UPDATED: Apple Rejects Removes all Google Voice Apps for iPhone from iTunes App Store

google_voice_reject

DaringFireball claims as source has confirmed that Apple pulled Google Voice apps at the request of AT&T. GigaOm, by contrast, wonders why AT&T would ban Google Voice (and Skype, and SlingBox) on the iPhone and allow them on BlackBerry, for example. We don't know of course, but we guess nothing else scares AT&T like the iPhone -- it's the first multi-million selling consumer smartphone success, people actually use its features, and it hits their balsa-wood network like a freight-train. -Rene

ORIGINAL: Apple has systematically removed and/or rejected all Google Voice apps for the iPhone (and iPod touch) from the iTunes App Store, whether by Google themselves or by third party developers.

Rejection is something we've all become very familiar with since the inception Apple's App Store. However, Apple picking off the two Google Voice applications that were already available in the App Store (GV Mobile and Voicecentral) along with flat out rejecting Google's official application, is something else.

It all started with Sean Kovacs' GV Mobile client, which originally became available last week (according to Kovacs after being approved by Apple VP Phil Schiller himself), being yanked from the App Store for allegedly duplicating the iPhone's calling and text messaging features. When Apple contacted Kovacs, no specifics were given on what needs to be changed to get his app back into the store and Kovacs claims Apple refused to send an e-mail to confirm that GV Mobile was yanked. The following is from Kovacs blog:

Richard Chipman from Apple just called - he told me they’re removing GV Mobile from the App Store due to it duplicating features that the iPhone comes with (Dialer, SMS, etc). He didn’t actually specify which features, although I assume the whole app in general. He wouldn’t send a confirmation email either - too scared I would post it. I’ll see what I can do to get it back up there gang…

Voicecentral has since also disappeared from existence within the App Store. They have been less vocal as there is not a single mention of the disappearance on their website.

Is this Apple's doing or more of a carrier-forced rejection? TiPb thinks the carriers are pulling Apple's rejection strings on this one as Google Voice has the potential to hit the carriers where it hurts - free SMS messages, cheaper phone calls, etc...

What do you readers think about these rejections?

[Via AppleInsider]

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UPDATED: Apple Rejects Removes all Google Voice Apps for iPhone from iTunes App Store

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Thats it guys, enough is enough!! I'm done with this nazi type of control, Android here I come. This is the reason why Android is going to surpass the Apple platform.
So much BS and who really cares if it's AT&T behind it, Apple still pulled the trigger, makes them just as guilty.

this is what we have Cydia for! so Apple can't bully around the system and reject great apps from being used by the people who want to use them. if any other big companies get apps rejected just because Apple doesn't want them interfering with their own products, then maybe the companies should think about not going through Apple to get their apps on the device.

I agree, I am ready to head to android. Why in the world would Apple bow to AT&T???? last time I checked (a few days ago) AT&T would be in the crapper if it weren't for the iPhone and every other carrier out there would kill to be able to carry the iPhone so who cares what AT&T wants. Apple is in the driver seat. I just dont get why they would do what AT&T wants.

@Angel the problem is that Google will not release their official app through Cydia, for Google its either the App Store or a web app.

Apple needs a new App Store Approval Team. Or at least a new set of guidelines. Rene, work some magic with your unicorn tear collection from over the years and change the guidelines. You will be the next Donald Trump. I'm sure I could get some back up from my fellow readers here?

Although I can see where most readers would be pissed off, I have a business of my own and I wouldn't be promoting anyone else product in my store, ever.
Consumer wise, I think it's a great loss, business wise, to me it seems actually like a bad move but it's not to be expected so let's not go crazy over this.

@Dmys This is not Apples store, they're making millions a year off of Developers with the $99/$250 or so for the developer fee. Apple sold its platform to let 3rd party developers make Apps and sell it.
If they want to play this game where they don't let some Apps through because of 'duplicated functionality', fine... allow 3rd party stores or something. They're accepting money and they're dictating what apps can and can't go through.

I really can't see the point of this, if Skype is allowed why not Google Voice? Why can AIM and Yahoo send free texts but not Google Voice?
Google Voice isn't even accepting new users right now. At least that it what it said to me this morning when I checked it out.
Are there also not other "dialers" in the app store?
If you own an iPhone you are required to pay AT&T for a voice plan. What's the difference if you use it or not, just don't let Google Voice work over 3G for phone calls.
I just can't figure this one out, along with the latitude rejection as well.

I just can't see this being the end of the story. Right now, only developers (and a small percentage of consumers who love to JB) view Apple's policies as bullying.
This particular app though is a big enough draw that Apple could take a pretty big hit if they don't get something worked out. There are other smartphones out there on the iPhone's heels, I could definitely see Apple losing some customers over this... which is exactly why I think they'll rethink their policy.
If you want to be part of the public backlash... give Apple some feedback here.http://www.apple.com/feedback/iphone.html

Also don't forget that there is already a Google Voice app for Android and Blackberry. Why didn't AT&T tell RIM that it wasn't allowed?

