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Google Buys iPhone Search App, Kills It

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 4 years ago | from the throw-money-at-it dept.

Google 223

Hugh Pickens writes "PC World reports that Google has acquired a popular iPhone application called reMail that provides 'lightning fast' full-text search of your Gmail and IMAP e-mail accounts. The app downloads copies of all your e-mail which can then be searched with various Boolean options. reMail has only been in the application store for about six months — with a free version limited to one Gmail account and a premium version which can connect to multiple accounts. 'Google and reMail have decided to discontinue reMail's iPhone application, and we have removed it from the App Store,' writes company founder Gabor Cselle, who will be returning to Google as a Product Manager on the Gmail team. Google isn't saying what the fate of reMail might be. Some are suggesting reMail could be integrated into Gmail search or live on in some form as a part of Android, Google's mobile platform. Another possibility is that Google may have snapped up reMail just to kill it, not because reMail was a competitor to anything Google had, but because reMail made the iPhone better or the acquisition may have more to do with keeping good search technology away from the competition, as opposed to an attempt to undercut the iPhone. 'Perhaps Google is just planning to buy up all the iPhone developers, one at a time, until Android is the only game in town,' writes Bill Ray at the Register."

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Fate? (5, Insightful)

Em Emalb (452530) | more than 4 years ago | (#31200330)

It'll be "re-incorporated" into some distant version of gmail.

Otherwise, buying an app like this and not using it is a complete and utter waste of time.

Re:Fate? (4, Insightful)

ceejayoz (567949) | more than 4 years ago | (#31200364)

Otherwise, buying an app like this and not using it is a complete and utter waste of time.

They hired the developer, though, and it's not necessarily a waste of time to deprive a competitor of a good application either.

Re:Fate? (2, Informative)

Em Emalb (452530) | more than 4 years ago | (#31200558)

It's the app store, 20 clones will pop up soon enough.

Like I said, it'll be incorporated into some version of gmail down the line. (My guess anyway)

Re:Fate? (1)

Conspiracy_Of_Doves (236787) | more than 4 years ago | (#31200828)

Was hiring him a condition of the guy selling them the app?

Re:Fate? (3, Informative)

sopssa (1498795) | more than 4 years ago | (#31200918)

He seems to have some experience on the gmail team at least, he was an intern there when Google started developing it.

Re:Fate? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31200968)

Yes, rumor has it the hiring manager also got to have sex with the guys girlfriend for an additional amount only disclosed as "about the same amount of what the app was worth" I think she had less than average breast size and "no ass" and was valued accordingly.

Re:Fate? (-1, Offtopic)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | more than 4 years ago | (#31201018)

I happen to like petites. A lot. Plenty of them are also very, very nice girls-- which is extremely nice, since they're cute and very fun to work with. Girls like that can be self-conscious that they don't have huge boobs but they don't want to get fat either; but that's pretty silly, a lot of them are major knock-outs.

Re:Fate? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31201190)

I think you don't know what "petite" means. Petite just means she is on the short side, but may still have nice proportions. You mean you like flat chested girls.

Re:Fate? (0, Offtopic)

Em Emalb (452530) | more than 4 years ago | (#31200646)

Troll mod? LOL. Someone forget to eat their Cheerios this morning?

Re:Fate? (1, Offtopic)

sucati (611768) | more than 4 years ago | (#31200802)

Why is this moderated Troll? Slashdot needs to get with it and adopt a moderation system like Reddit. I spend most my time there as the quality of Slashdot has gone way downhill. I guess this will be Troll as well.

Re:Fate? (0, Offtopic)

idontgno (624372) | more than 4 years ago | (#31201032)

You shouldn't complain about moderation until you understand it.

Your comment will be modded "offtopic".

So will this one.

Re:Fate? (1)

gtall (79522) | more than 4 years ago | (#31200936)

Unless I'm missing something, I don't see why some other enterprising young programmer couldn't produce a similar iPhone app to fill the void. Or that Apple could fold the notion into their mail program (I presume iPhone has an Apple mail widget or app).

Re:Fate? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31201550)

It does. It also (in the 3.x OS releases) has a Spotlight-like search feature that - among other things, such as calendar events, songs, applications etc. - indexes all mail accessible to the phone at the time. It doesn't allow for boolean searches but does to keyword based searches just fine.

Re:Fate? (1)

Ltap (1572175) | more than 4 years ago | (#31201236)

Yes. Buying something just to kill it is a very Microsoft kind of thing to do. Theoretically it makes good business sense, but considering all of the losing prospects MS has bought over the years, it's really just a giant money drain, since if it was popular at all, someone will come along and do the same thing. I'm guessing that (I don't know the specifics) if Android doesn't have something like this already, the developer will show up six months from now with an Android port.

lulz (5, Interesting)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 4 years ago | (#31200332)

Sounds like a case of Google in a Microsoft's clothing.

Re:lulz (0)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 4 years ago | (#31200672)

While this is certainly true. The only reason that Apple could ever
be exposed to this sort of threat is the fact that they take an 80s
approach to open data to begin with.

Re:lulz (2, Insightful)

aztracker1 (702135) | more than 4 years ago | (#31200752)

More like IBM... as far as phone development goes, it's like Android is the Linux of phone platforms (err, wait).

Re:lulz (1)

mrchaotica (681592) | more than 4 years ago | (#31200942)

Your metaphor is backwards unless you mean to say that Google is wolf-like and Microsoft is sheep-like.

Re:lulz (1)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 4 years ago | (#31201074)

In 2010, Google being wolf-like and Microsoft being sheep-like is EXACTLY what I meant.

Re:lulz (0, Flamebait)

Danathar (267989) | more than 4 years ago | (#31201232)

Sounds like a case of Google haters wailing in the closet

Re:lulz (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31201580)

... because only Google could be so devious as to then put a Google costume on over top of the Microsoft costume, and then act like Microsoft acting like Google. Whoa.

Re:lulz (1)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 4 years ago | (#31201638)

I know, right?! The colors, man....the colors.

Don't be Evil? (0, Flamebait)

Sounder40 (243087) | more than 4 years ago | (#31200362)

So much for _that_ motto... as if they lived by it in the first place.

Re:Don't be Evil? (1)

chill (34294) | more than 4 years ago | (#31200546)

This isn't evil.

Evil would be if the code was FOSS and someone else released a fork and Google threatened or sued them.

Evil would be if someone wrote a similar app and Google threatened or sued over copyright or general "IP".

Re:Don't be Evil? (5, Interesting)

Archangel Michael (180766) | more than 4 years ago | (#31200754)

Actually, this is a good case for why a developer would FOSS an application in the first place. Of course, if you're in "Please Google buy me out and make me rich beyond avarice" mode, then you wouldn't.

How about creating a semi FOSS license that remains closed source, and immediately becomes FOSS or Public Domain should the company ever fold, or the software itself becomes otherwise unavailable.

Kind of a poison pill of everlasting life. It would prevent applications from ever disappearing except by natural death (nobody wants it any longer).

Nail, meet head (1)

jeffmeden (135043) | more than 4 years ago | (#31201096)

Actually, this is a good case for why a developer would FOSS an application in the first place. Of course, if you're in "Please Google buy me out and make me rich beyond avarice" mode, then you wouldn't.

How about creating a semi FOSS license that remains closed source, and immediately becomes FOSS or Public Domain should the company ever fold, or the software itself becomes otherwise unavailable.

Kind of a poison pill of everlasting life. It would prevent applications from ever disappearing except by natural death (nobody wants it any longer).

It takes two to tango; there is no doubt that the project author made the conscious decision to join Google knowing that he would forfeit control of the project. Google probably even said point blank "we want to put your expertise to work *for Google*" with the implication that otherwise, he was only really benefiting Apple.

Who here really thought Google would buy an iStore App company (the developer) with the intention of profiting from the App's sales? Anyone? Buying it to 'absorb' the IP (i.e. kill it) was the only real outcome.

Re:Nail, meet head (1)

Archangel Michael (180766) | more than 4 years ago | (#31201246)

They didn't have to kill it.

And I'd like to add another thought. That is that if you buy software, there is no implied contract that the company you're buying from will exist in three months, leaving you holding software that may or may not be functional in a very short order.

I've seen this happen with all sorts of nifty utilities that go the way of the Dodo bird, simply because the company disappears.

Re:Nail, meet head (1)

jeffmeden (135043) | more than 4 years ago | (#31201656)

They didn't have to kill it.

