Google has made its Voice application easier to use on the iPhone OS 3.0, despite Apple's concerns that Google's Voice application replaces iPhone's Visual Voicemail feature.
In an upgrade announced Tuesday, Google launched a new Google Voice mobile web app for iPhone OS 3.0 and higher and Palm Web OS devices.
Apple had refused
to allow the Voice program to be distributed through the iPhone's applications store since last August claiming that Google's Voice application "replaces Apple's Visual Voicemail by routing calls through a separate Google Voice telephone number that stores any voicemail, preventing voicemail from being stored on the iPhone, i.e., disabling Apple's Visual Voicemail.". Apple also claimed tha "SMS text messages are managed through the Google hub replacing the iPhone's text messaging feature, "and that "the iPhone user's entire Contacts database is transferred to Google's servers, and we have yet to obtain any assurances from Google that this data will only be used in appropriate ways."
Apple's stance on had triggered a Federal Communications Commission inquiry into whether Apple and AT&T Inc., the iPhone's exclusive U.S. service provider, were trying to stifle potential competition.
Apple told the FCC that it hasn't rejected the Voice application.
"Apple has not rejected the Google Voice application, and continues to study it. The application has not been approved because, as submitted for review, it appears to alter the iPhone's distinctive user experience by replacing the iPhone's core mobile telephone functionality and Apple user interface with its own user interface for telephone calls, text messaging and voicemail," reads Apple's response to the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau's inquiry dated July 31, 2009, requesting information regarding Apple's App Store and its application approval process.
Google's latest Voice mobile web app for iPhone OS 3.0 and higher and Palm Web OS devices "is harnessing the power of HTML5, a new web technology that makes it possible to run faster, richer web-based applications right in the browser," Michael van Ouwerkerk, Software Engineer posted today on Google Voice blog.
In addition to letting users access a streamlined version of your Google Voice inbox, the new web app also lets users display their Google Voice number as the outbound caller ID (so return calls come back to users' Google Voice number), send and receive text messages for free, and place international calls at Google Voice's low rates.
To get started, users may visit m.google.com/voice in their mobile browser.