The thing here is that the iPhone apps for Google Voice help a user use more of the carrier - more airtime minutes, more SMS...
Google Voice is not VOIP like skype - calls using GV on the iPhone are carried like regular cellular calls with Google Voice as the intermediary. They use airtime minutes.
SMS, once initiated via GV, are sent and received using the standard messaging app as regular SMS messages. This should help drive sales of larger or unlimited SMS packages.
Yes, you can do both of these things using Google Voice without your iPhone in the mix, but then neither Apple nor AT&T have any say on that, anyhow.
I'm sure I'm missing something here, but I'm also fairly confident in saying that Apple and/or AT&T don't "get it" regarding these apps or this service, either.

I hope this hits Apple where it hurts. They have consistently proven they have become a rotten company.

Gruber's take: It might be AT&T, but it could also be Apple. With Google Android and Chrome OS, Google is becoming more competitive with Apple.
He wonders if people would feel the same if Microsoft Voice were not allowed on the iPhone?
(I think they would, but again, the iPhone is not an open computer and anyone who bought it thinking it was clearly didn't pay attention -- it's a sealed appliance like a Nintendo Wii).
http://daringfireball.net/2009/07/google_voice

Now does anyone know of another way to get Google Voice without Itunes? I know you can install Cydia apps without going through cydia. I'm sure it can't be too hard.

I think the iphone could have been way leading the pack than what it is today had it not been for the restrictive policy of apple.

Tried to open what I had and my phone turned off and now won't turn on again!!!!!!! Be careful! Anyone got any ideas? I've only had the phone for 3 days????

What AT&T doesn't realize is they can try to force Apple to prevent innovative new apps from being released, but it won't stop people from beating the system. Today you can beat the system by jailbreaking your phone (I'm sure), but tomorrow Google will give users a way to do it via some slick java-based web app that you can run right in Safari. This will be repeated again, and again, and again, and again.
Sadly, Apple are just as guilty of hampering innovation. First of all, they (apparently) allow AT&T to dictate which apps and functionality is allowed. What right should AT&T have if Apple want to release Google Talk applications for the iPod touch? Second of all, Apple goof-ily rejects applications that may duplicate built-in apps even though the built-in apps are inferior to the submitted ones. Wouldn't it be better if Apple started purchasing the rights to the best Apps and then started building them into the standard product? The programmer gets a payday in selling the app rights to Apple ang goes on to write more apps. Apple get to put better apps on their product making their product more attractive. We get an even better product for our money. Win-Win-Win.

I really hope that, someday, a company with better policies will start building devices that match Apple's in quality. Apple makes great stuff, but they really are a bunch of assholes.

You guys are all a bunch of babies. No one cries when best buy can't sell a certain brand anymore. It is just business deal with it

I had plans to make good use of my google voice number, just added the call box on my web site. An app with push notification would have been perfect. Guess I'll just make use of the web app for now. Would be nice if they released it under cydia. I'm sure that will never happen.

"No one cries when best buy can’t sell a certain brand anymore. It is just business deal with it"
who is crying? get off your high horse. when customers have a legitimate complaint with a business practice, rolling over and taking it is the babyish thing to do.
there is absolutely nothing wrong with voicing a legitimate complaint, and if those complaints aren't addressed, taking your business elsewhere.
this has made up my mind - at contract renewal next year i'm getting a pre or an android phone. if apple stops rejecting all the legitimately useful apps, i might reconsider, but as of right now my mind is 100% made up that the iPhone isn't for me.

@Mark and dmys: I am sorry... i could not disagree more. This is not just business. the cellphone exclusivity agreements create a unique situation whereby the consumer is locked into a contract for a fixed period of time and thus is unable to just "leave." Thus when a company like Apple or AT&T makes this kind of decision, they are proving why monopoly/oligopoly is so bad: it truly prevents innovation. As a consumer, we are unable to substitute towards another device (say, an android one) because we are locked into a contract. It's not like buying a TV where I can just drive to another store. We are stuck.
I believe congress/DOJ is currently investigating the exclusivity agreements for just this reason. When too much power is concentrated, the consumer loses out. In general, you are right: if I want a sony and best buy doesnt have a sony, i can go to circuit city and thus punish best buy for not having what I want while rewarding circuit city. This does not exist under exclusive cellphone agreements. Not only is competition delayed because i am stuck for 2 years, but I can't even use my iphone on any other network!!!!! This is fascist.

