Google Circumvents Apple, Offers Google Voice iPhone App - InformationWeek

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1/26/2010
09:10 AM
Eric Ogren
Eric Ogren
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Google Circumvents Apple, Offers Google Voice iPhone App

Remember the big mess between Apple, AT&T and Google over the Google Voice iPhone app last summer? Yeah, well, Google is back with a new version of the application that Apple won't have the chance or opportunity to approve (or disapprove) because it's used from the iPhone's browser.

Remember the big mess between Apple, AT&T and Google over the Google Voice iPhone app last summer? Yeah, well, Google is back with a new version of the application that Apple won't have the chance or opportunity to approve (or disapprove) because it's used from the iPhone's browser.It's good to see Google thumbing its nose at Apple a little bit here. The two tech giants are butting heads more and more these days, and I am sure the friction will only increase.

Google's latest move will let iPhone users access Google Voice from their browser rather than as a third-party application. Google already offered a browser-compatible version of Voice, but it is going a bit further now by calling this new version a "Web app."

Reuters reports that the new application provides a pretty rich set of features, including the ability to listen to voicemails from within the browser, as well as dial phone numbers.

Google says, "For quick access to the most important features like 'Dialer', 'Compose SMS', 'Inbox' or 'Contacts,' you can add shortcuts to your iPhone home screen or Palm Launcher -- so cheap calls and messaging will be just a single click away. And because the Google Voice web app uses advanced features of modern HTML5 browsers, it offers native app-like performance and speed."

The new Web app will work on iPhones using OS 3.0 and up. In a surprise move, this version of Google Voice will also work with Palm's webOS devices (Pre, Pre Plus, Pixi, Pixi Plus).

The Google Voice debacle unfolded last year when Apple first approved a Google Voice application from Google and then later pulled it. Many believed that it was yanked from the iPhone Apps Store at the behest of AT&T. Google Voice lets users maker cheaper long-distance calls and forward calls to multiple other numbers. The U.S. Federal Communications Commission opened an investigation of sorts and asked all the companies involved for an explanation of why the application was removed. The results of that investigation have not yet been revealed.

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