Google's Voice speaks from iPhone
If you can't beat 'em, web 'em
Google has launched a new app that give US-based iPhone and Palm Prē and Pixi users access to its Google Voice service.
But no, it's not the long-awaited Google Voice app for the iPhone that Apple has yet to approve for inclusion in its App Store. This Google Voice is an HTML5 web app, accessible through the iPhone's Safari and Palm's webOS browsers at m.google.com/voice.
Apple's refusal to allow a native iPhone app for Google Voice access was one of the first cracks in what was once a buddy-buddy relationship between Cupertino and Mountain View. Apple insists it's merely "studying" the app's suitability for the iPhone - but that study is now about to enter its seventh month, with no end in sight.
Since then, the rift has been widening into a chasm, with Google's CEO Eric Schmidt quitting Apple's board of directors last August as Mountain View began to encroach deeper and deeper into Cupertinian territory with the release of Android, Chrome OS, and finally the Nexus One smartphone.
But the web is still a free and unfettered common ground - today, at least - and that's where Google has placed the new iPhone and Palm version of Google Voice.
Google contends that HTML5 gives its web app "native app-like performance and speed"
In a Tuesday blog post, Google outlines the range of features available through the web app, including the ability to make calls and send text messages through a Google Voice number, speech-to-text voicemail transcription, and free text messages.
You also get access to what Google calls "cheap international calls," plus the ability to place icons for different Google Voice services onto your iPhone home screen or Palm webOS Launcher.
Google also claims that the web app will integrate with either Google Contacts or "your on-phone address book," but since we're not yet one of the lucky invitation-only Google Voice chosen
few many, we're unable to test the quality of that address-book integration.
Although the web app is compatible with all versions of Palm WebOS, you'll need iPhone OS 3.0 or higher. (The current iPhone version is 3.1.2.) ®
Not putting my voice through google
With Google now emerging as the most evil company that ever existed, their CEO stating that those who care about privacy 'have something to hide', am I the only one that feels slightly uncomfortable about putting my voice through their service? The app might be free as in 'free beer' but in return they are just another step closer to taking something back... Your 'free'dom.
Now that Apple is getting out of bed with AT&T, surely the excuse of restricting VOIP to protect the carrier revenue is now irrelevant ?
Unless Apple is trying to protect the revenue of all carriers.....
If you want this same feature for your corporate network check out Taridium's ipbx PBX software. Same functionality, but using your own office mailbox and dialer.
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If Apple starts actively giving the green light to VOIP apps all the carriers all over the world who currently offer an iPhone for free-£200 on an 18-24 month contract of varying monthly costs will start to withdraw the phone from their shelves.
HTML 5 allows Google to create a web version of its Voice app that hasn't been approved for inclusion into the App Store. You use it through your browser, so that makes it ok.
Except that the HTML 5 version then allows google to pick through the contacts in your phone, and allows it the ability to place new icons onto your phones home screen.
Surely this means that HTML 5 poses a serious threat to mobile browsing security, unless of course the phone only lets it do all this after an acceptance from the user.