I have been using Google Voice (formerly Grand Central) for the last 2 years. Having or not having an app isn't going to change my use of this service. I'm not quite sure why it's become such a point of frustration.
Users can still go to the website on mobile Safari and send a text message, right? I get texts via GV & just reply straight from my iPhone. It's faster than going through an app even if there were one with push available. So it uses a SMS. C'mon guys, we're not talking the national debt.
As to phone calls...AT&T - get real. We are still using our voice minutes every time a call comes in via GV, and if I choose to route an outgoing call to my mobile..I'm using voice minutes there too.
Someone just needs to sit AT&T down and explain to them just how GV works.

I guess I don't even know what google voice really is... Was thinking it was an expanded Google Talk from Gmail.
But it looks like it's a phone service run by google. How would it use AT&T minutess or texts? Don't they go through the net to google and then the call or text goes out through your GV number?
I don't think it's AT&T, you can still do it on your blackberry.

I'm not happy to see this. I love my iPhone 3GS and just recently purchased it and started my AT&T contract, but if this is how it's going to be, then I will not be a returning customer no matter how much I like my iPhone.

Anyone here pick up the GV mobile app? I had been looking at it the past week or so thinking about it but never got it. Does it still work or did Apple kill it?

As soon as android releases their next phone I will jump ship. I am getting pretty tired of my iphone. I had an iphone for 3 years and it's time to move on to something new. I'm not a big fan of the apple nazi's

Hahahaha! Once again, Apple herds its users into a tiny, restricted corner of the Internet, where the prices are twice as high and the service half as good!
No integrated GPS directions (you have to pay extra). No Flash, ever. No Google Voice, ever. No multitasking, so background apps like Google Location Services and Loopt cannot run properly. Endless restrictions on applications ensuring that no real innovative apps are ever developed.
Pre has all those things, or will shortly. And the best part?
It's faster, it's cheaper, it's better, it's on a better network AND IT COSTS LESS!
Palm Pre is the future of mobile -- Apple iPhone is yesterday's news... the phone for people trapped in a contract or who don't know much about technology.

@Sting7k: I got it back in the day and it is an awesome app. It does not have the integration that google's app on android does (not shocking), but it is great for what it is. according to the developer (seankovacs.com), it will still operate for people who already have it, it just won't be sold anymore

How come AT&T didnt tell RIM that they cant use GV on their network ? GV works great on AT&T with blackberry. AT&T/Apple sucks.

I have as recently as this past weekend said I would never give up my iPhone but I am really thinking about it now. When my contract is up I am going to consider an android or a pre I mean this is just ludacris. They are crippling their own phone just plain stupid. I think I will go with android to because I know how open it is. Palm may pull this same kind of bs with the pre we just don't know yet but we will soon find out. I am going to start looking at other phones. I am getting bored with this phone anyway.

@ E
Monopoly is only bad when you're not on top of the market. So far I'm happy monopolizing my area.
And you can actually break the contract by paying a fee as well. I do agree it sucks but it's true.

Android ftw. Thanks for the assistance alienating your consumers from emerging communication technologies.

@Dmys:
Sorry, read a microeconomics textbook. The impact of monopoly is not just on a potential business; it is also on the consumer. A potentially superior product has been made and both the business and the consumer are punished.
Also, no I cannot just break my contract because in the U.S. the iPhone can only be used on AT&T... that is what makes the exclusivity agreements so potentially pernicious.

@Sting7K

Are there also not other “dialers” in the app store?

This is a good point. Both Fring and NimBuzz do Voip and voip dialing.
I wonder if this is maybe the beginning of the end of Google/Apple cooperation. This does not bode well for the iPhone Maps application as well as the other google supported stuff on the iphone. In my estimation Google provides at least a quarter of all functionality of which the iPhone boasts. Poisoning that well is suicidal on Apple's part.
And what does this say to ipod Touch owners?

The people complaining about AT&T need to realize, that they probably had nothing to do with this.. that was just speculation by Tipb.. and poor reporting of the story.. this has everything to do with Apple.. The rep that contacted google, never mentioned AT&T, and believe me, Apple would have loved to throw them under the bus instead of themselves.. Apple isn't really good at, taking blame, so if AT&T had a part in this.. we would know by now.. but they didn't, like others have mentioned.. its still a live app on blackberry and others.

@E
Umm, isn't your complaint with the iphone, why would you want to use it on another network.. just get a new phone if you pay for the release.. you did get a hefty subsidy.. more so then your cost to break contract.. sell your iphone, and set up with verizon, or sprint.. you aren't demanded to have either at&t or an iphone.. so, your contract isn't that big of a deal, as you are making it out to be.

As soon as Android phones start coming to other carriers besides TMO, I may consider it. I keep hearing about them, yet TMO seems to be the only one here offering them.

