The Danger of Building a Product on Someone Else’s Service

AppGratis, Recently Pulled from Apple’s App Store

A few days ago, a popular iOS app, AppGratis, was pulled from Apple’s App Store for violating its terms of use. The CEO of the company posted a great story about what happened here. Basically AppGratis is a curated view into the App Store, which also works with iOS developers to offer a different free app daily. The benefit of extra exposure for the developer can easily be seen as worth the loss of one day of sales. While the details of the app’s removal are a very interesting story, What I really want to focus on is the nature of AppGratis itself; it is a product which uses the services provided by the App Store to provide much (I can’t say how much, I haven’t used the app) of its functionality.

Google Reader Shutting Down July 1, 2013

Another example of this is the myriad of apps which provide a native app front end to the Google Reader service. Google recently announced that Google Reader will be shut down on July 1st, 2013. Many of these apps will die off because they don’t offer any content or functionality of their own. Others, like Feedly and Reeder (and many others, I’m sure) have a roadmap in place for how their product will live on after Google Reader is gone.

I don’t mean to say anything positive or negative about building a product that is so dependent on another company’s service, but it’s definitely a risky thing. For some, it’s a risk that was not planned for, and that’s unfortunate.

 

By |2017-02-21T13:57:53+00:00April 10th, 2013|Software Engineering|0 Comments

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