iPhone finds its Google Voice
AT&T won't be amused
Apple has told a third-party developer that his Google Voice client will be approved when resubmitted, though fans may have to buy it for a third time.
GV Mobile connects an iPhone user to Google Voice for cheap calls and text messaging, and sold well for the months it was listed in the iTunes store. But when an official application from Google got rejected by Apple, GV Mobile was thrown out too.
The developer, Steve Kovacs, then took his product to the unofficial app store Cydia, inviting jailbreaking iPhone users to buy the app. But as GV Mobile breaks none of Apple's newly-published rules, Cupertino has now said that if he resubmits the app it will get approval.
That paves the way for Google to get its official version approved too, which should give GV Mobile some competition as fans have already paid for it twice (once while it was in the iTunes app store, and again on Cydia) and might balk at buying the app a third time.
The FCC investigated Apple's rejection of Google Voice, suspecting collusion or possibly conspiracy, but found no evidence of either. AT&T and Google denied everything, and Apple presented a very weak selection of arguments and said that it didn't matter anyway as it hadn't rejected the app as such - it was still mulling the issue over, and has been for the last 12 months.
As we said at the time, it's more likely that Apple was simply acting in the interests of its biggest customer, AT&T, rather than an illegal conspiracy cooked up in a smoke-filled room.
Apple is increasingly willing to step away from the network operators who worked so hard to make the iPhone affordable, and allowing Google Voice is going to strain that relationship further. But mulling couldn't last forever, and Apple knew that it risked anti-trust attention if it ultimately rejected Google Voice in all its forms.
So the iPhone gets a little more open, Google expands its telecoms business and the mobile operators get sidelined even further. ®
Well, Verizon for one specifically mentions being able to use Google Voice to make unlimited free calls in their ads for Android phones -- I suppose Verizon is just seeing it as a way to get more people to get smartphones (and the mandatory $30/month unlimited data that goes with it) that otherwise wouldn't. Unlike AT&T Verizon is not suffering from network meltdowns, so it's just extra cash in their pocket.
Who in their right minds pays for essencially the same app three times just so it "keeps working"?
Then again, we are talking about Apple fanbois.
(where is that rotten apple with a worm poking it's head out icon?)
We can't get Google Voice in the UK
...well unless, you use a US proxy. You do need an initial US number to get 'verified' (which you can do by using SkypeIN with a USA number, for example)
I've played with Google Voice & I love it.
I can't wait to see it in the UK, but I have a feeling I'll be waiting forever :(
"network operators who worked so hard to make the iPhone affordable"
Yeah right, by gouging people with long-term-lock-in contracts which make the iPhone really expensive compared to an unlocked iPhone + off the peg SIM. That is really working hard, not.
I have never bought the argument that operators are ever doing things in the best interest of their customers .. save, maybe, Three in the UK, who offer good SIM only deals.
Just levelling the playing field
Perhaps Apple is finally acknowledging that Android is giving them a run for their money and is offering iPhans a more Android-like experience with free calling. Or could it be the government?
It's amazing what happens when the elephant, in the form of the FCC, stirs so perhaps Jobs chose to cut his losses and avoid having the entrails of his plans being examined in the brightness of daylight.