I'm an avid iPhone owner/user de facto a reluctant AT&T customer. I'm sympathetic to both sides, the consumer who wants options and as a business owner who desires to protect their business interest and that of there partners. I think this a great case for which the free market will demonstrate it's superiority over alternative business environments. Here we have two (or 3, if you count AT&T) very well funded and established companies with conflicting interests. What better setting could one ask for in a dual of this context.
The story is not yet over. There are untapped strategies that can be implemented by both sides to continue this chess game. It's my opinion the long term resulting benefits will far out weigh the short term inconveniences. Google will have to step up it's game if they are to be successful in their quest to rule the technological era and apple must do the same if they wish to maintain the rate of market penetration they've enjoyed with the iPhone since it's launch.
To the consumer, you are the catalyst influencing the Apple business model/policies (as it relates to the iPhone. Verbal flexing and crying at this stage is weightless, you flex with how you choose to spend your money as the consumer.
As the business owner, it's your responsibility to the shareholder to achieve and maintain market superiority in this case adapting to consumer behavior in your quest to excel.
The ball and next move is in Google's court. I'm looking forward to the next move.
signed a Google Voice & apple fan who detests AT&T's service.

Since it's clear that Apple views Google as a competitor, they might view this as the time to become less Google reliant.
Apple makes some of the best most intuitive software in the world. iLife is amazing... so maybe it's time for Apple Maps and Apple Voice and the like. I think Apple needs to make more software to lire people in... because iLife is the main reason I became a mac user.
I don't like being told by Apple that I can't use a GV app... but maybe they are concerned about GV being the next iTunes. Everyone uses it... and if Google decides to make their products G1 exclusive, Apple would be sunk.
Not really sure what the real motivation is here. Just speculating...

@d.allen:
I have a bridge in Brooklyn I'd like to sell you.
The carriers would have to be behind this, because Apple has no economic incentive to block Google Voice apps,
especially paid ones.
Even if Apple had their own Voice project up their sleeve, tied in with MobileMe, (a rumor I am officially starting) they are not going to get people to pay their price (other than incorrigible fanboys) when Google Voice goes for the princely sum of zero dollars.

Sounds to me like Google needs to acquaint themselves with Saurik, the creator of Cydia :D That's where all of the rejected apps go if they don't want to be stripped of features.

Apple is a classic walled garden. Stuff inside the garden works very well. Anything you want to do outside the garden they say you don't really need. Or maybe its the difference between authoritarian and totalitarian states. In an authoritarian state you cannot do things which are forbidden, and many things are. In a totalitarian state you may only do those things which are permitted. Apple/iPhone is totalitarian, MS is authoritarian.
iPhone has made great inroads in the smartphone market because it is slick, it does what they say it does and its easy to use. It lacks the features of some phones, but the features it has are all first rate. Comparing my iPhone to the ATT tilt running Windows Mobile I had before is like night and day.
After a while, though, as other phones began to catch up with iPhone in slickness and ease of use, people begin to ask, what about the other stuff we gave up. What about the ability to decide for myself what apps I install and where I get them from? What about deciding what carrier I like? What about being able to manage files on my phone or have applications interact with each other? What about being able to decide what sync software I use? If I want to run a web server on my phone, why can't I do it without voiding my warranty? (Well maybe the last one is a little over the top, but you get my drift).
I love my iPhone, but I'm starting to ask these questions. As other phones, notably the Pre and Android, get better, who knows?

@E
Sorry, no time to read. Please don't use those dumb remarks "go read a book and get some knowledge". Plenty of people have knowledge without reading your textbooks and plenty of have succeeded in life as well.
Anyway, if you haven't realized, I'm doing FINE with my monopoly. I EXCLUSIVELY sell my products and force it down the throat of the customer. They might not be happy and they have the right to go out of state to get the same product. And they are not exactly choiceless locally either.
You on the other hand (this is an assumption therefore I can be wrong) have only been a consumer so therefore do not understand what it takes to survive as a business in that case, you actually don't have the full knowledge of this situation.
This was inevitable, rivals can work together but most of the time that isn't the case. Now that Google wants a piece of OS market is this really a surprise? If anyone thinks so, you are completely blind.

Next up: Microsoft removes iTunes and iPod compatibility from Windows 7, citing Apple's inroads into its Zune and Windows Media music sales.
Apple people justifying Apple's removal of Google apps as "just sound business" go nuts and demand government intervention, while also telegraphing death threats to MS headquarters. Love those Apple double standards!

@icebike and Rene
Obviously I stand corrected in this.. but it doesn't make much sense to me at all.. but for you icebike, to act as if Apple has nothing to do with any blocks.. is, well.. you know how wrong that is.. as you just saw them put a stamp on the pres sync, when they had nothing really to lose there.. just gain from pre itunes sales.. you squash competition.. so thats why this made sense, to me.. but.. I guess its AT&T who hates google.. but only on iphone.. (still a bit skeptic)

@shomollon
What about Microsoft is authoritative? If you hate Windows you can delete it and install Linux. If you hate OSX then you can try to delete it but then your Mac is useless.

