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Google Voice-enabled apps coming back to App Store

post #1 of 48
Thread Starter 
The developer of a Google Voice-enabled iPhone app has received confirmation from Apple that the app will "most likely" be re-approved for the App Store.

Sean Kovacs, the developer behind the GV Mobile app, posted the news on Twitter Thursday. The resubmission process may take as long as a week, said Kovacs.

Apple announced Thursday that it had was making "important changes" to its iOS Developer Program license. In response to criticism about the openness and lack of transparency of the App Store, Apple also released the company's App Store Review Guidelines.

Kovacs posted a Twitter message Thursday speculating that GV Mobile complied with the changes to the license. "Since GV Mobile complies with all 110+ guidelines newly posted by Apple, it should get approved?"

Several hours later, Kovacs received "confirmation back from Apple that it will most likely get back in" once he resubmits the app.

Google Voice has been the cause of no small amount of controversy for Apple and the App Store. In July of last year, Apple removed third-party Google Voice-enabled apps, including GV Mobile, from the App Store. Kovacs was later contacted by an Apple representative, but was given few details about the takedown. He responded by moving the app to Cydia, an alternative app store for jailbroken devices.

The app removals by Apple prompted an investigation by the FCC. A 'he said, she said' debate ensued, with Google claiming that Apple had rejected its Google Voice app, and Apple claiming that the app was still "under review."

In a filing with the FCC, Apple said it had not consulted with AT&T in reviewing the Google Voice app. Apple took issue with Google Voice because it "replaced the iPhone's core mobile telephone functionality and Apple user interface with its own user interface for telephone calls, text messaging and voicemail" and uploaded the user's contacts to Google servers.
post #2 of 48
Wow! Bring it on!
post #3 of 48
Kovacs got a raw deal. His app was excellent before it was unceremoniously and unjustifiably booted from the app store. I'm looking forward to using it again!
post #4 of 48
Now when is google going to roll out for the rest of the continent? Grand central worked in Canada, google voice doesn't let you access it, with the exception of one area code in Alberta ( I think).
post #5 of 48
Google Voice = Brilliant!
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post #6 of 48
If they implement the calling feature of google chat, I'm going to explode.
post #7 of 48
Besides the evident move to avoid FCC investigation... Could these changes be in preparation for the Windows Mobile 7 release? I think Microsoft will have a coherent, competitive mobile plataform (and that Google, not Apple, will actually feel the pressure)

The result could be that Adobe, Google, etc., will have Apple back in their good book, and Apple could avoid a potentially solid front against them

Hey! it's not that I believe Apple does not stand in higher ground, just that they have nothing to lose and more to gain with this recent changes
post #8 of 48
I hope this means that Yahoo messenger will FINALLY come out with a native iPad/iPhone/iPod touch app that has "call in" and "call out".

I prefer yahoo to google.
post #9 of 48
About time! So what is Google waiting for?! Resubmit too!!!
post #10 of 48
Currently that calling feature requires a plugin for Mac -- they will probably have to integrate that code in the app. No Safari 3rd party plugin support yet on iPhone...

Quote:
Originally Posted by energyliveson View Post

If they implement the calling feature of google chat, I'm going to explode.
post #11 of 48
Maybe this new openness could be seen as a sign that the AT&T-Apple relationship is coming to an end. Apple doesn't have the same strong incentive to protect the cellular networks against the WIFI/VoIP competition any longer. Maybe they had some contract obligations before (or didn't want to upset AT&T too much)...
post #12 of 48
This is great if you're not jailbroken.
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post #13 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by theAppleMan912 View Post

Hopefully this well mean google maps navigation for iphone soon. Now we're just waiting for flash.

I would like Navigation as much as anybody, but it is a HUGE feather in Android's cap right now, so I'd be surprised to see Google open it up to any other platforms for the foreseeable future.
post #14 of 48
What does the app do that google's current browser-type implementation not do? What is so great and fabulous about google voice in general? I've had it since they rolled it out and if you took it away tomorrow, I'm not sure I'd miss any of it. GV calls within the US use cell minutes, so what's the point? International calls? There's an app for that and it's named Skype. Transcripts? Beyond useless! Turned them off a week after I got my gv account. I guess if you really need gv to ring a bunch of phones in all manner of ways and take a message it's pretty cool. But I'm not sure how an app makes that feature any better. Not being an important hotshot, I don't need that anyway.

