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Google: no comment on resubmitting official Voice app for iPhone

post #1 of 35
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Though Apple has revised its App Store review policies to allow services like Google Voice, the search giant has not announced any plans to resubmit its own application, which sat in limbo and spurred a federal inquiry a year ago.

When contacted Monday by AppleInsider, Google noted that iPhone users can still use the Web-based Google Voice dialer, which allows users to activate a call through the telephony service. The company, however, declined to comment on whether it would resubmit its native application, which Apple refused to accept into the App Store last year.

"We currently offer Google Voice mobile apps for Blackberry and Android, and we offer an HTML5 web app for the iPhone," a Google spokesperson said. "We have nothing further to announce at this time."

On Sunday, applications that access the Google Voice service began appearing in the App Store, after being banished for more than a year. The first two that became available were GV Mobile + and GV Connect.

The acceptance of the Google Voice applications came after Apple revised and published its own App Store Review Guidelines, giving developers an idea of what kind of software will or will not be allowed for iOS devices.

Google Voice applications were originally pulled from the App Store in July 2009. Apple also refused to accept Google's own first-party Google Voice software, a situation that prompted an investigation from the U.S. Federal Communications Commission.

In a letter to the FCC, Apple claimed it was reviewing the Google Voice application, but had not outright rejected it. Over a year passed, however, with no word on its official acceptance or rejection.

Instead, Google opted to release a Web-based application for Google Voice, which allows users to access the service from the Mobile Safari browser on the iPhone. Unlike the App Store, where Apple controls what content is available, basic Web content is not filtered or restricted.

Google also wrote its own letter to the FCC, in which it alleged that Apple outright rejected the Google Voice software. It said officials with Apple would not allow the application into the App Store because it duplicated the dialer functionality built in to the iPhone.
post #2 of 35
Can't see Google holding this back to differentiate Android or for any other reason. Patience...
post #3 of 35
Somebody needs to release an app with push notifications. I would think Google might be the best hope, so hopefully they'll get something out soon. I'd love to drop texting from my plan and just use GV, but it's pointless if you have to keep opening the app to see if someone has replied.
post #4 of 35
It seems pretty obvious Apple blocked competing VoIP while they developed FaceTime, knowing that once Skype or Google became the standard, it would be difficult to uproot them. FaceTime still isn't a finished product yet, but a year ago, Google Voice and Skype would have been in a position to dominate, whereas now, Facetime has at least a shot.

Now that the FCC's investigation has progressed over a couple months, it's safe to assume Apple's lawyers told them to drop the anti-competitive policies (since they didn't have a leg to stand on), and now we see that all of a sudden Adobe's previously banned platforms are okay, as well as Google.

It's an interesting parallel to the Windows/IE antitrust as in that case, Microsoft didn't change their stance during the "preliminary investigations", which led to a formal trial and billions of dollars in fines for M$.

Smart (but shady) tactics by apple to give itself a head start, while not letting it formally get into the legal system!

Interesting that Google hasn't jumped on it, but if Google's chat/VoIP becomes a "killer app" for the Android platform and really kills FaceTime, they might choose to keep it Android and Windows Mobile only (even Android google can't see Windows Mobile as being a threat!). Just imagine, for example, if Google search was only accessible by non-Apple products, how the last 8 years might have looked!
post #5 of 35
As I recall, the major issue with Google's official GV app was the use of private APIs or otherwise that replaced existing functions on the phone itself. Unless Apple meant that the app itself contained similar function, but what I interpreted Apple's statement as was that Google GV app essentially replaced the Phone dialer and voicemail panels with that of GV.

In its current incarnation then, official GV app would still be rejected on the basis of replacing core functions and use of private APIs, which could cause an app to "break" upon subsequent iOS updates.

The only way I see an approval is if Google backs off the private APIs and makes the app to work solely as a self-contained app rather than a program that essentially "hacks" the core system functions.
post #6 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sgt Zeppelin View Post

Somebody needs to release an app with push notifications. I would think Google might be the best hope, so hopefully they'll get something out soon. I'd love to drop texting from my plan and just use GV, but it's pointless if you have to keep opening the app to see if someone has replied.

I don't understand why you can't/don't use the push notification for your Gmail account e-mail, and set up your texts to come into your e-mail inbox.
post #7 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by KingKuei View Post

As I recall, the major issue with Google's official GV app was the use of private APIs or otherwise that replaced existing functions on the phone itself. Unless Apple meant that the app itself contained similar function, but what I interpreted Apple's statement as was that Google GV app essentially replaced the Phone dialer and voicemail panels with that of GV.

Also had a sync issue with the Google address book which could result in overwriting information in the Mac address book. I had some experience with that through the Mac-side Google address book and it really ticked me off. There were small bugs such as the Mac sending its nice contact images to Google, Google compressing and cropping them for its service, and then sending the compressed/cropped images back to the Mac later, causing a loss of the nice originals. It sounded very much like something Apple mentioned after the rejection.

I still don't use the Google address book sync because of that.
I hope it was fixed quite some time ago.
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post #8 of 35
It is an obvious move by Google at this moment.
Google is being sued by Oracle for Android platform and thus it is important for Google to move on from Android and encourage users to use Chrome OS.

