Google’s Voice app for iPhone has arrived – 16 months after Apple first rejected it and made Google jump through hoops
The Google Voice app for Apple’s iPhone has finally been approved for Apple’s App Store, putting an end to a 16-month rift between the companies – fierce competitors in the mobile phone market.
Voice is a phone management application currently used by more than 1.4 million people to route calls to their phones using a special phone number, Google claims.
Communication Break Down
The app, which enables free calls in the United States and cheap international calls, lets users enjoy automatic voice mail transcription, the ability to listen to live messages as they come in to voice mail, and several other tools. Users may also display their Voice number as caller ID when making calls.
Although the app is currently available in the US only, Google has confirmed its plans to roll Voice out to other countries in the future. The acceptance of it for iPhone could hasten this process.
Google submitted a version of its app for the iPhone to Apple’s App Store for approval in June 2009. Google’s app was never approved, though Apple said it never actually rejected the app.
After the Federal Communications Commission formally questioned Google, Apple and AT&T about the issue, it turned out Apple had indeed silenced Voice on the iPhone because it duplicated too many features of the smartphone, including the dialler capability.
The standoff shed light on just how deep the rift between Apple and Google had grown.
In January, Google launched a Web version of Voice for iPhone based on HTML5. However, that app lacked certain capabilities, such as push notifications to alert users to new voicemails or text messages, and quicker call connections.
This new, native “official Google Voice for iPhone app” has those features, and is available to download from the Apple App Store today.
iPhone users need an iPhone with iOS 3.1 or later and a valid Google Voice account to use the app, which is currently available in the US only.
Apple made the official Google Voice app possible in September when it relaxed its iPhone developer terms after enough developers complained about the gauntlet they had to run to get apps approved in the App Store.
Developers of the Google Voice GV Mobile and GV Connect applications for the iPhone rushed to take advantage of Apple’s loosening of the reins, rolling out their apps that month.
It was believed then that Google’s official app would follow shortly after but it took almost two months to appear, perhaps a sign of just how touchy the App Store policies are.