To me gv makes the most sense for someone who wants to use a cheap prepaid phone and change carriers regularly without number porting hassles. Give out your gv number and never bother to port your cell number. That's hardly the profile of an iPhone user.
post #15 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by 0yvind View Post

Maybe this new openness could be seen as a sign that the AT&T-Apple relationship is coming to an end. Apple doesn't have the same strong incentive to protect the cellular networks against the WIFI/VoIP competition any longer. Maybe they had some contract obligations before (or didn't want to upset AT&T too much)...

... and he hits the nail squarely on it's head.
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post #16 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by 0yvind View Post

Maybe this new openness could be seen as a sign that the AT&T-Apple relationship is coming to an end. Apple doesn't have the same strong incentive to protect the cellular networks against the WIFI/VoIP competition any longer. Maybe they had some contract obligations before (or didn't want to upset AT&T too much)...

There are some very big leaps of 'logic' on here today. Apple update a global policy and you think this is because of a single carrier deal in the US? Europe is a bigger market than the US for Apple and we already have multiple carriers...
post #17 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by nkhm View Post

There are some very big leaps of 'logic' on here today. Apple update a global policy and you think this is because of a single carrier deal in the US? Europe is a bigger market than the US for Apple and we already have multiple carriers...

His post is very logical. The multi-carrier situation of other countries wouldn't have made it possible for Apple to get around contractual obligations with AT&T in the US so Europe and the rest of the world being a bigger market isn't going to hold up in an American court of law if Apple gives that reason for violating their contract with AT&T. Renemeber, Apple's first and foremost contract is AT&T and Apple's primary and most profitable country is the US.

Plus, we've already seen plenty of evidence over the last 3.5 years of global iPhone decisions that revolve around Apple's association with AT&T, and to use the old cliché, "a chain is only as strong as it's weakest link" so all global decisions have to abide by all that fall within the subset of "global".
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post #18 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by nkhm View Post

There are some very big leaps of 'logic' on here today. Apple update a global policy and you think this is because of a single carrier deal in the US? Europe is a bigger market than the US for Apple and we already have multiple carriers...

While I agree there are huge leaps of logic in this thread, I think your take is off too. No offense.

The US market is big to Apple and if the tables were turned and the EU decided to get nasty, I could see Apple reacting the same way. Now, do I believe that this was in response to the FTC? I think it is a mixture of several items and yes that would be one of them.

I see this as more of a, Ooopps, we just learned some new information (Windows 7) and a case of the duh, we need to get this app store thing fixed before Win Mobile comes out and gives us a second case of heart burn.

Apple has to realize their unwillingness to put the iPhone on VZW in the US has placed them in a vulnerable position and that came at a price. I believe Apple did not see Android making the progress it has made.

Maybe I am off base too...
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post #19 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by libertyforall View Post

About time! So what is Google waiting for?! Resubmit too!!!

The Google app was never 'rejected' it was just never approved. It has been sitting in the queue for a year and a half. Hopefully, if these apps are going to be approved, Apple will just rubber stamp it and it will be released.

"My 8th grade math teacher once said: "You can't help it if you're dumb, you are born that way. But stupid is self inflicted."" -Hiro. 

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"My 8th grade math teacher once said: "You can't help it if you're dumb, you are born that way. But stupid is self inflicted."" -Hiro. 

...sometimes it's both
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post #20 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2 cents View Post

What does the app do that google's current browser-type implementation not do? What is so great and fabulous about google voice in general? I've had it since they rolled it out and if you took it away tomorrow, I'm not sure I'd miss any of it. GV calls within the US use cell minutes, so what's the point? International calls? There's an app for that and it's named Skype. Transcripts? Beyond useless! Turned them off a week after I got my gv account. I guess if you really need gv to ring a bunch of phones in all manner of ways and take a message it's pretty cool. But I'm not sure how an app makes that feature any better. Not being an important hotshot, I don't need that anyway.