WebApps using HTML5 is what Google wants to focus on, little earlier than they hoped and us expected.
post #9 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sgt Zeppelin View Post

Somebody needs to release an app with push notifications. I would think Google might be the best hope, so hopefully they'll get something out soon. I'd love to drop texting from my plan and just use GV, but it's pointless if you have to keep opening the app to see if someone has replied.

I forward my voicemail alerts and texts to the free Boxcar service. Their push notifications work pretty well.
post #10 of 35
Quote:
In a letter to the FCC, Apple claimed it was reviewing the Google Voice application, but had not outright rejected it. Over a year passed, however, with no word on its official acceptance or rejection.

What a disgrace...
post #11 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Loptimist View Post

It is an obvious move by Google at this moment.
Google is being sued by Oracle for Android platform and thus it is important for Google to move on from Android and encourage users to use Chrome OS.

WebApps using HTML5 is what Google wants to focus on, little earlier than they hoped and us expected.

So you're assuming that the Oracle lawsuit is going to be serious trouble for Google?
And beyond the assumption above, that this is motivation for the answer here?

That's a big stretch...
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post #12 of 35
Wow, this news story has absolutely ZERO new news! What a waste!
post #13 of 35
It's no surprise that they have little desire to update and resubmit the app after they put so much work into their web app.
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post #14 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by cmf2 View Post

It's no surprise that they have little desire to update and resubmit the app after they put so much work into their web app.

There is precious little logic to your conclusion.

There are plenty of companies who put effort into making native apps for a variety of smartphone operating systems and building mobile websites/webapps.
post #15 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by cvaldes1831 View Post

There is precious little logic to your conclusion.

There are plenty of companies who put effort into making native apps for a variety of smartphone operating systems and building mobile websites/webapps.

There's precious little logic to your assumption that Google engineers don't have feelings. Don't overthink my comment. If you worked for Google, I'm sure you'd be a little frustrated with how this whole process played out.
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post #16 of 35
Google makes business decisions by quantifying data, not by emotions.

The feelings of individual employees don't really register for Google. They're statistically insignificant.

That's how Google rolls.

Lol, maybe I just said that Google has figured out they aren't going to make any money from Google Voice.
post #17 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by libertyforall View Post

Wow, this news story has absolutely ZERO new news! What a waste!

Yeah, it is basically telling us what Google is NOT doing. How is that "news" or rumor?

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post #18 of 35
Apple seems to be interested in doing anything to undercut the cellphone companies, and their dependence on them.
post #19 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by KingKuei View Post

As I recall, the major issue with Google's official GV app was the use of private APIs or otherwise that replaced existing functions on the phone itself. Unless Apple meant that the app itself contained similar function, but what I interpreted Apple's statement as was that Google GV app essentially replaced the Phone dialer and voicemail panels with that of GV.

In its current incarnation then, official GV app would still be rejected on the basis of replacing core functions and use of private APIs, which could cause an app to "break" upon subsequent iOS updates.

The only way I see an approval is if Google backs off the private APIs and makes the app to work solely as a self-contained app rather than a program that essentially "hacks" the core system functions.

That is not only NOT why it was rejected it would be quite impossible for their app to remove and replace Apple core elements.

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post #20 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post

Yeah, it is basically telling us what Google is NOT doing. How is that "news" or rumor?

It's "anti-news" man!
post #21 of 35
Must be a slow news day, so now non-news is put forward as "news".
post #22 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by libertyforall View Post

Wow, this news story has absolutely ZERO new news! What a waste!

And it will get many, many hits and responses. More than the average, by far.
post #23 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by cmf2 View Post

There's precious little logic to your assumption that Google engineers don't have feelings. Don't overthink my comment. If you worked for Google, I'm sure you'd be a little frustrated with how this whole process played out.

Actually it is business. Developer feelings has no place in trying to compete as a business. Just look at Adobe. Right after Apple revised their stance, Adobe decided to add back in the tool to convert Flash to Cocoa for developers that use Flash.
post #24 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tulkas View Post

That is not only NOT why it was rejected it would be quite impossible for their app to remove and replace Apple core elements.

Well let me tell you how GV works on my Droid. The GV SMS msgs are listed apart from my regular msgs but when I want to dial out using GV I use the stock dialer like I would a regular call. Domestic calls use cellular minutes. There was a loop hole people were using to make free calls but that was fixed. They do make a lil bit of money on international phone calls which are priced very competitively. I can set up GV to handle all my calls, handle none, ask if I want to use GV, or for international calls only. Although they 3td party apps look decent I'm sure Google will try again, and for you iPhone users sake I hope so your missing out on a sweet service.
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post #25 of 35
No real point of doing that, since HTML5 version does the trick pretty well. The only reason I would want their app if I was able to make a call right form the application (like gmail calling), at which point a dedicated app would make the process a bit easier and simpler.
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post #26 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by applebjesus View Post

Actually it is business. Developer feelings has no place in trying to compete as a business. Just look at Adobe. Right after Apple revised their stance, Adobe decided to add back in the tool to convert Flash to Cocoa for developers that use Flash.