@Dmys: First of all, you are wrong. Although I do not own and operate a monopoly, I have enough experience in the business world to know that it is not easy. But it should not be easy... particularly in the realm of technology where the stakes are so high in terms of hurting potential innovation. Although, I must confess that I do not only view monopolies as wrong for the customer: I view them as immoral. Competition is good for everyone and it is immoral for some consortium of Apple and AT&T--because they have amassed so much control--to wield it over developers. But, we are only having this conversation about the effect, not the cause. If Apple/AT&T were not abusing their power, we would not be here. If you price your product in a way that abuses the customer, I would say that you are behaving very immorally.
The whole point of regulation is to ensure that the companies can not just roll over consumers (or other companies) by amassing power. The strong should NOT be able to do whatever they want and the weak should NOT have to summer what they must. It is normative... regulations--like all laws--exist to protect human beings from each other, and in some cases themselves.

@Truth, what I mean here is MS is actually less restrictive than Apple. With Apple products you may only do what is specifically permitted (everything is prohibited unless specifically permitted, default deny). Even in little things like interface design.
If you wish to use Windows you also face restrictions, but they are of the nature that everything is permitted except what is specifically prohibited (default allow).
In either case (Apple or MS) you can uninstall Windows or OSX and run Ubuntu or your choice of Linux.

@icebike et al
(Speculation)
A possible incentive for Apple blocking Google Voice is to prevent it from being a gateway drug to Android, much as iTunes has been a first step to coax people to switch from a PC, where it does not run as well, to a Mac. If Google Voice appeared on the iPhone, but functioned better on an Android phone, it makes the iPhone look inferior. If Google Voice is not available on the iPhone at all, but Apple (or some 3rd party) makes a functional equivalent, that comparison is avoided, or at least is not under Google's control.
Not saying this is what happened -- just speculating as to why Apple would pull this.

Indeed it is available in Cydia for those who want it and are jailbroken.
Live download stats show only 3k downloads yet though...

I have had just about enough of AT&T. For starters us iPhone users have some of the most expensive plans on the market, and it seems more and more of late that we are all being told how to use our phones, and what we can and cant do. If these trends continue it will be bye-bye dark side and hello Sprint. I know it sounds crazy but lets face it, Sprint has some pretty darn good prices. Along with that they have the Pre, which whether or not anyone else here admits it is a great phone. Add to that the fact that they just recently announced plans to carry Android devices by years end, they are looking more and more like the carrier to be with right now, minus the few customer service issues of course. So unless AT&T starts making some changes I wont be surprised if more and more iPhone users like myself start to look for potential new homes.

I am seriously looking at Android phones now. I saw one sony is coming out with soon that looks sweet, although that one looks destined for non US providers. But still, those phones are really starting to shape up and surpase anything the iphone has to offer. Apple/AT&T how many more bullets do you have left, haven't you shot yourself in the foot enough times!!

@fassy:
I'm thinking you may be right about protecting future markets, which is why I officially started the rumor about maybe Apple has an ulterior motive.
Of course, after Rene posted the update saying ATT was indeed the culpret, this theory may be a bit over the top.
In any event, ATT is treading very close to Illegal Restrain of Trade here. Write your Congress Critter.

AT&T fail.
I assume BlackBerry will also be denied since the motives are carrier-driven, not hardware-based.

@E
How is a contract a monopoly, free free to buy a unsubsidized iPhone from AT&T or a Apple store.. Currently the Palm Pre is only available through Sprint, granted the exclusivity is much smaller but its still exclusive. Do you sue a Greek restaurant for not selling Chicken with broccoli? (if you want something different goto another restaurant) That is how the free market works... Can you sue comcast cause their DVR does not work with Directv? Can you sue Microsoft cause Xbox games do not play on a PS3? If you choose to buy a subsidized phone from AT&T, understand the contract is for the cheap price, its your choice... Now do I think google voice should be dropped no, but I think this is Apple not AT&T. My reason is, one of the big 3Gs features is voice dialing, the google voice app takes away from that feature and it does not function as well as the iPhones built in software... That is a Apple threat not a AT&T threat...
Now I do think that once other marketplaces get bigger you will see the same thing happen on those markets also. Verison is horrible at destroying a phones software to make it their own... They will be twice as bad as controlling what software is allowed on their system...
Is the App store perfect? No
Is there a better one out there right now? No
So enjoy all the benefits and don't sweat the minor set backs on a great phone. Spend more time enjoying life then dwelling on the things that are not perfect... IMHO
And if you don't like it, move on to a new phone and carrier, do a comparison on the 30 people here complaining and the how many million iPhone customers... By a 3Gs and get voice commands, wait for the a future update for voice commands to expand farther on the iPhone software... The beauty of a free country, do what you want and be happy...