To me gv makes the most sense for someone who wants to use a cheap prepaid phone and change carriers regularly without number porting hassles. Give out your gv number and never bother to port your cell number. That's hardly the profile of an iPhone user.

You seem to have missed the point. Your last one about handing out your GV number instead of your cell number not being "the profile of an iPhone user" makes no sense at all. WTF does the origin of the phone number you provide have to do with your 'profile'? As far as it using up cell minutes, well, it depends on your plan. If you have unlimited local calling or My5 or unlimited domestic calling, then any GV (or any other call pass through service) is indeed a local call and will use your 'free' minutes. If you have unlimited incoming calls, then and call back service will also use your 'free' minutes. Various iterations of the GV service have used both of these. If you have a shitty plan, then GV might not make sense for you. You shouldn't use it, or try to get a better plan. For the number consolidation, if you have 2 phones, then it has some benefits. Even if you only have one phone, the level of control it provides for call management if impressive.

"My 8th grade math teacher once said: "You can't help it if you're dumb, you are born that way. But stupid is self inflicted."" -Hiro. 

...sometimes it's both
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"My 8th grade math teacher once said: "You can't help it if you're dumb, you are born that way. But stupid is self inflicted."" -Hiro. 

...sometimes it's both
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post #21 of 48
If these apps are approved, it is going to make everyone that gave their weak reasons for why they should be banned look foolish again. I think the best one, and the one that Apple gave in their statement, was how having a telephony app would confuse user. But once VOIP background threads were allowed, that would allow any VOIP app to make and receive calls, manage their own visual voice mail and do messaging, it showed that the only reason for blocking these apps is that they used Google's service instead of another.

"My 8th grade math teacher once said: "You can't help it if you're dumb, you are born that way. But stupid is self inflicted."" -Hiro. 

...sometimes it's both
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"My 8th grade math teacher once said: "You can't help it if you're dumb, you are born that way. But stupid is self inflicted."" -Hiro. 

...sometimes it's both
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post #22 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tulkas View Post

The Google app was never 'rejected' it was just never approved.

Yeah. And the reason was to preserve the User Experience.

Yeah, Right.

We all believe that.
post #23 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by Newtron View Post

Yeah. And the reason was to preserve the User Experience.

Yeah, Right.

We all believe that.

The reasons given were all, unabashedly, bullshit. The only reason was that the service was from google. Period. Every reason they gave was countered by the existence other similar/identical apps that were allowed. The only common difference is that allowed apps were not using the GoogleVoice service. Anyone that actually bought into the reasons, or better yet, argued in defense of those embarrassingly weak reasons, looked foolish then and look more foolish now.

"My 8th grade math teacher once said: "You can't help it if you're dumb, you are born that way. But stupid is self inflicted."" -Hiro. 

...sometimes it's both
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"My 8th grade math teacher once said: "You can't help it if you're dumb, you are born that way. But stupid is self inflicted."" -Hiro. 

...sometimes it's both
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post #24 of 48
Yay! I'm happy for Sean Kovacs. His GV Mobile app was awesome (it stopped working on my iPod touch many months ago due to some sort of change in the Google Voice authentication process).

Apple is doing the right thing; it's frustrating that it took so long for them to come to their senses on some of these baffling decisions and to publish their app store guidelines.

I still have the GV Mobile app in my iTunes, looking for an update soon!
post #25 of 48
For turn by turn spoken navigation - MapQuest is quite good - perhaps not quite as slick or polished as Google Maps - and not as integrated into the overall iOS as Google (unless there is a way to change the default map software that I am missing). The latest update even rotates the map to follow you direction - includes auto recalculate. Does require network connection (Wi-Fi or cellular) to download maps on the fly - so not as fast perhaps or as easy to plan long or distant routes as TomTom for example - but smaller footprint on your device - and MapQuest is free.

Google Apps has voice for search - and the maps app in there has more options than the standard Google Maps app.
post #26 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ungenio View Post

Besides the evident move to avoid FCC investigation... Could these changes be in preparation for the Windows Mobile 7 release?

This has nothing to do with anything other than undue corporate influence over the FTC.
post #27 of 48
I am not waiting for Flash -- I hope never to see Flash on my iOS devices!

Quote:
Originally Posted by theAppleMan912 View Post

Hopefully this well mean google maps navigation for iphone soon. Now we're just waiting for flash.
post #28 of 48
Well, NO, Google would have to resubmit a recompiled version for the latest iOS SDK...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tulkas View Post

The Google app was never 'rejected' it was just never approved. It has been sitting in the queue for a year and a half. Hopefully, if these apps are going to be approved, Apple will just rubber stamp it and it will be released.
post #29 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by libertyforall View Post

Well, NO, Google would have to resubmit a recompiled version for the latest iOS SDK...

Ahh, yes, forgot about that.

"My 8th grade math teacher once said: "You can't help it if you're dumb, you are born that way. But stupid is self inflicted."" -Hiro. 

...sometimes it's both
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"My 8th grade math teacher once said: "You can't help it if you're dumb, you are born that way. But stupid is self inflicted."" -Hiro. 

...sometimes it's both
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post #30 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tulkas View Post

The Google app was never 'rejected' it was just never approved. It has been sitting in the queue for a year and a half. Hopefully, if these apps are going to be approved, Apple will just rubber stamp it and it will be released.

Well I was pretty brash in saying that this would never happen (months back), so I'll be the first to admit I was wrong if it comes about. I'm guessing the huge Android numbers are what's really at the bottom of all this.

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post #31 of 48
Apart from Google Voice not being available in Europe, so the EU will do nothing, unless they want Google to give an explanation.

Quote:
Originally Posted by aplnub View Post

While I agree there are huge leaps of logic in this thread, I think your take is off too. No offense.

The US market is big to Apple and if the tables were turned and the EU decided to get nasty, I could see Apple reacting the same way. Now, do I believe that this was in response to the FTC? I think it is a mixture of several items and yes that would be one of them.

I see this as more of a, Ooopps, we just learned some new information (Windows 7) and a case of the duh, we need to get this app store thing fixed before Win Mobile comes out and gives us a second case of heart burn.

Apple has to realize their unwillingness to put the iPhone on VZW in the US has placed them in a vulnerable position and that came at a price. I believe Apple did not see Android making the progress it has made.

Maybe I am off base too...
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post #32 of 48
Yes, Mapquest is AWESOME, they just need to integrate Trapster, and I would be very happy.


Quote:
Originally Posted by lilgto64 View Post

For turn by turn spoken navigation - MapQuest is quite good - perhaps not quite as slick or polished as Google Maps - and not as integrated into the overall iOS as Google (unless there is a way to change the default map software that I am missing). The latest update even rotates the map to follow you direction - includes auto recalculate. Does require network connection (Wi-Fi or cellular) to download maps on the fly - so not as fast perhaps or as easy to plan long or distant routes as TomTom for example - but smaller footprint on your device - and MapQuest is free.

Google Apps has voice for search - and the maps app in there has more options than the standard Google Maps app.
post #33 of 48
On the AI forums, political posts belong in Apple Outsider.
post #34 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tulkas View Post

The Google app was never 'rejected' it was just never approved. It has been sitting in the queue for a year and a half.

That seems like a razor's edge of a fine distinction that had the same result as far as anyone could tell. It didn't sound like they were ever going to approve it if it weren't for the rule changes.
post #35 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

That seems like a razor's edge of a fine distinction that had the same result as far as anyone could tell. It didn't sound like they were ever going to approve it if it weren't for the rule changes.

Sorry, I was being facetious. I was making light of one of the excuses made at the time, that Apple shouldn't be questioned about rejecting the app because it was not rejected but still being examined and pending. IIRC, their response to the FCC actually said this. It was so ridiculous and showed such contempt, it was hilarious watching people actually accept this as a legitimate answer. Posters here actually used it in their defense "How can anyone blame Apple for rejecting it when the didn't actually reject it it". People actually got into very long winded debates about the distinctions implied between rejected, approved, pending, etc. Should dig out those old threads for a laugh.

