By Harry McCracken | Friday, March 5, 2010 at 11:01 am
Last month, Google bought ReMail, a company that made a nifty e-mail program for the iPhone–then promptly yanked the app out of the App Store and announced plans to discontinue support for it. Today brings some news that sounds modestly hopeful: Google has decided to open-source the ReMail code. If there are any developers out there with the interest and technical chops, they’ll be able to adopt ReMail, get it back in the App Store, and release upgrades.
Of course, there are no guarantees that such developers will emerge and save ReMail. Last year, when Google decided to cease work on the Twitterlike Jaiku service it had bought, it released Jaiku as open-source code–and that’s pretty much the last time Jaiku attracted attention at all. But ReMail is a unique, useful product with a clear audience. Maybe someone out there will see an opportunity to make money by rescuing it–I hope so.