@ KanosWRX
OMG lets sue Sony also for not making the phone you want available in the U.S...
Let's also sue the iPhone blog for limiting stories to just iPhone stories... This website is a monopoly..... Call your congressman about this one for me also plzzzzz....
Haha ranting and bitching is so funny...

@Earless:

Do you sue a Greek restaurant for not selling Chicken with broccoli?

Mr. BadAnalogy Guy, is that you?
Do you sue Microsoft when they ORDER Compac to remove alternative browsers from, pre-installed Windows computers?
Why yes, yes you do.

@icebike
your retort isnt fair since msft dominates OS marketplace so they can be held liable for controlling what browsers to put on the software.
There are other options to iphones. But this kind of stuff draws a lot of negative (potential) legal attention.

This has just gotten funny. But seriously I am looking for another phone. I may wait a while before I get rid of my iPhone but I will be looking in another direction and I think it is android. How is this that much different than what VZW has been doing by addding there software and only theirs on a VZW phone this is kind of the opposite but the results are the same we don't get what we want.

enjoy all the benefits and don’t sweat the minor set backs on a great phone. Spend more time enjoying life then dwelling on the things that are not perfect<<

Translation: You're Apple's b*tch and they own your ass, but you might as well enjoy it.

Just got my invite to Google Voice this morning and signed up...apparently a day late!
Horrible luck.

@andy
Your timeline is off. Microsoft was not sued for its heavy handed browser actions because they were liable. Microsoft was investigated after a complaint by a competitor and then found to be a monopoly. In other words, the lawsuit itself established that Microsoft's position as a dominant player came with certain legal responsibilities. At the time of the suit, they had no such standing, just a large market share in their given arena and a reputation for self-interested, heavy-handed tactics. Sound familiar?
While Apple's market share is likely not (yet?) high enough to attract the US DoJ or its EU counterparts, Microsoft thought the same way, and eventually it caught up to them. Apple has a long way to go to get there, but they are certainly making no effort to avoid it.

@ E
And who are you to judge my morals? My morals are my morals not yours. If I go to war, I go to kill, not to get killed. Same goes for business. So stop crying about and denying it's about business and how the setup and structure isn't right. And that doesn't go just for one person, that goes for everyone who cries about it.
If you can't handle capitalism and monopoly go live in a country where that is outlawed. Let us people who know how to take advantage of situations, people, and time do our thing and get rich off your average consumer by manipulating all that we can. Yes, that's supposed to sound "evil" to some people, but I'm not one of them.
Good riddance Apple, although I think it was dumb it was your choice to cut Google out of the picture. Do whatever you want!!!

@DMYS again thank you, and I agree except the good riddance Apple part which is your choice, but still thumbs up... Finally some people that understand that whining to sound smart or because you're cheap just makes you sound stupid... Funny thing is, if these people owed Apple they would be doing the same thing or worse...
Again thank you, great perspective

Question:
Was the Google app removed from all the app stores or just the US... The reason I ask this is it will show if it was AT&T or Apple...

Interestingly, Ring Central (similar service to Google Voice) still has not one, but two apps on the App store. A dialer, and the 'AT&T Virtual Receptionist', which is 'powered by RingCentral'.

I'm not entirely sure how accurate this is but isn't iPhone OS similar to Palm's WebOS in that many of the "applications" we run are just cleverly disguised scripts that require a data connection to function? So, technically, if Google developed a JavaScript web application then it would be the same as what you'd download through the AppStore but without the interface that makes it appear as if it is native to the phone.
Example: myWireless (app for AT&T users to view their account, minutes, pay bill, etc.) is just an app that is supposed to look like a native application when it is really just a front for a web connection to perform those same functions. You can verify this because if you view certain information on their such as numbers dialed, then turn off your phone radio(no data connection) you can still view the numbers but you cannot go back or forward since it has cached that information but must again access the database to gather further information.
So just because Apple/AT&T won't allow the GoogleVoice application doesn't in any way prevent iPhone users from using GoogleVoice. It just prevents them from having that dedicated GUI on the phone that the app would otherwise provide. If i'm incorrect in this then feel free to point out any mistakes i've made, constructively. Thanks.

@Dmys: No offense, but the comparison of business to war is as specious as it is overused. It has nothing to do with being able to "handle" capitalism. Your argument is saying that free markets are good: this is true and I am a huge defender of free markets. The point of free markets, however, is that the best product wins. Competition ensures that the consumer is able to choose from a mix of options, reward that which is best, and punish that which sucks. Monopoly UNDERMINES free market capitalism by preventing this critical circle. In a best case scenario, monopoly leads to price gauging. In a worse scenario, it creates barriers to entry into the market and prevents other, smarter people from being able to design and distribute a better product. It is a question of effect, not of principle.
The problem is that you are thinking in the context of your business. You don't like the idea that the government has the right to come in and tell you how to operate your business. You, however, probably do not operate one of the largest technology companies in the world which is partnered with one of the largest telecoms in the world. Again, the critical distinction is in effect and not in principle. If you were to control enough of the market of whatever it is that you sell that a competitor could not even enter the market in the hopes of CREATING (not destroying) competition, then yes, you are operating a monopoly and should be shut down for the sake of (not despite) free market capitalism.

