I wanted to highlight this ArsTechnica article, Gmail’s API lockdown will kill some third-party app access, starting July 15, for several reasons.
The Security Audit Rule
Last October, Google announced that all applications accessing and storing Gmail data must pass a security audit from an outside firm – Google estimated that such an audit would cost $15,000 – $75,000 or more. Many useful Gmail plugins and integrations are shutting down due to this requirement, even open source applications where the code is available for all to review.
Historically, Google has been slowly repositioning Gmail from an email inbox to an app platform itself: there are Chrome addons and Gmail plugins to turn Gmail into a CRM, a todo list, a kanban board, and so many other integrations – which is why I’m surprised to see Google seemingly reduce the usefulness of Gmail by adding these requirements and losing these plugins.
We’ll see how this goes, but I would bet on Google slowly loosening up restrictions over time, or possibly offering subsidies for the security audits of popular Gmail plugins.
Google Reader Strikes Again
A particularly cheeky ArsTechnica commenter wrote the following insightful comment:
And quite a lot of commenters seem to agree: