TomTom insists on teasing us all with the above video yet there is still no mention of pricing or availability. As you can see, this car kit brings a lot more to the table than a simple window mount for your iPhone. With the following extras, you can count on this being a pricey addition to your accessory collection.
Google bought Grand Central and rebranded it Google Voice, now Apple has rejected Google Voice for the iPhone and the FCC is looking into it. Based on the responses Apple had given the FCC, it looks like they might be afraid Google is taking over the iPhone and Google Voice is a big piece of that. So what if Apple had bought Grand Central instead? Or what if that new world-class data center Apple is building will be home to a Google Voice competitor? (Tip of the theoretical hat to Derek in our comments, who delightfully calls such a thing iVoice).
GrandCentral (not to be confused with Apple's upcoming multicore processor handler, Grand Central Dispatch) was an innovative service that gave users a new phone number that could replace any number of other and assorted numbers (one line to ring them all), along with SMS, transcribed voice mail, conference calling, call switching, call screening, etc. It was purchased by Google in 2007 for $95 million, and relaunched in 2009 as Google Voice.
If Apple had bought it instead, they would of course now be spared the headaches surrounding the above mentioned rejection and investigation. But they'd also have a fairly compelling set of services to roll up into the iPhone...
Techcrunch has an interesting "rebuttal" up regarding Apple's response to the FCC over the rejection of Google Voice. I use the quotes because I think the rebuttal part itself is off-target, while the conclusion is fairly spot on. Worst things first:
[Apple's response] strongly suggests that the Google Voice app replaces much of the core Apple iPhone OS function. This certainly isn’t accurate, and we believe the statement is misleading. More details below, but in general the iPhone app is a very light touch and doesn’t interfere with any native iPhone apps at all.
The crux of their argument is that, while Google Voice provides separate voice dialing, voice mail, and SMS functionality outside Apple's built-in Phone and Messages apps, users are still free to use the built in apps. More specifically, that Google Voice only replaces these things when the Google Voice phone number is used.
Users, at least in part, are going to be replacing the AT&T number with the Google Voice number (likely the reason to get the Google Voice number for a segment of users). Ergo, they'll be replacing the built in Phone and SMS apps with the Google Voice app.
No big deal, though, right? Why should Apple care if people replace Phone and Messages with Google Voice?
As noted above, AT&T regularly reviews its policies regarding features and capabilities available through the devices we offer in order to provide an attractive range of options for our customers. Consistent with this approach, we plan to take a fresh look at possibly authorizing VoIP capabilities on the iPhone for use on AT&T's 3G network.
In light of today's response by Apple to the FCC about the Google Voice rejection, and anticipating the likely, negative reaction it will engender, I'm again left thinking that Apple and their iPhone are closer akin to a restaurant, not a super market.
Apple has responded to the FCC's questions, issued following the controversial rejection of Google's Google Voice application (though, in their response, it looks like Apple is claiming they haven't rejected Google Voice, but are merely reviewing it (updated: under the dubious "duplicates functionality" rationale, due to independant dialing and to see if it violates Apple's contract with AT&T not to allow VoIP over AT&T's data network.)