Apple Blocks Google Voice For The iPhone

July 28, 2009

After writing this post about exploiting Google’s seamless integration of Google Voice into the Android platform to reduce my cell bill, a few people asked me if something similar could be done with the iPhone. The answer was a tentative “yes, eventually” since Google expected to release a Google Voice application for the iPhone in the near future.

Well I have some bad news. Yesterday the native iPhone Google Voice application was rejected from the iPhone app store supposedly because it duplicates features of the iPhone. You can read all the details on TechCruhch here.

It looks a lot like AT&T is afraid of Google Voice eating into revenues from voice and sms plans, and it should be. But I find it hard to believe that AT&T could exert enough pressure on Apple to get this application blocked entirely against Apple’s will. Especially after Apple Executive VP Phil Schiller apparently personally gave the GV app the go-ahead in April. So something a little weird is going on here.

But anyway it’s a big loss for iPhone users. And another reason not to own an iPhone. Apple still retains a ridiculous level of control over what you can and can’t do with the device once you get it. Would you buy a computer if the manufacturer could prevent you from installing, say Microsoft Word, even years after you bought it? When your phone is actually just a handheld computer why should the decision be any different?

If you’re not already on Android, your next phone should be.

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