That's like saying a lion that comes across a wounded gazelle in the jungle "doesn't have to kill it". Sure, it doesn't *have* to but you know damn well that it will, without blinking. Google has no reason to buy an App store developer and pay him to keep developing App store apps, plain and simple. Do you think they were looking to make an investment?

Back to the law of the jungle; Google merely did what anyone would do when faced with a conflict: throw money at it. This app was developed buy a guy so he could make money (hence why the app wasn't FOSS/free for all uses.) Google came along and made him a better offer, and he took it.

Re:Don't be Evil? (5, Insightful)

c (8461) | more than 4 years ago | (#31200562)

> So much for _that_ motto... as if they lived by it
> in the first place.

You'll need to explain why playing hardball with Apple counts, in some way, as "evil". The developer got a nice permanent job and a pile of cash, existing users still get to use the app they bought. Potential users are out of luck, but I don't see how Google owes them anything...

c.

Re:Don't be Evil? (1)

cynyr (703126) | more than 4 years ago | (#31200602)

aand they may not even be out of luck, s it sounds they gave the guy a job. Looks like they will be rolling it out to everyone.

Re:Don't be Evil? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31200810)

It's about time "potential users" ditch their iPhone in favor of something better [google.com] , anyway.

Re:Don't be Evil? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31201552)

You'll need to explain why playing hardball with Apple counts, in some way, as "evil".

it's not evil for apple, it's not evil for the developer, but it _is_ evil for any gmail user with iphone/itouch

You have it all wrong (1)

commodoresloat (172735) | more than 4 years ago | (#31201604)

This is a common mistake ... Google's slogan isn't actually "Don't Be Evil"; it's actually "Don't Be Apple."

Re:Don't be Evil? (1)

bughunter (10093) | more than 4 years ago | (#31201700)

Evil? Or just smart?

What does it matter to you?
When you've got a job to do
You've got to do it well;
You gotta give the other fellow hell!

Totally idiotic conclusions (5, Insightful)

MemoryDragon (544441) | more than 4 years ago | (#31200468)

Googles interest is to route as much traffic as possible to their services so that they can earn the ad revenues, now this application basically performed inbox searches without redirecting the user to gmail (where google would get the money from the ad revenues)
So they simply killed it because it did not bring them any revenues!

Re:Totally idiotic conclusions (5, Insightful)

BrokenHalo (565198) | more than 4 years ago | (#31200622)

Googles interest is to route as much traffic as possible to their services so that they can earn the ad revenues

That was what immediately occurred to me too. Google isn't being *very* evil, it's just trying to maintain its income base. I don't have (or even particularly want) an iPhone, but given Apple's various ways of pursuing its business model, evilness seems to mean different things to different people.

Just to be clear, I'm not particularly bashing Apple (I'm typing this on a MacBook I inherited from my wife when she upgraded to a more recent model), I'm just saying let's not be hypocrites.

How is this different from Apple? (4, Insightful)

je ne sais quoi (987177) | more than 4 years ago | (#31200674)

As I recall, there were quite a few commenters here that thought Apple was being a schmuck for killing google's phone app even though google's app replaced apple's phone app [simonblog.com] instead of installing itself side-by-side. Here, you've got google killing their competitors that are trying to mooch off their mail service. Sounds like pretty similar behavior to me on both apple and google's part since they are trying to stamp out a competitor who is getting a "free lunch" off their products.

Re:How is this different from Apple? (5, Insightful)

delinear (991444) | more than 4 years ago | (#31200748)

Maybe because there's a big difference between "killing" and "giving a huge bag of money and a job and the potential to integrate the app into the google codebase", regardless of how the Register/Slashdot try and spin the story title?

Re:How is this different from Apple? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31201478)

Google hasn't integrated the app, and they did already kill it, so the users are still screwed. In fact, the premium users are screwed even worse because they already paid for an app that won't be updated any longer.

Re:How is this different from Apple? (1)

je ne sais quoi (987177) | more than 4 years ago | (#31201486)

Are you really trying to paint google, a company that did nearly $24 billion [google.com] in revenue last year as the underdog getting smeared by the big, bad apple? Seriously, what you're implying to me that X multi-megacorp. is the underdog because Y multi-megacorp refused to let X go and displace Y's native app on Y's own device. In any case, why don't you have any sympathy for apple's programmers who are being displaced by google's programmers going around writing all these apps? Think of the number of salaries involved at apple that programmed that phone app.

