lots of apps do so, including the features that GV offers.


With these givens, I can speculate on the real reason. I believe it is because of Push Notifications in iPhone 3.0 and what it means for VVM (and SMS to a lesser degree). As we have said, the all functionality of a native app is already available and cannot be clocked simply by blocking the app. Google can and will likely just release a web app for the iPhone that has all of the same functionality. But VVM is different. Having access to a third party voice mail system is no big deal on the iPhone. Basically, it would be no different than calling into your home a checking messages remotely. But, with GV, the messages would be left at the GV phone number that you give out and that rings your iPhone. Additionally, without a native app, then you would not receive a notification of new messages, expect perhaps through an email. Without instant notification, the usefulness of an addon voice mail service is questionable at best. But iphone OS 3.0 brought Push. Now, when you get a new message, you would get an instant notification. You could open your GV app and browse your voice mail, just like VVM and listen to messages as you wish, just like VVM...except that you can also read a transcription of your voice mail. Now you have a legitimate reason to dump your VVM service. This isn't an option right now with AT&T, but with other carriers it is. Apple makes a lot of money from VVM, both through VVM server sales to the carriers and a recurring sub fee from the carrier for every subscriber. This is real money Apple would lose and they would lose it internationally.

To me, this is the only reason that makes sense. Blocking customers access to cheap or free long distance, is not only virtually impossible for AT&T but would guarantee they would be investigated. It also makes no sense, as they aren't blocking other ways to do it, both from google and other companies or even users direct dialing calling cards. AT&T just doesn't benefit from simply denying the App in any real way. BlackBerry doesn't have a native VVM service yet, so RIM has no reason to block GV and so it is allowed. This would also explain why the third party apps were allowed months ago. Before Push notifications, no one cared about the VVM feature from GV. If users had to keep opening the app to check for new messages every 10 minutes they might use it, but no way they would drop their trusty iPhone VVM service.

Anyway, with the givens that we do know, no other reason makes sense to me. It could have been AT&T's decision or at least pressure, as little sense as that makes in this case. It could have been Apple independently deciding against the app for the own interests. In either case, it was a dick move and it shouldn't matter that Apple is involved for people to see this. But because it is Apple, many can't see the problem and if we question it, we are trolling misfits who hate Apple.

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"My 8th grade math teacher once said: "You can't help it if you're dumb, you are born that way. But stupid is self inflicted."" -Hiro. 

...sometimes it's both
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post #38 of 52
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Originally Posted by samab View Post

It actually support the other side of the argument --- that AT&T has nothing to do with this "ban".

Plenty of other cell phone carriers ban VoIP outright --- O2 in UK, T-Mobile in Germany.

http://www.wirelessweek.com/Operator...IP.aspx?terms=

Why is AT&T getting blamed for all this? AT&T has not previously banned anything similar.

Mainly because AT&T openly admitted in the past that they were involved in denying apps they didn't want on their 3G network. Sling is the best example and AT&T made no secrets of their involvement. My carrier would have no problem with Sling over 3G, but because of AT&T, I can't use it. Similarly, when the first tethering app was made available, AT&T complained and Apple pulled it. My carrier explicitly allows tethering and AT&T's influence on Apple prevented me from being Apple to tether until Apple provided a way for carriers to enable and disable a formal tethering option per device.

For Apple to restrict a VoIP app from running on 3G has NO benefit to Apple, so it only makes sense this restriction was put in place (and is clearly in the TOS for the SDK) at the request/demand of their carrier partners, with AT&T being front and centre.

"My 8th grade math teacher once said: "You can't help it if you're dumb, you are born that way. But stupid is self inflicted."" -Hiro. 

...sometimes it's both
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"My 8th grade math teacher once said: "You can't help it if you're dumb, you are born that way. But stupid is self inflicted."" -Hiro. 

...sometimes it's both
Reply
post #39 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by samab View Post

It actually support the other side of the argument --- that AT&T has nothing to do with this "ban".

Plenty of other cell phone carriers ban VoIP outright --- O2 in UK, T-Mobile in Germany.

http://www.wirelessweek.com/Operator...IP.aspx?terms=

Why is AT&T getting blamed for all this? AT&T has not previously banned anything similar.

Apple and AT&T have essentially come out to say that they crippled the Slingbox application to work only over wifi to prevent excess load on the network. While AT&T isn't directly responsible for the decisions Apple makes, they do influence Apple.
Video editor, tech enthusiast, developer.

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Video editor, tech enthusiast, developer.

http://www.yuusharo.com
http://www.studioyuu.com
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post #40 of 52
Except that the full version of Slingplayer is available on other cell phone platforms that are available with AT&T.

Munster just said that there is going to be a much better appletv in the future --- so was it Apple that shot Slingplayer down because the new appletv will have those exact functions?
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