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Google refuses to respect Apple's authority to police the app store and is releasing its rejected Google Voice app as a full-featured web version.  (Source: Comedy Central)
Getting rejected from the app store is no biggie for Google, apparently

Apple rejected Google Voice almost two weeks ago, removing it from the app store.  Now under investigation by the feds, AT&T has pointed the finger at Apple for the rejection.  Now in an exciting move Google is moving its rejected application online in an effort to essentially negate any attempts by Apple to police the application.

The new app can be installed as an icon on your homescreen.  The specially crafted iPhone-shaped webpage will offer all the features of the original app.  In other words, in a move akin to flipping the bird to Steve Jobs, Google has essentially highlighted a way for app developers everywhere to easily publish their rejected content.

There are some important caveats.  First, Google's app was intended to be free in the first place.  Apps like "MeSoHoly", which Apple rejected as offensive were intended to come at a minimal charge.  Donations could work, but Apple's simple revenue sharing would be missed by developers forsaking the app store.  Second, its not as trivial to build the app online, and there's still things that can't be done within the iPhone's version of Safari.

On the other hand the move could usher in a new era of freedom for iPhone users.  Freed from Apple's dictates of what apps are fit and proper, the phone's true potential could finally be achieved.  Rejected apps like eBook readers (rejected en masse over piracy concerns) could simply move online.  As the New York Times' Dave Pogue puts it, "What's Apple going to do now? Start blocking access to individual Web sites?"

Google Voice online will offer free SMS text messaging and reduced rate international calling.  The cheap calls are achieved via a scheme similar to Skype's.  Text messages are normally almost completely free to carriers use extra capacity for SMS which was previously unused.  Granted, they represent a minimal cost in terms of cell phone tower power and the loss of potential revenue from selling the part of the channel, but in the end they come at little cost to the telecoms, while the average cell phone users pays $10 or more on their phone bills a month for them (some plans include per-message billing, which can run as much as $0.20 per message).

Google's decision to defy Apple is an exciting development.  And one thing's for sure -- Apple's likely not happy and is likely trying to scheme how to stop them.


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Why must a company lose money
By Scott66 on 8/7/2009 4:13:09 PM , Rating: -1
What company wants to allow a service or sell a product that will hurt its bottom line. The App store is owned by Apple. I wonder if the new Verizon App Store will allow Google's Voice app?

Apple though does not control the internet and Google should have done this to start with instead of pushing and publicizing a rejection that should have never been accepted. Apple's initial acceptance is the mistake.




RE: Why must a company lose money
By omnicronx on 8/7/2009 4:17:32 PM , Rating: 2
So Apple somehow loses money when they do not provide voice and text services? and I am pretty sure they receive cash on a per iphone sold basis, not what plan a user signs up for. I still don't see what Apple has to gain unless they have an up and coming system that is similar to Google Talk, and it is very doubtful that AT&T would ever allow it.


RE: Why must a company lose money
By Scott66 on 8/7/2009 4:30:52 PM , Rating: 1
I am pretty sure there is an agreement between Apple and AT&T and knowing the latter, there will be some penalties if the agreement is broken.


RE: Why must a company lose money
By sxr7171 on 8/7/2009 4:35:14 PM , Rating: 5
Such an agreement would be illegal, Mr. Apple apologist.


RE: Why must a company lose money
By omnicronx on 8/7/2009 6:26:05 PM , Rating: 2
AT&T already claimed they were not the ones to ask apple to reject the app (and Apple has not claimed otherwise). And of course if this was the case, why is there a Skype app?


RE: Why must a company lose money
By Einy0 on 8/7/2009 7:52:12 PM , Rating: 2
The Skype app only works on WiFi.


RE: Why must a company lose money
By JasonMick (blog) on 8/7/2009 4:42:25 PM , Rating: 2
Actually Verizon currently allows Google Voice on its phones. I just got in and am planning on setting it up and moving to the friends and family plan. That way via the GVDialer app, I can friend Google Voice and make all my calls through it and essentially get unlimited minutes at a cheaper rate. A lot of people are doing that, apparently...

Apple/AT&T are in the minority in blocking this technology. And AT&T says Apple is to blame.


RE: Why must a company lose money
By monomer on 8/7/2009 5:23:49 PM , Rating: 2
Hmnmm, I'd do that, but then I'd be faced with the embarrasing task of explaining why Google is my only friend.


RE: Why must a company lose money
By acase on 8/8/2009 9:48:16 AM , Rating: 1
I somehow doubt that would be hard for him...


RE: Why must a company lose money
By KWRussell on 8/11/2009 2:32:57 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
And AT&T says Apple is to blame.


And that's good enough for you? You're taking AT&T at their word?

AT&T are the ones who are going to lose money to GV. They have a tremendous financial incentive to lie about who ordered the Code Red on GVDialer. Why would Apple care? They make their money on the handsets and the software ecosystem. They don't care what network the packets travel over, as long as one or both endpoints is an iPhone.

It's clear that Apple's agreement with AT&T gives the phone company veto power over apps that use their voice/data network. AT&T has already used that authority to force WiFi-only restrictions on the iPhone versions of Skype and SlingPlayer. (Maybe if AT&T's network was as robust as Verizon's...)

It's easy for AT&T to pass the buck to Apple, since the "separation of powers" in their agreement makes Apple the enforcer of the rules.

If your city council authored and passed a bad, stupid law, you wouldn't buy it if a councilman said, "Don't blame me, the cops are the ones making the arrests," would you?


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