Re:Totally idiotic conclusions (5, Insightful)

0xdeadbeef (28836) | more than 4 years ago | (#31200758)

That's why they killed POP access, too!

Oh, wait, no they didn't. [google.com]

Slashdot should be embarrassed for all the FUD they've been posting. Apple is the new Microsoft, except for Apple fanboys, who hold Google as the new Microsoft.

Re:Totally idiotic conclusions (1)

toastar (573882) | more than 4 years ago | (#31200888)

That's why they killed POP access, too!

Oh, wait, no they didn't. [google.com]

Slashdot should be embarrassed for all the FUD they've been posting. Apple is the new Microsoft, except for Apple fanboys, who hold Google as the new Microsoft.

What does that make Microsoft? The new IBM?

Re:Totally idiotic conclusions (1, Interesting)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | more than 4 years ago | (#31201090)

IBM used to look like the Microsoft of today. It was the evil empire. The difference, of course, was that IBM always held the highest technology possible; they'd develop stuff decades ahead of the competition at competitive prices for modern hardware (i.e. a 100TB drive, today, that can successfully sell for $100 at a huge profit margin and is just as reliable as a 500GB Seagate drive), or they'd simply buy out other companies that were developing high-end technology and acquire/complete the technology. This meant that IBM always had the future, in every respect (including cost); nobody could compete, and anyone that could was quickly acquired.

Re:Totally idiotic conclusions (5, Insightful)

kjart (941720) | more than 4 years ago | (#31201546)

Slashdot should be embarrassed for all the FUD they've been posting. Apple is the new Microsoft, except for Apple fanboys, who hold Google as the new Microsoft.

It never ceases to amaze me when people are surprised when giant corporations behave like giant corporations.

Re:Totally idiotic conclusions (3, Informative)

Crashspeeder (1468723) | more than 4 years ago | (#31201608)

Slashdot should be embarrassed for all the FUD they've been posting.

Agreed. You can also still search IMAP accounts, the only difference is it's slower than this app since the app itself downloaded copies to the phone while native search searches the server. This has nothing to do with ad revenue.

Re:Totally idiotic conclusions (2, Interesting)

killmenow (184444) | more than 4 years ago | (#31200872)

This is my thought exactly. An app that lets you search through your GMail data without hitting Google's servers every time you search interferes with their core business of providing ads along with search results while monitoring users' searches to improve both search algorithms and ad delivery algorithms. If the app somehow reappears, you can bet even if it works off-line when you have no data connection, the search info will still be tracked and sent back to Google when connectivity is restored. And ads may be added as a "feature" as well.

I'm not saying they're bad or evil and that they're big brother tracking you and "ooh, better wear your tinfoil hats" or anything. Simply saying their business is dependent on maintaining their lead in search technology and ad delivery technology and one of the best ways to do that is to data mine how/what people are searching.

Re:Totally idiotic conclusions (2, Informative)

idontgno (624372) | more than 4 years ago | (#31201146)

[slashdot.org]

Well, there may already a hole in that: IMAP. I don't EVER hit Gmail's HTTPS address. Thunderbird accesses the gmail box and does all searches internally.

Of course, if an IMAP MUA uses the IMAP SEARCH command to search mailboxes, then GOOG's IMAP face can treat that input like it would a web-based search form entry, so if that's the case then their search-optimizing input overlord status is secure.

But other than Google's own feature-promotion spam, I see no advertising.

Re:Totally idiotic conclusions (3, Informative)

MoralHazard (447833) | more than 4 years ago | (#31201188)

So they simply killed it because it did not bring them any revenues!

But has Google actually killed access methods to G*, in the past, that didn't directly bring it revenue?

  * Exhibit "A": IMAP for Gmail. Despite the lack of advertising revenue during IMAP sessions, Google provides free, quality IMAP service to all Gmail accounts.
  * Exhibit "B": Mobile clients for Gmail: As with IMAP, the mobile Gmail clients (Blackberry, etc.) don't display any advertising to the user during mobile sessions.

In both the IMAP and mobile cases, Google actually spent time and money (engineering hours) building capacities that let people access Gmail with zero advertising. To the untrained idiot, this might see paradoxical: Why would Google spend money on things that don't directly generate revenue?

