Google Voice Web App for iPhone Released
Article by George Norman
On 29 Jan 2010
Google Voice, the app that spurred quite a lot of controversy, has finally been released by the Mountain View-based search engine giant. Released to iPhone (and Palm) users that is. It is the Google Latitude story all over again. Instead of launching a native iPhone app, Google had to launch a web app instead. This is precisely what happened to Google Latitude. Google worked on a native app, but was then forced to release a web app instead.

The advantage of running a web app is that you do not have to download and install the app. The app is run in the browser, so there is no need for you to install anything. The downside is that…you have to run the app in the browser. This means you have to keep the browser up and running; close the browser and you close the app as well.

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“[The Google Voice iPhone app harnesses] the power of HTML5, a new web technology that makes it possible to run faster, richer web-based applications right in the browser. In addition to letting you access a streamlined version of your Google Voice inbox, the new web app also lets you display your Google Voice number as the outbound caller ID (so return calls come back to your Google Voice number), send and receive text messages for free, and place international calls at Google Voice's low rates,” explained Google Software Engineer, Michael van Ouwerkerk.

If you’re itching to get started with the Google Voice app, head over to m.google.com/voice

I mentioned some Google Voice-related controversy at the top. Here’s what I was talking about. It all started when Apple did not let the native Google Voice iPhone app into the App Store, forcing to the Mountain View-based company to consider launching it as a web app instead. Then the FCC launched an inquiry to determine why the app was rejected and whether AT&T was involved in any way. Then AT&T complained that Google Voice does not let certain users make outbound calls to some rural areas. To which the FCC responded by launching an investigation.



Tags: Google, Google Voice, Apple, iPhone
About the author: George Norman
George is a news editor.
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