By Harry McCracken | Sunday, March 28, 2010 at 12:40 am
I’m still looking forward to trying Line2 on my iPhone, but the VoIP app’s launch continues to be hobbled by Internet-borne attacks. Earlier today, David Pogue of the New York Times reported that the problem was someone’s auto-signup bot that was registering bogus accounts as fast as it could, but that Line2 parent Toktumi had figured out a workaround. But now that’s out of date: I was able to download the app, but once I’d stepped through the sign-up process on my iPhone, I got this:
The Toktumi blog explains what’s going on: The company has put the app back in the App Store, but is limiting the number of new signups each hour to foil the bot. It doesn’t seem like a long-term solution–especially since you only learn about the signup cap after getting most of the way through registering, and apparently have to start all over again if you want to give it another go.
As Pogue says, it’s a lousy thing to happen to a promising service. Maybe Toktumi’s original stopgap–temporarily ending the month of free trial service and requiring payment of $15 in advance for the first month of service–would be the best way to ensure that people who really want Line2 can get it and nobody’s time is wasted.
[UPDATE: As of early Sunday morning, the app is available on the iTunes App Store, but if you step through the signup process you eventually get a message that new memberships are on hold, and that you’ll get an e-mail when they’re available again.)