@Dmys:
On the topic of business vs. war: This is actually offensive not to mention reducto et absurdum.

@ E
Ever heard of lobbying? Another thing I'm a fan of. It has way more power than whining. Remember, what you think should be done and what is actually being done is extremely different. If you want to slay Goliath, do something instead of blogging.
Oh and it's "Reductio ad absurdum".

agree!
Mark said:
Jul 28th @ 12:08 pm
You guys are all a bunch of babies. No one cries when best buy can’t sell a certain brand anymore. It is just business deal with it

@Dmys: Sorry about the misspelling... you are correct. But you did not answer any of my other arguments. And Lobbying??? Where did that come from? We have regulators for this reason. I lobby by paying taxes.
@Mark: That is because you can go down the street to get a different TV. Cell phone contacts make this different because you are locked in. Yes, I know you can pay the cancellation fee, but this is a massive discouragement. With monopoly, the measure is effect, not principle.

Google has been effectively put in a box by AT&T and AAPL. If you are Google, what's the next move? forge strong alliances with other competing service providers and phone manufacturers? or get into the wireless business (as has been rumored)? BTW - not too far fetched - picture Sprint, Comcast, Microsoft, Google - I think is called Clearwire.

You know it's funny reading all the comments that most of you people are complaining just to complain and have no idea what Google Voice actually is or how it works. Do some reading before commenting.
As for the GV Apple removed an app because it "duplicates functionality." The last time this uproar, so called, happened Apple released the same features in their own apps as part of a update. Perhaps iPhone 3.1 will have something similar. It's hard to say since we don't know how the process works.
As for the free market, I think the 1mill+ iPhone 3GS sold in the first weekend, and 646% increase in overall iPhone sales last quarter pretty much says it all. The Palm Pre has estimated to be sold 200k or so since it's release. Seems the market has chosen so far.
Lastly all the ppl whining about AT&T and Apple's monopoly, etceterra. There's a very simple solution, use something else. No one is forcing you to use an iPhone. If you want to use it on T-Mobile, pay full price, not the discount $199.99 price but the full $699 price. AT&T is subsidizing the purchase of the phone which is why them make you sign a contract. Cell service has worked like this for more than a decade. Did you all really think a cell phone is "free". And seriously if you don't like the contract, don't sign it.
You all act like it's a Constitution right to bear an iPhone. It's a product, that for a "cheap" price has rules attached, get over it.

BTW @E Regulators are there to enforce the laws, and so far Apple hasn't done anything actually illegal. Just because you don't like it doesn't make it illegal. That's what lobbying is for. If you don't like the way a law is written you "lobby" your legislator to change it. Have you ever called your Congressman or Senator, if so then you have lobbied.
Finally paying taxes is how the Gov't provides things like the Police, Fire, Military, , FBI, DEA, Social Security(though that's a dedicated levy), etc. They don't actually have any affect in how laws considered and passed.

Free Google Voice SMS? AT&T still gets 50% since GV relays SMS to cell phones. Remember GV does not provide the network service.
For GV users, AT&T collects charges even for mobile to mobile minutes. So in the big picture, I'd expect the revenue picture to be a wash. I don't see enough reason for AT&T to pressure Apple to kill GV Apps from iPhone App store. I bet, there's more to it...
What? Do you think Apple is going to deliver an integrated GV solution in an upcoming update?

@eyeks. Don't know if it will be GV or something more general. Considering Apple rejected Google's apps too, perhaps they are planning something. It is equally possible that an over-zealous Apple guy say a dialer that used Apple's address book to "make calls" and said WTF? I've been using GV since before Google bought them and love the GV app, but don't "require" it since I can use other methods to access it.
I'm really just tired of people complaining that they can't have an iPhone on Verizon or it doesn't make bread, or whatever, and don't understand the concept that they don't actually "OWN" the software on anything they buy.
Apple delivers an "experience" by controlling the HW and software tightly. This is known up front and clear before one buys something from them and they agree to it when they buy it. Yet somehow Apple making the decision to keep the closed controlled platform smooth or that contract they signed doesn't actually apply the them. Just drives me nuts.

