Google Voice Will Be Launched as a Web App
Article by George Norman
On 10 Aug 2009
Goggle Voice, the service that uses VoIP to link your phone numbers and put them under the umbrella of a single Google Voice number, will be retooled and released as a web app. Google seems to be taking the same route it did with the Google Latitude for iPhone app – the company came up with a native Google Latitude app for the iPhone, but when Apple rejected it, the company released a Google Latitude web app instead.

According to New York Times’ David Pogue, the Google Voice web app will “offer exactly the same features as the rejected app--except that it will take the form of a specialized, iPhone-shaped Web page. For all intents and purposes, it will behave exactly the same as the app would have.”

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If we were to take the Google Latitude app for reference, then we will notice that compared to a native iPhone app, it comes with a few drawbacks: it works only as long as you keep it running in the device’s browser, it cannot provide continuous background location updates, instead of getting push notifications related to your friends’ movements, you have to leave the browser and the web app running in the foreground.

Now I genuinely hope that the Google Voice app will indeed come with no functionality drawbacks and will function just as well as a web app as it would have as a native app. This would really be great for the iPhone user – not for Apple, because the company not only rejected the native Google Voice app, but went ahead and pulled all Google Voice-related apps from the App Store. The reason cited by Apple was that it duplicates “features that come with the iPhone”. That reason was not powerful enough for, say, the Federal Communications Commission – the FCC launched an investigation into why apple rejected the app.

In related Google Voice news, the Mountain View-based search engine giant has announced that the launch of a new program: if you have a .mil email address you can sign up with Google Voice and start using it within a day.



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