Of course, if you ponder it for a hot five seconds, the answer is pretty obvious: Good IMAP and mobile options can increase user adoption of Gmail, generally, because the end user finds more to use. This means more people will integrate Gmail more deeply into their lives, and the overall increased Gmail usage could very well drive up absolute web UI page views. The alternatives help get me hooked on Gmail, but in the end I spend more time logging in through the web UI because I'm just using Gmail all that much more. In the end, Google gets more ad views, and revenue increases.

There's a similar concept in retail called the "loss leader": You sell a popular item at below cost, and advertise the hell out of it, just to get people into your store. While they're in your store, they will are likely to buy other, non-sale (profit-making) items, too, since they're already there. Voila! Your revenue increases.

So who do you think you are, calling these suspicions totally idiotic? Google has suddenly broken with its past policies regarding alternative, non-ad-viewing Gmail interfaces. If you've been trusting Google in the past, due to their general friendliness to end users, this apparent change of heart is kind of alienating.

Re:Totally idiotic conclusions (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31201726)

Google could just add whatever they get out of the web based Gmail to this client if this was an issue.

worse than MS (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31200480)

G o o g l e i s w o r s e d a n M i c r o s o f t !!

Re:worse than MS (1)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | more than 4 years ago | (#31201106)

Googleis Worsedan Microsoft, interesting name for a child.

Google saw a good thing... (5, Insightful)

H0p313ss (811249) | more than 4 years ago | (#31200496)

... and bought the company.

company founder Gabor Cselle, who will be returning to Google as a Product Manager on the Gmail team

It is perfectly normal to pull the product temporarily to re-brand and redirect during an acquisition that is technically interesting but does not completely meet the company vision. Nothing to see here, move along.

Re:Google saw a good thing... (5, Interesting)

tool462 (677306) | more than 4 years ago | (#31201636)

No kidding. In related news, did you know that Delta bought Northwest Airlines, and now they're killing it off? Seriously. They're removing all the NWA planes, and replacing them with Delta planes. And soon you won't even be able to buy tickets on NWA, you'll have to buy them on Delta. It's more evil than Stalin and Hitler combined!

Google bought the company (one guy and his app). The value for them is in the technology, not the reMail brand. They'll include the parts they like with the gmail service. The guy who created the app got a nice chunk of change from the purchase and a job at a company many would be excited to work for. This is capitalism in it's most basic form. A guy created something of value and was rewarded for it. If this qualifies as evil, you are in the wrong country.

Well.. (0, Flamebait)

Jorl17 (1716772) | more than 4 years ago | (#31200522)

They do it because they CAN. Full-stop. Either we get together and do something about it, or we shut up and let them do it.

Re:Well.. (0, Offtopic)

Jorl17 (1716772) | more than 4 years ago | (#31200560)

Oh, and doing the crazy thing of answering myself, has anyone noticed the tags on the story? Great "journalism" why don't we just name it: "Google, evil, together, death", huh?

Re:Well.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31201670)

Who pissed in your cornflakes this morning?

*Shrug* (1)

IANAAC (692242) | more than 4 years ago | (#31200526)

Does it really matter?

I mean, aren't there other email options available to iPhone users (I'm honestly asking - I don't use an iPhone). And if there are other options, it's not like the GMail app offered much other than a better search - on the phone. Surely, someone will offer decent search for any iPhone email out there at some point, no?

This has been said many times before: if you don't like a businesses practices, don't use them. Something else will ALWAYS spring up to meet demand.

Re:*Shrug* (2, Informative)

guruevi (827432) | more than 4 years ago | (#31200728)

Well, the iPhone already has an IMAP application called 'Mail' and since they added Spotlight search on the iPhone, full-text inbox searches are also/still possible.

it will be replaced (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31200570)

by something HTTP-based written with "Gwit", AJAX and lots of text based ads.
also anyone who actually calls it "gwit" needs to be shot.

I use iGmail for full body searches (4, Interesting)

0x537461746943 (781157) | more than 4 years ago | (#31200642)

I downloaded the free iGmail specifically for the searching features. I use the regular iPhone mail app to read mail but it can not search in the body portion of the emails. If I need to do a search (For instance to see what I have bought through iTunes) I launch iGmail and us it's search feature. Apple really needs to think more seriously about their feature set. Full body searches is something that is very important for an email app.

Re:I use iGmail for full body searches (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31200750)

Full body searches is something that is very important for an email app.