@Josh:
Again, you are arguing something out of principle, not out of effect. I would be quite tempted to pay the full fee and go elsewhere to use my iPhone... if that actually let me put google voice on it! Additionally, i very much disagree with your tax argument. Fine, true, taxes provide a lot of services. They also pay for government salaries, including congressmen, committee professional staffers, DOJ employees, etc.
More importantly, however, you hit something significant when you said you don't understand why people complain, Apple providing an experience and not a product, etc. First, this is a critical question: who owns your device. I think you are right that people knew that Apple would exercise some control in this. Again, however, it is a question not of principle, but of effect. I, for one, did not realize Apple was going to veto everything that could possibly be construed as competing with them.

Is there a way to download this app without Cydia right now? I almost pulled the trigger on it about two weeks ago but didn't and now obviously it is not possible through the App Store. Is there another alternative without Cydia?

Apple is becoming overconfident with the iPhone. Fact is they have the best product on the market as of right now. However, just like they came in the picture they could be gone. Especially with policies like this. They are creating a gap in the market that hopefully will be filled by someone else.
I switched to iPhone when Sling announced the app availability, Just to be let down by the At&t duo with the 3G unavailability. Skype's lack of 3g was the second one. And now as a beta user of Google Voice this episode. @Josh is right, I will leave my iPhone behind and use something else. Also will advise my friends and colegues to buy something else. Hopefully At&t and Apple get their act together.

This is such a shame. Apple are stymieing innovation and competition. No wonder the dissent among the Apple community is growing. This is exactly why people turn to "jailbreak". I have just covered a story on this on my blog, if you are getting fed up of Apple and their dictatorship then CHECK OUT the Neo FreeRunner phone - it could just be the next best thing to the iPhone.

Let me start with a simple statement:
Over 25% of the activated iPhones in the United States ARE NOT on AT&T's network. That means they're jailbroken. I would call that a hell of a lot more than a small percentage of users who like to jailbreak, I'd call it a growing sect of iPhone users, and one Apple is going to have to deal with in pretty short order.
For those of you who want Google Voice on your iPhone, it's simple:
1) JAILBREAK YOUR iPhone - It's FREE, SIMPLE, IMPOSSIBLE to brick your phone, and IMPOSSIBLE to void your warranty (all you ever have to do is put your phone into DFU mode and restore, and it's back to factory (no warranty void). Also, DFU mode is hard-wired. As long as the iPhone has power you can DFU it (no brick))
2) Get on Cydia and search for GV Mobile and install it. (this is the exact same app that was pulled from the app store, and has been put on Cydia by the author)
It really is THAT easy.

You can send your complaint to FCC, consumer protection department, and they might investigate AT&T and Apple regaring Iphone (battery)

  • ATT forces 2 years contract - with no offers the extend warranty and other warranty, as Apple Iphone has only 1 year warranty. The State and Fed FCC should looking into this, to help users and consumers being trapped with 2 years contract and only 1 year warranty for device they sell.
  • Apple gives no way for user to change battery without breaking the device, the battery after 9-12 months of used will be deteriorated, you have to charge your phone almost after 10-14 hours of idle (the brand new phone or battery might last up to 36 hours of idle). Not as with other phone, you can buy the replacement battery and easily changing it by yourself without breaking the phone. If you take your Iphone to Apple store you will be advised to purchase the new Iphone with new ATT conract (2 years), or the cost would be closely or more than getting the new Iphone with new contract. If you call ATT they might says call Apple, because, they just provide the service and not device. So good luck and stick with you Iphone, and keep your connected to power charger when you hop on the car or when you just got home and have to rush to power charger.

I have this really nice motorcycle I bought in 2005. It is a Suzuki Hayabusa. It's a nice enough bike on its own, but I'd sure like to put some custom stuff on it; say; a two stage turbo, some nice chrome handlebar grips, and maybe some alternate foot pegs.
Oh, wait... I can only buy parts from my Suzuki dealer and they don't stock, nor can they order any of these items I want. The dealer wants $230 for a front tire..http://www.ronayers.com/ can ship the same tire for $130, and I can dismount/mount/balance all my own tires with a http://www.nomartirechanger.com/. What about other replacement parts or standard consumables like brake pads? I don't want to pay dealer prices. Why should I have to? I enjoy and know how to maintain my own motorcycles. Not everybody does. And that is fine.
What does this have to do with Apple and iPhones? A lot! Ever since the day we figured out how to make interchangeable parts, we created diversity, corporate competition, etc. Just think about what that did for us. Now Apple wants to undo that. Are they the first? No! IBM tried this very same thing with the PC; Dell tried this very same thing with their servers. Proprietary hardware to lock the customer in to not having any other avenue for support or extending their options. Our government is trying to do this to is in the realm of health care. Capitalism.
I read a discussion yesterday and a commenter stated that most 'JailBreak'ers were juvenile and had no reasoning skills to defend why they JailBreak their iPods/iPhones. What a narrow minded dope addict he is. He is the kind of person that operates at the same level of a wild beast; with a proper fitting bridle, his head can be turned and his mind bent into believing his captivity is freedom.

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