What does that have to do with anything I said? I never said Google wouldn't submit a native app to the app store, I said I can see why they would have little desire to do so. Much like me with work, I have little desire to go, but I still go.

In case you haven't figured out why I said that in the first place, just read their quote:

Quote:
"We currently offer Google Voice mobile apps for Blackberry and Android, and we offer an HTML5 web app for the iPhone," a Google spokesperson said. "We have nothing further to announce at this time."

That tells me all I need to know about how they feel about the situation. The web app was what their iPhone development time went into, and being expected to immediately produce a native app now that Apple changed their approval standards is a little annoying. By bringing the Android and BB apps into the statement, they were putting the webapp on an equal footing as those. It's the the polite way of saying "the web app is your iPhone app (for now), now f*** off."

I never made any statements about what I thought Google would do, and I said to not over think my comment in my last statement, yet here I am explaining that how you feel about something and what you must do don't always match up perfectly.
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post #27 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Xian Zhu Xuande View Post

So you're assuming that the Oracle lawsuit is going to be serious trouble for Google?
And beyond the assumption above, that this is motivation for the answer here?

That's a big stretch...

Either the lawsuit is serious enough or not, there's no need for Google to put more efforts on an official iOS GV app when they already put their resources to develop cross platform compatible html5 WebApp.
post #28 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post

Well let me tell you how GV works on my Droid. The GV SMS msgs are listed apart from my regular msgs but when I want to dial out using GV I use the stock dialer like I would a regular call. Domestic calls use cellular minutes. There was a loop hole people were using to make free calls but that was fixed. They do make a lil bit of money on international phone calls which are priced very competitively. I can set up GV to handle all my calls, handle none, ask if I want to use GV, or for international calls only. Although they 3td party apps look decent I'm sure Google will try again, and for you iPhone users sake I hope so your missing out on a sweet service.

Thanks, I am aware of how it works. Until recently, I had unlimited incoming calls on my plan, so the GV callback dialing would have been perfect for me. I just added unlimited North American calling for $2 extra, so GV isn't as valuable to me from a cost savings point of view, but it would still be a nice service for call management. For anyone on a carrier that charges extra for VVM (mine charges $8) it would also help them save that extra fee. GV hasn't started issuing Canadian phone numbers yet anyway, so it still isn't going to do much for me.

My post was mainly in response to someone that posted that the GV app was rejected because it actually replaced core iOS functions, which of course it did not. Apple's letter to the FCC used that language, which the chose very carefully to imply this. But the reality is that it 'replaced' the iOS phone app in the same way you might say you installed Safari and it now replaces IE for you. of course IE is still there, but you are using Safari as a replacement browser. There were actually heated debates here at the time, where some people were claiming it actually replaced the built in apps. How they thought Google could force the Apple installer to remove and replace first party apps is beyond me. I think they knew this was BS but wanted to try spreading FUD about GV. Either that or they should probably not be discussing things they don't have the faintest clue about.

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post #29 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by sheff View Post

No real point of doing that, since HTML5 version does the trick pretty well. The only reason I would want their app if I was able to make a call right form the application (like gmail calling), at which point a dedicated app would make the process a bit easier and simpler.

Well, they did buy a VOIP client company, so it is very possible the could roll that into any new GV client. Beyond that, being able to access your local contact list is a major convenience that the webapp does not have. Having to constantly sync your Mac/PC to GMail and is much more cumbersome. Responsiveness native app would also be better. Built in push notifications for SMS and for voicemail would make it even better.

They did put effort into the webapp, but it was intended as a stopgap measure because of the native app being rejected. They have native apps for the other major platforms and continue to update them instead of letting them idle, even though the webapp is available. Similarly, they have a completed iOS app, which simply needs to be updated and resubmitted.

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post #30 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by applebjesus View Post

Actually it is business. Developer feelings has no place in trying to compete as a business. Just look at Adobe. Right after Apple revised their stance, Adobe decided to add back in the tool to convert Flash to Cocoa for developers that use Flash.

And it is a business run by people. People can be pissy. People can be spiteful. People can make choices. Any of these could lead them to choose not to resubmit or to delay the resubmission. I think they will resubmit. But they might not.

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...sometimes it's both
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post #31 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Loptimist View Post

Either the lawsuit is serious enough or not, there's no need for Google to put more efforts on an official iOS GV app when they already put their resources to develop cross platform compatible html5 WebApp.

Sure there is. The experience is not the same.
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post #32 of 35
official google voice app would be nice, but I really want the updated maps app with turn-by-turn directions using street view.
post #33 of 35
I wish they would release one. I'm prolly going to buy Sean Kovacs one today though. He seems to give good customer service. I bought his before it was taken off the store.

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post #34 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Superbass View Post

It seems pretty obvious Apple blocked competing VoIP while they developed FaceTime, knowing that once Skype or Google became the standard, it would be difficult to uproot them.

Google Voice is not a VoIP service.
post #35 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nothlit View Post

Google Voice is not a VoIP service.

So what is the service?
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