I don't know why you like full body searches so much, but I consider them invasive and uncomfortable. But I guess if you like that sort of thing....

Re:I use iGmail for full body searches (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31200756)

Good heavens. For a second I thought you worked for Airport Security.

free full body searches (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31200766)

I get my free full body searches at the airport; just mumble something about "AlQaeda" and "Death to America".

Re:I use iGmail for full body searches (1)

darrylo (97569) | more than 4 years ago | (#31200934)

I use the mobile gmail web interface in safari, as I find it much more useful than the Apple's minimally-featured mail app. Searching may not be instantaneous, but it's fast enough, and I don't need to waste precious iPhone storage.

Sure, you need an internet connection, but that's basically true of Apple's app, too.

Re:I use iGmail for full body searches (1)

pydev (1683904) | more than 4 years ago | (#31200978)

Why don't you get a different phone, one that actually has a decent mail client?

Re:I use iGmail for full body searches (1)

0x537461746943 (781157) | more than 4 years ago | (#31201214)

Most important reason is that my phone is free. The built in email app works great(much better than my previous phones) for the other features I need. It just doesn't have the body searching feature. The iGmail is launched just like the built-in app so it is not like it is harder to use iGmail when I need it. If the phone didn't have some decent Apps for it then it would be much more of an issue.

Sounds like a great time to build an app (1)

aclarke (307017) | more than 4 years ago | (#31200662)

I think now would be a great time to produce an app that does "lightning-fast" searches of GMail inboxes... That would be (not very) quick way of finding out whether Google bought reMail to integrate it, or to kill it.

Hey, maybe I found the missing step 2:

1. Build email searching app
2. *** GET BOUGHT BY GOOGLE *** (darn, we have to buy ANOTHER one of these?)
3. Profit!

Re:Sounds like a great time to build an app (0)

Darfeld (1147131) | more than 4 years ago | (#31200742)

It's the step 3 which is missing. So it's like that :

1. Build email searching app
2. *** GET BOUGHT BY GOOGLE *** (darn, we have to buy ANOTHER one of these?)
3. ????
4. Profit!

Re:Sounds like a great time to build an app (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 4 years ago | (#31200744)

That is what makes the speculation about "OMG, Google will buy all the devs in the App store!!!!" seem so transparently stupid.

Producing an email application good enough that Google is interested in buying it for incorporation into some future scheme is a challenge. Producing unpolished(or even quite competent) "me too" clones of applications that Google has purchased in the past is fairly easy and the barriers to entry aren't all that high. If it became generally known that Google would buy anything, they'd have new iPhone devs crawling out of the woodwork for their slice of the easy money.

Microgoogle? (1, Interesting)

kungfugleek (1314949) | more than 4 years ago | (#31200706)

Man that sounds a lot like the kind of stuff people hate Microsoft for. Instead of making a better product, buy the competition and kill it. Couldn't Google have made their own iPhone app that did lightning fast searches of gmail?

Re:Microgoogle? (5, Insightful)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | more than 4 years ago | (#31201172)

Yes. Their option was to hire on talent and reward the original creator of something they found interesting; or create their own, integrate it, somehow subtly alter their backend to break the competitor's work, and destroy their competitor's user base (along with any hope of making money).

Ceased "not being evil" (2, Interesting)

cpscotti (1032676) | more than 4 years ago | (#31200710)

It is weird but nowadays is easy to realize that google ceased "not being evil" sometime back there in 2005~2006.
Now they are just the new microsoft or another corporate giant .. buying whatever they can.. It's like a kid with too much money in their pockets:
they almost stop coding.... they just buy!

Remember google wave? blehg... google buzz? bleh...
Even Google Chrome is not what people imagined it would be..
Next big thing google will do (if they finally manage to pay enough) is buying facebook or twitter.

That's how to keep shareholders happy (1)

IANAAC (692242) | more than 4 years ago | (#31200812)

Now they are just the new microsoft or another corporate giant .. buying whatever they can.. It's like a kid with too much money in their pockets: they almost stop coding.... they just buy!

I don't know how much coding Google still does or doesn't do these days, but...

Shareholders want to see short term profits, and buying other companies is the way to achieve that. And you'll see this very same behavior from every publicly traded company that has cash available for other purchases.

Re:Ceased "not being evil" (1)

toriver (11308) | more than 4 years ago | (#31200876)

It's more like they are redefining evil to suit their needs.

