Apple is banning Google from distributing internal iOS apps [Update]

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Google logo (Image credit: Android Central)

Earlier this week, Apple made a bold move by banning Facebook from distributing any of its internal iOS apps. Google quickly responded by choosing to disable its Screenwise Meter internal app, but that apparently wasn't enough. Now, it's been reported that Apple has also chosen to ban Google from its internal app distribution.

Updated 5:21 PM EST: Google says it's working to resolve banned iOS apps

Following this report, a Google spokesperson reached out to The Verge with the following statement:

We're working with Apple to fix a temporary disruption to some of our corporate iOS apps, which we expect will be resolved soon.

Shortly after that, Apple issued its own statement, saying:

We are working together with Google to help them reinstate their enterprise certificates very quickly.

According to a report from The Verge:

Apple has now shut down Google's ability to distribute its internal iOS apps, following a similar shutdown that was issued to Facebook earlier this week. A person familiar with the situation tells The Verge that early versions of Google Maps, Hangouts, Gmail, and other pre-release beta apps have stopped working today, alongside employee-only apps like a Gbus app for transportation and Google's internal cafe app.

Neither Google nor Apple has commented on this news, but it's a big move nonetheless.

Shortly following Apple's ban of Facebook, the company noted that:

Any developer using their enterprise certificates to distribute apps to consumers will have their certificates revoked.

It was already pretty evident that Apple was serious about these rules when it banned Facebook, and the banning of Google is further evidence of that point.

Facebook paid teens to install banned app, spy on their data

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Joe Maring

Joe Maring was a Senior Editor for Android Central between 2017 and 2021. You can reach him on Twitter at @JoeMaring1.

