Google Voice-enabled apps coming back to App Store

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
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.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 47
    Wow! Bring it on!
  • Reply 2 of 47
    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!
  • Reply 3 of 47
    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).
  • Reply 4 of 47
    Google Voice = Brilliant!
  • Reply 5 of 47
    If they implement the calling feature of google chat, I'm going to explode.
  • Reply 6 of 47
    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
  • Reply 7 of 47
    reganregan Posts: 474member
    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.
  • Reply 8 of 47
    About time! So what is Google waiting for?! Resubmit too!!!
  • Reply 9 of 47
    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.



  • Reply 10 of 47
    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)...
  • Reply 11 of 47
    This is great if you're not jailbroken.
  • Reply 12 of 47
    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.
  • Reply 13 of 47
    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.
  • Reply 14 of 47
    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.
  • Reply 15 of 47
    nkhmnkhm Posts: 928member
    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...
  • Reply 16 of 47
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    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".
  • Reply 17 of 47
    aplnubaplnub Posts: 2,605member
    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...
  • Reply 18 of 47
    tulkastulkas Posts: 3,756member
    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.
  • Reply 19 of 47
    tulkastulkas Posts: 3,756member
    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.
  • Reply 20 of 47
    tulkastulkas Posts: 3,756member
    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.
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