Google Challenges Apple's Authority By Moving Google Voice App Online
August 7, 2009 3:30 PM
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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
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 "
, 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
(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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8/7/2009 4:53:05 PM
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