"My 8th grade math teacher once said: "You can't help it if you're dumb, you are born that way. But stupid is self inflicted."" -Hiro. 

...sometimes it's both
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"My 8th grade math teacher once said: "You can't help it if you're dumb, you are born that way. But stupid is self inflicted."" -Hiro. 

...sometimes it's both
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post #36 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by John.B View Post

Well I was pretty brash in saying that this would never happen (months back), so I'll be the first to admit I was wrong if it comes about. I'm guessing the huge Android numbers are what's really at the bottom of all this.

Lots of people thought it wouldn't happen. No reason to apologize for that. It was the people that parroted the excuses given as legitimate reasons that were wrong. Not one of the 'reasons' given stood up to examination at the time and even less so since. Now that it seems they will be approved, it is pretty obvious the only reason back then was to stick it to google. Any other reasons were silly and it was naive at best to have bought into them let alone seriously repeat them.

"My 8th grade math teacher once said: "You can't help it if you're dumb, you are born that way. But stupid is self inflicted."" -Hiro. 

...sometimes it's both
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"My 8th grade math teacher once said: "You can't help it if you're dumb, you are born that way. But stupid is self inflicted."" -Hiro. 

...sometimes it's both
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post #37 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2 cents View Post

What is so great and fabulous about google voice in general? I've had it since they rolled it out and if you took it away tomorrow, I'm not sure I'd miss any of it. GV calls within the US use cell minutes, so what's the point? International calls? There's an app for that and it's named Skype.

For me, the main reasons to use Google Voice over alternatives like Skype is cost. SkypeOut (which gives you a phone number) isn't free. And most international call rates are cheaper (including free to Canada). While some calling cards offer lower rate, they aren't as easy to use.

Another compelling reason is SMS. With email forwarding, many iPhone texting apps (e.g., TextNow, TextFree) can fully integrate with Google Voice for texting. Other people will see GV phone # when you reply from these apps even. And I have more confidence in my Google Voice # being around (vs. # assigned from these texting apps).
post #38 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tulkas View Post

You seem to have missed the point. Your last one about handing out your GV number instead of your cell number not being "the profile of an iPhone user" makes no sense at all. WTF does the origin of the phone number you provide have to do with your 'profile'? As far as it using up cell minutes, well, it depends on your plan. If you have unlimited local calling or My5 or unlimited domestic calling, then any GV (or any other call pass through service) is indeed a local call and will use your 'free' minutes. If you have unlimited incoming calls, then and call back service will also use your 'free' minutes. Various iterations of the GV service have used both of these. If you have a shitty plan, then GV might not make sense for you. You shouldn't use it, or try to get a better plan. For the number consolidation, if you have 2 phones, then it has some benefits. Even if you only have one phone, the level of control it provides for call management if impressive.

Re; your first sentence: instead of working yourself up to a lather and paraphrasing (wrongly) what I wrote, please re-read. If you make a valid counter-argument, I'll be happy to address it.

As for using your gv # as one on your calling circle numbers, I am aware of the scheme. My plan does not include a calling circle. I would have to pay extra for that so no, I would not be getting free gv calls--although I suppose it could be cost-effective for somes. But just not for me. Contrary to your opinion, this does not make my plan shitty nor does it mean that I need a "better" plan.

As for the call management and voice features, they were fun to play with for a time. I found glitches with some phones/carriers which I won't get into here (although it worked well with the iPhone and AT&T in general). Still, I prefer the visual voicemail built into the phone app over yet another app just to make a call or retrieve voicemail.

I found the voice quality consistently better with AT&T cellular than through gv voip. Same for skype...AT&T cellular is better for me. So I prefer that over voip calls. Maybe I'm in the minority who has good AT&T coverage.

And once again, transcripts were useless. Yet I see them being touted on google forums everywhere. Maybe people who call me don't speak clearly. I dunno.

