Apple Silences Google Voice App for iPhone

Speculation rages over why Apple refuses to offer Google app

By Jackson West
|  Tuesday, Jul 28, 2009  |  Updated 1:51 PM PDT
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Apple Silences Google Voice App for iPhone

brewbooks/ Flickr

Apple's iPhone App store has made some seemingly arbitrary decisions -- letting some Google apps onto the phone, but not others.

Google and Apple are good buddies -- after all, Google's CEO serves on Apple's board -- but that relationship wasn't enough to keep Apple from refusing to offer an application for the iPhone to access Google Voice.

Google Voice, recently released to the public, offers a free phone number that will forward calls to multiple phones, record voice and text messages and allow access from a central online management tool.

A similar, third-party application, GV Mobile, was also blocked by Apple. Speculation suggests AT&T, the exclusive American provider of iPhone service, may well have had a role in the decision.

Among other reasons, Google Voice's features compete directly with AT&T's All in One voicemail and call-forwarding services for businesses, as well as many included with the iPhone itself -- neither of which will be free anytime soon.

Google has also entered the smartphone market with an operating system called "Android" that offers a similar interface and features to Apple's iPhone.

Apple has also limited functionality to applications like cheap calling application Skype, and states that applications that mimic functions already on the iPhone will not be available for download.

Apple and Google are also under investigation by the government for potential anti-competitive trade practices, partly because of how close their executives are.

The latter reason, if true, would be especially ironic -- rather than too much competition, Apple and Google might worry regulators would see it as not enough.

Google Voice users can presumably still access the service through the browser on the iPhone.

Photo by brewbooks

Jackson West is still stuck with Windows Mobile, sadly.

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