GV Mobile Brings Google Voice to iPhone... via Cydia for Jailbreak

As Jeremy posted earlier, Apple wiped the iTunes App Store clean of all traces of Google Voice, both the official Google version and third party clients like GV Voice. (Rumor has it at the behest of AT&T)

GV Voice, however, didn't take their removal lying down. Nope, they (meaning developer Sean Kovacs) picked themselves right up, marched over to Cydia, and promptly made themselves available for Jailbreak.

And, weirdly, it's getting to the point that we're wondering if this isn't "the plan" all along.

Apple provides a closed appliance with strict and nebulously enforced rules for its App Store, placating carriers, and making a device so simple it's become the first true consumer smartphone success. At the same time, Jailbreak provides a de facto "expert" or "pro" version of the iPhone for those willing (and able) to do the work, at no training or support cost to Apple, and with complete deniability in terms of carrier and media agreements.

Whether we think Apple and/or AT&T are evil, Google is competitive, or whatever, with GV Mobile, Qik, and all the other apps available via Jailbreak, are iPhone users actually getting the best of both worlds...?

[Thanks to everyone who sent this in!]

Rene Ritchie

Rene Ritchie is one of the most respected Apple analysts in the business, reaching a combined audience of over 40 million readers a month. His YouTube channel, Vector, has over 90 thousand subscribers and 14 million views and his podcasts, including Debug, have been downloaded over 20 million times. He also regularly co-hosts MacBreak Weekly for the TWiT network and co-hosted CES Live! and Talk Mobile. Based in Montreal, Rene is a former director of product marketing, web developer, and graphic designer. He's authored several books and appeared on numerous television and radio segments to discuss Apple and the technology industry. When not working, he likes to cook, grapple, and spend time with his friends and family.