"Provide no privacy" should be more fitting, what with the Buzz cock-up and all.

Profit (5, Informative)

LtGordon (1421725) | more than 4 years ago | (#31200726)

10 START COMPANY
20 COMPETE WITH GOOGLE
30 GET BOUGHT BY GOOGLE
40 GOTO 10

Re:Profit (1)

Abdul the Newt (1748454) | more than 4 years ago | (#31200846)

I like this program - I was thinking it's time to start creating some Google competitors so I can retire early. The next optimization would be to simply "Announce Starting Company to Compete with Google" and wait for the money to transfer.

Re:Profit (2, Funny)

IANAAC (692242) | more than 4 years ago | (#31201066)

That kind of code would never get you hired.

Anywhere.

Kill, or offer it up for free? (1)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 4 years ago | (#31200732)

Is the headline misleading?

Has Google ever once just bought a competing product to shut it down?

I suspect they will roll this into Gmail service, the the free Google iPhone app.

bla bla bla (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31200736)

"possibility is that Google may have snapped up reMail just to kill it"

I have no facts but I must opinionate...

Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31200764)

Another possibility is that Google may have snapped up reMail just to kill it, not because reMail was a competitor to anything Google had, but because reMail made the iPhone better

That's just silly. Nobody is going to say "I was going to buy an iPhone, but now it doesn't have reMail so I think I'll go with a Nexus One instead," and Google knows this.

Re:Really? (1)

AndrewNeo (979708) | more than 4 years ago | (#31201254)

They wouldn't have killed it to bring users over, they would of killed it so iPhone users just couldn't use it.

Re:Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31201538)

Oh, well that makes sense. Pissing off potential future-customers is a great business move. Next week, they're going to knock over a box of kittens for the hell of it.

Buy me up! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31200798)

Perhaps Google is just planning to buy up all the iPhone developers, one at a time, until Android is the only game in town

Dear Google,

I'm planning on becoming a successful iPhone developer.

You can send me a check now, thank you.

Imperial march (2, Funny)

junglebeast (1497399) | more than 4 years ago | (#31200822)

DUM dum DUM dum DA-DUM dum DA-DUM!

DIM dim DIM dim DI-DUM dum DA-Daaaam!

Him hum ha-him hum, ha-hum-ha hum --
  ha-him hum, ha-hum-ha hum...

And so began the Imperial March of Google...

Re:Imperial march (3, Funny)

HamburglerJones (1539661) | more than 4 years ago | (#31201544)

Wow! Thanks -- I never knew the words to the Imperial March until now!

Or... (4, Insightful)

asdf7890 (1518587) | more than 4 years ago | (#31200878)

They have effectively employed a Developer (or more than one if the company wasn't a one man band) for work on their mail related projects taking his existing work on a (popular?) mail related application as part of his CV. They were perhaps on the lookout for a developer with good experience in both mail protocols and UIs for mobile devices (I can see that skillset fitting in to their plans as I understand them). Said developer/company does not have time to maintain/support the iPhone app long term on top of new responsabilities in the new position with Google so decided to stop, and Google has not particular interest in keeping it going by passing it to another team either because the market for it is too small for them to care or it just isn't the direction they want to send a dev team in at the moment.

There doesn't need to be any anti-Apple consideration here at all. Apple users need not worry: if there is a good market for such an application someone will step up to the bat and create one. In fact I predict many will turn up soon as people try follow in this fellow's footsteps - you just need to hope one of the new projects will be both good and long lived...

Google is getting scary... (4, Interesting)

adosch (1397357) | more than 4 years ago | (#31200938)

This is well into the big double-digit count of Google headlining or top subject matter in slashdot news stories in the last 5 days, with ranging topics from broadband internet backbone building to social network privacy with Buzz to energy buy-ins, now iPhone app buy-up monopolization. Unstoppable force, friends.

I know Google has done extremely well diversifying themselves and has their fingers in anything, but no one treats them like monopolizers that Microsoft became.

Hopefully reMail turned a good profit on this... and wasn't squeezed by the big corporation.

it's for the people (3, Insightful)

pydev (1683904) | more than 4 years ago | (#31200952)

Companies like Google buy small companies mainly for the people. Think of it as a big hiring bonus.

I suspect other than that, reMail simply didn't figure in any of their business plans.

