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Closed ranks: Lack of open access to FaceTime and iMessage is good for users

Marco Tabini | April 23, 2014
In June of 2010, shortly after announcing the launch of FaceTime's beta program, Apple's then-CEO Steve Jobs stated that the company's engineers had built the technology entirely on well-known standards, and that the company was prepared to open up the service so that users of competing mobile platforms would be able to take advantage of it.

By the same token, the focus on privacy that makes these technologies excellent personal communication tools also makes them nearly useless from a business perspective. Sure, I don't get telemarketing calls over FaceTime (yet), but I also can't use it to get customer support from the companies I actually do want to do business with, or to communicate with all but the business contacts I have a very close relationship with.

In the end, however, Apple's strategy seems to have worked out for the best. The availability of so many different third-party alternatives means that opening up FaceTime and iMessage to third parties would give users only minor benefits, while perhaps undoing those features that make them excellent services in the first place.

 

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