In closing, that adds up to a whole lotta nothing for me as far as gv is concerned. YMMV, but don't make it seems as if I'm senile and have no clue about this. And in case you're wondering, my question was an honest one. What will the app do that google's web app does not? I never got to use the app (no iphone at the time) so maybe I'll try it once it's approved and be pleasantly surprised.
post #39 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by filburt View Post

For me, the main reasons to use Google Voice over alternatives like Skype is cost. SkypeOut (which gives you a phone number) isn't free. And most international call rates are cheaper (including free to Canada). While some calling cards offer lower rate, they aren't as easy to use.

Another compelling reason is SMS. With email forwarding, many iPhone texting apps (e.g., TextNow, TextFree) can fully integrate with Google Voice for texting. Other people will see GV phone # when you reply from these apps even. And I have more confidence in my Google Voice # being around (vs. # assigned from these texting apps).

Thank you for your response. Yes, the SMS part is true and very valid. I prefer textfree for free SMS so I use that.

I only use skype for international outgoing so I have no number to pay for. I had not noticed that gv is cheaper to Europe (where I mostly call) than skype. It looked to be in the same ballpark last time I checked but I concede the point as I don't make it a habit of checking regularly. Basically, a $10 skype credit keeps me loaded for a lot of calls so I haven't had the motivation to look for cheaper.

Like I said to another poster, I will look at the app when it comes out. I like to revalaute all this stuff every so often.
post #40 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2 cents View Post

Re; your first sentence: instead of working yourself up to a lather and paraphrasing (wrongly) what I wrote, please re-read. If you make a valid counter-argument, I'll be happy to address it.

As for using your gv # as one on your calling circle numbers, I am aware of the scheme. My plan does not include a calling circle. I would have to pay extra for that so no, I would not be getting free gv calls--although I suppose it could be cost-effective for somes. But just not for me. Contrary to your opinion, this does not make my plan shitty nor does it mean that I need a "better" plan.

As for the call management and voice features, they were fun to play with for a time. I found glitches with some phones/carriers which I won't get into here (although it worked well with the iPhone and AT&T in general). Still, I prefer the visual voicemail built into the phone app over yet another app just to make a call or retrieve voicemail.

I found the voice quality consistently better with AT&T cellular than through gv voip. Same for skype...AT&T cellular is better for me. So I prefer that over voip calls. Maybe I'm in the minority who has good AT&T coverage.

And once again, transcripts were useless. Yet I see them being touted on google forums everywhere. Maybe people who call me don't speak clearly. I dunno.

In closing, that adds up to a whole lotta nothing for me as far as gv is concerned. YMMV, but don't make it seems as if I'm senile and have no clue about this. And in case you're wondering, my question was an honest one. What will the app do that google's web app does not? I never got to use the app (no iphone at the time) so maybe I'll try it once it's approved and be pleasantly surprised.

Not lathered and not bothered. I don't think I incorrectly paraphrased anything you wrote, it stands on its own.

You were making it sound like things like it using cell minutes was a general problem for everyone and would be deal breakers. Perhaps they would be for you and some others but certainly not for all. By 'shitty' I mean most plans these says have some sort of 'free' minutes, whether that is calling circles, unlimited incoming or unlimited local. If yours doesn't, fine, perhaps it isn't shitty. My friends plan has nothing like that, has fewer minutes than mine and he pays more than me. To me, that is shitty. And for many, more cost effective and cheaper, if not free, is better than the full pop that the carriers charge. Transcripts really are useless.

As to you question what a native app provides that a web app does not:
1) faster load times
2) direct access to your local contacts instead of having to sync them from your desktop.
3) push notifications (voice mail, messages, etc)
4) Once GV releases its own VOIP client/API, then you have a skype alternative for purely data network calls, in and out.
5) Better integration with the touch interface. While webapps can do a lot here, they cannot meet native apps. That is exactly why Apple reversed the earlier position on any native apps at all.

I am sure there are other reasons. These are the ones that stand out to me.

"My 8th grade math teacher once said: "You can't help it if you're dumb, you are born that way. But stupid is self inflicted."" -Hiro. 

...sometimes it's both
Reply

"My 8th grade math teacher once said: "You can't help it if you're dumb, you are born that way. But stupid is self inflicted."" -Hiro. 

...sometimes it's both
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