It's happened before... it'll happen again (5, Informative)

DogDude (805747) | more than 4 years ago | (#31201006)

DVD Shrink was arguably the best DVD copying software (freeware) out there until the developer was hired by Nero, one of the leading companies that made competing DVD copying software. Since their software was doing the same thing (albeit, for a price), there wasn't any technical information that could have been garnered by hiring the guy. The developer just stopped development on the software immediately, and hasn't updated it since.

There's no reason to think that Google isn't doing the same thing.

my analysis of slashdot drone responses (1)

prawn_narwp (1579473) | more than 4 years ago | (#31201332)

This is all sideline commentary. It's like watching poker on TV and thinking/assuming you understand what's going on in their minds:

Slashdot-bot response #1: "Sounds like a case of Google in a Microsoft's clothing."

Who says they haven't been already? You get big enough and it's growth by acquisition -- though you could argue that Google bucks the trend. That it intends to grow organically while acquiring. Anyway, it's all a big wankfest unless you're an investor, or run a business affected by it. If you're a corporate drone, it's just sideline talk -- get the fuck back to work (talking to myself too :)).

Slashdot-bot response #2: "So much for _that_ motto... as if they lived by it in the first place."

I say people read into it way too much. I mean, it's notable that no other company would share the same motto but don't look at it as official legislation. "Don't be evil" has a history and has morphed into more that what it was -- which I say was just a small group that came up with an interesting corporate core value.

Slashdot-bot response #3:
"So they simply killed it because it did not bring them any revenues!"

No - how do you know that? This just freaking happened a few days ago. You somehow have seen/read/understood the paperwork of the deal? Will it come back in some other form? Was it just to get the programmer?

Effort to protect an illegal monopoly (3, Interesting)

mysidia (191772) | more than 4 years ago | (#31201432)

reMail provided a capability similar to Gmail's search that worked with IMAP accounts and mail providers other than Gmail

Since part of Gmail's competitive edge is good search technology, reMail was a substantial competitive threat.

Now by buying and killing them, their search capability is no longer available on the mobile platform. iPhone users will have to use gmail and Google's built-in search instead of a third-party IMAP provider in order to get a decent search experience.

Killing this competitor protects Google's monopoly on search, and on e-mail search in particular.

Re:Effort to protect an illegal monopoly (1)

NeoSkandranon (515696) | more than 4 years ago | (#31201680)

Effort to protect an illegal(1) monopoly

(1) Citation Needed

Re:Effort to protect an illegal monopoly (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31201736)

Killing this competitor protects Google's monopoly on search, and on e-mail search in particular.

Except that Google doesn't have a monopoly on search, or email search. They may have a "monopoly" on Gmail search, but if that's the case, then it's only as illegal as Apple's "monopoly" on computers running OS X. If somebody doesn't like any of Google's services, there is absolutely nothing stopping them from going elsewhere.

Troll (1)

DarthVain (724186) | more than 4 years ago | (#31201472)

Does reMail have say some sort of patent.

No doubt this is for the future.

I say it is either to:

A) Develop their own "App" to access Gmail over Android (or whatever Google phones are called then) and they want to use a technology or expertise developed by reMail

or

B) reMail has a patent, or Google will file for a patent using reMail technology, that will enable them to boot/restrict/make pay licence fees to Google any phone company that wishes to access Gmail.

iPhone users should be used to this (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31201508)

Is their problem that it's someone other than Apple who's capriciously killing apps from the App store? Boo hoo, I am Jack's crocodile tears. Apple hasn't exactly bent over backwards to accomodate iTunes on competing phones either after all, what's one mail app?

How to Do No Evil (1)

Aphoxema (1088507) | more than 4 years ago | (#31201540)

The Google EZ-Plan to Do No Evil.

1. Eliminate Evil Competition
2. Soak up customers
3. Be really nice to customers.
4. Keep being nice to customers.
5. After being well established as a monopoly, keep being nice to customers.
6. Rule world as benevolent ultraconglomerate.
7. Wait until after complete world domination to turn evil.

Video of Alex (0, Offtopic)

PineHall (206441) | more than 4 years ago | (#31201660)

Video of Alex [welcometoalex.com] is available at the Alex website [welcometoalex.com] .

Anonymous Coward (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31201760)

What? No Score:5, Funny comment as yet? You people are lame.

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