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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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Is a year the limit for human memory?
By alangerow on 8/7/2009 4:33:36 PM , Rating: 5
Please refrain from claiming that putting Apps on-line is some sort of power play against Apple.

Do people not remember the world 2 years ago? Before there was an App Store for the iPhone, the official stance of Apple was: If you want to create Apps for the iPhone, then you were directed to create a web app to use within the Safari browser.

It wasn't until many many people displayed a lack of desire to be limited to a web interface that eventually forced Apple to reverse it's decision and open up the iPhone platform to developers AT ALL. And the end result has been the developer-nightmare of working within the Apple draconian approval system, which has more to do with what is being served for lunch in the Apple cafeteria than it does with any set of requirements (Sloppy Joe Day means happy reviewers and more Apps accepted ... Google Voice must have been reviewed on Mystery Meatloaf Day).

So, Google is doing nothing more than returning to how Apple wanted developers to make their applications available to iPhone users IN THE FIRST PLACE! That's why it's mind-numbingly easy to put a web page link & icon onto the home screen, as that was the way users were supposed to "add Apps".

The App Store is an after thought; Apple caving to developer desire. Programming an App to work over the web, bypassing the App Store process, is not flicking the bird at Steve Jobs any more than doing exactly what someone tells you to do is defying them.

By sxr7171 on 8/7/2009 4:37:20 PM , Rating: 3
Yeah I like sloppy joe too, I mean who doesn't?

RE: Is a year the limit for human memory?
By HakonPCA on 8/7/2009 5:03:30 PM , Rating: 2
yup they did want this at first, and since then they have sold over 1 billion apps, a fine chuck of pie, I'm sure they don't want to go backwards in that regard.

By alangerow on 8/7/2009 5:51:28 PM , Rating: 3
While very true, they've made tons of money off of being proven wrong (since Apple really did try really hard to push back on developers against allowing native Apps) and they aren't going to want to lose that cash-cow now ... it still isn't anything like giving Apple "the finger" to move an app to the web that was rejected from the App Store.

It's just moving it from Apple's reluctantly embraced native App solution to its original intention Web App solution.

And it's not even the first time Google has made this move. Google Latitude (was it?) was rejected from the iPhone App Store, only to appear weeks later as a Web App.

By RussiaRunOnGag on 8/7/2009 6:36:21 PM , Rating: 2
Silly Silly Silly HakonPCA!

They only had a billion apps downloaded...sold no.

In soviet Russia, regards backwards you!

"And boy have we patented it!" -- Steve Jobs, Macworld 2007

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