  • LMAO @ Apple!!! Screw to Android now and never looking back (except to give apple the finger).
  • Well that was a very thoughtful comment /s
  • No big deal. Google can just tell its iOS-using employees to check "install from unknown sources" and then grab the .ipa file directly from Google's servers, right? ;-p
  • I don't really think you understand what's going on....
  • The winky face at the end is supposed to give away the game.
  • Glad I don't use iOS... I'm not keen on IPAs, too hoppy.
  • haha... Apple - The control freaks. What a joke. hahahahahahaha
  • They protect their customers. Not a joke. Think of all the times you've heard of a website faking a security certificate to look legit, but actually is distributing malware. Enterprise certificates do not exist to distribute apps to consumers. The rules are clear. Break them, and get your certificate revoked. IMO, Google needs to exercise this amount of control on the Play Store. It would serve their customers well.
  • They protect their customers... Unless you're in China where Tim crook bows to government control for profit.
  • What a clickbait title. Both Facebook and google were using enterprise certs to distribute apps off of the Apple store that had the sole purpose of gaining root access and tracking what the user is doing on their phone. Unfortunately, google was also using the cert to distribute their betas to people rather than using the actual “TestFlight” development tool designed for distributing beta software. Apple makes a lot of dumb decisions, this isn’t one of them.
  • Yep. I am Google through and through, but using the Enterprise Cert to distribute apps the general public was an incredibly stupid thing to do and a blatant violation of the Ts&Cs.
  • "Apple makes a lot of dumb mistakes, but this is not one of them"??
    Uh... Yeah it is.
    Just because no one has called Apple on their heavy-handed bullshit rules, in NO WAY means the're right.
    If Microsoft banned other companies from installing their browsers, they would have gotten ANOTHER anti-compete lawsuit (beyond the one they got for integrating their browser into their OS).
    APPLE has basically done the same (but worse) with their app store.
    By banning their MAJOR competitor, Apple is explicitly engaging in monopolistic practices, which Microsoft was charged with back in the 90s. (Ironically, the same lawsuits that SAVED Apple, after MS purchased a bunch of Apple stock in support.)
  • Google apps are still in the App Store on iOS. All of them. It's a special permission for Google Corporate to test "dogfood" apps and run INTERNAL apps with Google employees that was revoked because Google admitted to using that special permission wit the general public in violation of the requirements of being able to use an Enterprise Certificate. Google messed up and they know it. They even apologized.
  • They've done nothing wrong. There's plenty of competition.
  • Better you understand the meaning of monopoly and then come to internet.
    Apple does not own 90% market...heck they dont even have 50% market even in their strongest market. How are they called monopoly? Apple buyers have a clear choice before buying iPhone, they can buy equally or better phones for less.
  • This isn't really newsworthy either. On both counts (Google and Facebook). They circumvented the delivery of apps, oh my, the world will never be the same. And to the speed at which these are being 'fixed' is testament to the fact that this wasn't something Apple did to punish anyone.
  • Yeah, right when we thought Apple might be willing to expand, after the Samsung TV thing, they go and do this. Are they trying to get rid of customers, or what, because they sure are doing a good job of it.
  • No. It just proves Apple is concerned with privacy. They'll get more customers.
  • This isn't about privacy, at all. This is apple saying to FB and Google, "this is not how we do things around here." And, "here is a copy of our terms, we will work WITH you to get you up and running again, post haste".
  • Comment moved to correct reply context
  • Yet the talking heads in tech media will keep calling every non-Apple device that comes to market a potential "iPhone killer" despite Apple not having been the market leader in the space since 2011...
  • Apple leads in premium (ie expensive) phone by a substantial amount. Overall, sure, they aren't number one as they don't sell basic, budget smartphones.
  • ^This! They might be slow in some areas as they re not rushing to be first like some or most competitors but they have always set the trend with features and especially designs.
  • Umm... nope. Apple is by no means considered an innovator or first adopter.
  • Yet they're still in the lead....
  • In what way ..? Market share ??
  • Last time I checked, Apple was still leading in terms of profit.
    Profit is what matters most to shareholders. Everything else is secondary, including marketshare.
  • That has zero to do with technology.. Good business, sure, but that applies to any business.
  • Google should ban iOS user's from their webs searching lmao
  • Google pays Apple $12 billion for that privilege. Backtracking on that would not be in their best interest.
  • That's a wildly speculative guess by one analyst .. most say the truer number is closer to $3 billion. ..and be clear. Apple is more than happy to accept AND cash the check.
  • Yes, but Apple isn't stripping the adds off of Google Search pages in Safari out of the box... they aren't breaking any rules. So, what the hell is your point?
  • My point is they don't pay the amount that was posted. What the hell is your point?
  • What a dumb comment...
  • Why? Gratuitous extra words.
  • Oh make a very good Samsung ceo...
    On one hand pay Apple for iPhone users search and on other hand ban using them?
  • LOL... Apple doesn't mess around.
  • Google should just pull their apps from the Apple app store. Since a large chunk of society uses Google services, Apple would lose lots of users. 👍
  • And Google would lose lots of money.
  • Why would Google do that when they were clearly in the wrong and have acknowledged that publicly?
  • Yeah, yeah, and they should withdraw from Europe and kill off search and remove all advertising and go bankrupt. I'm not a business person, but it doesn't take an MBA to realise cutting off major sources of revenue probably isn't a good idea.
  • Not all ... BUT maybe one.. like YouTube .. for 24 hours .. Lol!
  • All of you Android fan boys crack me up about Apple this, Apple that, stick it to Apple etc. Google needs Apple much more than Apple needs them. Apple has and always will lead the pack.
  • iMore is that a way ------>
  • Except they literally don't lead the pack lol. Personally, I'm not a Google fan, I'm an Apple hater. There's a stark difference.
  • Lol
    I guess we share the emotion :)
    Though, I got to hate Google more and more over time. :)
  • Apple doesn't lead anything .. Follower, at best, on every level
  • Well, they were pretty brave to omit the headphone jack. 🙄
  • But they weren't the first to do that so
  • yep...they follow others in silly things... but you know who leads in making the innovative things...
    Multi Touch iOS, AppStore, TouchID, FaceID, AirPods, Apple Watch etc... your so called innovators not able to copy these things even after 1.5 years...
    yep very much Follower at best... hahaha
  • You can't even be serious with that post.. You actually believe the tech you listed was first introduced to the industry by Apple?? Really ??
  • I'm glad it didn't affect public use. The other services I could work around, but Apple Maps is a disaster.
  • This is just posturing by Apple to take the splotlight off their earnings miss and Facetime privacy bug. You would have to be naive to believe differently
  • I think that the article could do much better in explaining what is being "banned" and why.
  • I'm team Google but if Google breached any of Apples rules then Apple has the right to revoke their apps. I can't stand Apple but one thing they can't be accused of is not protecting their iSheep's privacy.