Apple axes Google access to key developer tool

01 Feb 2019


Google says it is working with Apple to fix the "temporary disruption". — File photo
Google says it is working with Apple to fix the "temporary disruption". — File photo

Google on Friday said that Apple had revoked its access to a key developer tool, preventing its employees from testing new app features on iPhones. Facebook lost access to the same tool on Wednesday, but had it restored on Thursday.

Google appears confident it would quickly regain its access. It said that it is working with Apple to fix what it called a temporary disruption to some of its corporate iPhone apps, and said it expected the situation to be resolved soon.

Google declined to say why it lost access to the tool. The action came a day after the company voluntarily withdrew a market-research app called “Screenwise Meter,” which Google had distributed to users outside the App Store although not to teens.

Apple did not reply immediately to a request for comment.

Apple's earlier move of restoring Facebook's access to its developer tool followed disclosure of the social media giant's programme that paid users, including teens, to download a “research” app that could extensively track peoples' app and internet usage.

Apple said Facebook was abusing the tool, known as a developer enterprise certificate, to distribute the app in a way that allowed the social network to sidestep Apple restrictions on data collection.

Restoration of the certificate means Facebook can once distribute internal apps to its employees that help them test software features before users see them.

While Facebook engineers could still write code and work on the iOS apps during the shutoff, their ability to test apps in the field was limited.