  • I just downloaded it, works like a charm, glad I kept my jailbreak
  • I find it ludicrous. But I also see why AT&T would make Apple not allow it. Thru Google Voice...you can have absolutely free text messaging. On T-Mobile/Verizon you can have unlimited calling for the price of the cheapest plan on their list. Google Voice gives you a way to circumvent having to pay thousands under 2 years.
    I have Google Voice and route all calls thru that number. Have my Google number in my Fave 5. And use my Google Voice app to get all text messages...
    That gives me an unlimited voice and text plan for only $39.99/mth. And only have to add data.
  • jailbreak is the way to go!
  • I'd love to see Opera do this.
  • Considering I OWN this phone- it pisses me off that whatever Powers That Be continue to try and dictate what I can, and cannot, run on it. Jailbreaking my phone was the smartest thing I could have done to it.
  • I can't get a GV account...sucks.
  • Never thought I would jailbreak my 3gs, but I just did it and this program is the reason why.
  • BTW, jailbreaking my wifes 3g so i can put this program on her phone!
  • Just think if Google were to release their official app on cydia. Interesting ideas about jailbreaking.
  • hile i definetlly agree that apple has to much control over the store I am worried that is companies like google come to "the dark side" it may attract to much attention to the jailbreak community
  • We welcome them to "the dark side" ...
    This is just like Wal-Mart receiving the first words from KostCo or something. A new neighbor has moved into the market. There's competition, and Apple can't do anything about it really. I just can't wait 'til someone makes a jailbroken iTunes so I can backup all of my apps at once. Now that's an idea.
  • i just dont understand some things . you have to pay for voice and data whats the difference if you dont use one of them. isnt that just a plus for att.
  • Wow.
    Apple makes a decision that stifles innovation and shows who's wearing the pants in the ATT/Apple relationship.
    TiPB's response? "Brilliant! Great Move, Apple!".
    Listen, I LOVE my iPhone. Love it. Jailbroke it on day one, though for just this reason. They're not in it for the customer beyond getting the $, and that's fine.
    That being said...I expect better from TiPB than trying to make chicken salad out of this particular pile of poultry excrement. How about a strong, BAD APPLE statement?
  • wouldnt they be in legal issues if apple finds out?
  • This will hurt any carriers under Android if they release it... I am curious if Goggle did this just to spite Apple, let's see if carriers under Android accept this application and let's see if carriers shy away from Android cause this could be released... Google may have hurt themselves during this....
    I hate playing fortune teller but let's see how this unfolds...
  • The App Store had v1.2. Cydia got 1.2 today but was then updated to 1.2.1.. then later on updated to 1.2.2. So two bug fixes in one day. Just think how long it would take for Apple to post these bug fix releases. Apple would say, "I am sorry Sean, we have to reject this bug fix because of the version number. 1.2.1 sounds like a major release. If you make it v1.2.0.1 then we will be willing to release it on the App Store". Hahaha.
  • FYI: GV Voice is an independent app created by Sean Kovacs. It was not created by Google.
  • And if Microsoft did something like this... Oh wait... They did, and got an anti-trust case as a result.
    The rejection reason stated was because it conflicted with pre-existing iPhone features. What if windows didn't allow you to instal firefox?MS would get sued to high hell.
    Stop kissing Apples ass and critisize them on this TiPB.
  • As far as im concerned Steve Jobs is a control freek so i say by-pass his nonsense any way you can. I have a jail broke iPhone 4 and i love it and the apps available from cydia are a real treat. So kiss off apple.
  • @Matt MacPherson
    good point and I mean it, but I disagree since there are plenty of phones and the iPhone is not a stand alone giant like Microsoft... Since it is not standard practice for all phones not just smart phones to allow any software on there why should the iPhone have to allow all?
    The app store is a whole new medium in a sense for phone apps.. Let it mature, it will...
  • Can someone explain GV and how you make calls and text messages without it using minutes/texts?
  • does anyone know how to get the sms messages to stop forwarding to my mobile number?
  • @Dionte: You have to go online to your GV account and enable "Do Not Disturb"
    @jt5: I only know how to circumvent anytime minute usage with Tmobile (and by way of "Fave" selection, Verizon/Alltel).
    As far as text...they send text over data instead of the normal way when using GV. With the app you have a direct, on phone way of sending and receiving text messages without having it pulled from your alloted messages count. So that way...you can get rid of your text plan and get unlimited messaging for free.
  • I wasn't planning on jailbreaking my 3G. I had an old Grand Central account and was automatically transferred over to Google Voice when Google took it over. I didn't have much use for it until the iPhone app was released. I didn't hear of it until after it was pulled. I would have shelled out the money and bought it if I would have known about it sooner. I just jailbroke my 3G today and installed GV Mobile and couldn't be happier. Google Voice really does have a lot of potential.
  • @iDavey I still want it to ring, I think do not disturb sends everyone to voicemail, I just don't want the sms messages to forward to my mobile
  • @iDavey I found it, went to settings, then phones, then edit, then unchecked Receive SMS on this phone :-)
  • "Whether we think Apple and/or AT&T are evil, Google is competitive, or whatever, with GV Mobile, Qik, and all the other apps available via Jailbreak, are iPhone users actually getting the best of both worlds…?"
    this is not "the best of both worlds", this is "my way or the highway". either you stick with the crippled official apps or you jailbreak and have to deal with apple trying to break or brick your device every time they update iTunes.
    "Pro" does not mean "Mouse", and just because i like to have freedom to exploit the full potential of the device doesn't mean i want to play "cat and mouse" with apple.
    i don't have to play that game on any other computer. if i had to jailbreak my PC that would SUCK. it would not be "the best of both worlds", it would simply suck. the iPhone is no different, other than that apple is fine with frustrating users in return for a buck.
    in the long run, it won't work. people who like gadgets will start using other phones, because the other phones will be better AND just work. these people will have friends who will want to do the same things, but won't want to jailbreak.
    eventually people will be scoffed at for owning such a dorky, crippled "toy" as the iPhone is becoming. crippled isn't cool.
  • if apple just wanted to restrict apps through the app store based on safety, quality and legality, that would be "the best of both worlds.
    not as complicated for the average user as a typical PC, but just as useful and powerful.
  • and finally, how is this in any way the best of both worlds for Sean Kovacs? he'd make money hand over fist in the app store. he won't make nearly as much in the jailbreak community where piracy is rampant.
    one of the great things about the app store is that it created an ecosystem where developers didn't have to factor piracy into the price. apps could cost very little and developers could still make a lot of money if they developed something good. that's truly the best of both worlds but it means very little if half the apps are garbage because developers are not allowed to create anything actually useful, because apple reserves the right.
  • 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?
  • just a quick question
    using gv, if people want to text me, and they text me to my number, would it come to me as the sms text built into the iphone? or would it go to the gv?
    and if it goes to the gv, how do u know u got a text? is it a push notification or something?
  • Hey. Do I need an invite to use the GV? How do I go about getting one of them. Can one of you guys help me out?
  • Go here to sign up for a google voice numberhttps://services.google.com/fb/forms/googlevoiceinvite/
  • awesommmme! i couldn't find it on cydia for awhile, but then i found it labeled GV Mobile. So glad I jailbroke my iPhone today.
  • In my opinion it's not Apple that is the culprit here, It's AT&T. I believe AT&T tells Apple which Apps are and are not worthy for the app store, They just are not letting any one. AT&T wants as little Data usage as possible and they want you to pay for texting, If it wasn't for AT&T being a bad company then we would have MMS and tethering which would use lots more data traffic and we all know AT&T doesn't want that. The iPhone OS 3.0 supports MMS and tethering and other carriers in other countries supported those features since the day iPhone OS 3.0 launched. AT&T said that they will support those features in the future but when will that be? Probably when AT&T's and Apple's exclusive contract ends and then AT&T will have to become competitive with other carriers if the iPhone becomes available other carrier networks. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.
  • I jailbreak for 1 reason and 1 reason only! BACKGROUNDER!!! Why give us all those apps to play internet radio and I can't do it in the backgroung???? IT MAKES NO SENSE! I should be able to manage my battery life however I want. And having GV is an extremely nice extra!!!
  • Just as a follow up. I love the GV Mobile app that is available from Cydia... Although now I can't access it for some reason. The app is telling me that the credentials (ie my username/password) are incorrect, yet I have never changed them on the app so far... Very strange and I hope that this issue is resolved soon!!
  • I just wish it had push notifications. Is there a way to enable that from a less-than-app-store-approved app?
  • Why doesn't someone have a ranking of first place under download Google Voice app for iPhone... ??? Serna all you have to say is Go into Cydia and type in description líne GV Mobile
    and that's it. Easy does it !!
    Took me so many months just to find this post!
    Bahhhh Humbug!!
  • i was wondering if it is still possible to get a gv account. it says at this time it is by invite only. if anyone can help i would appreciate it.
  • I have an iPod touch and I'm new to gv mobile and it asks for google voice and I don't know how
  • Is this app broken? everytime I open it and refresh SMS or try to dial, for about 2-3 days now, it just blanks out and disappears..
  • I have the same problem when setting up the account it flashes a few times then closes on me. When I open the app again is asking for the GV account info again....
  • Wow, incredible blog layout! How long have you been blogging for? you made running a blog glance easy. The whole look of your website is great, let alone the content!
  • I have downloaded 2.2 for my son t301 and now it is frozen on the cruz logo. What do I do