Something must’ve frozen over. Because Apple has been loosening up their app restrictions lately, leading to what is now an official approval of Google Voice for the Iphone.
There have been a couple of third-party apps in the app store approved recently (i.e. GV Mobile+), however Google now has the green light for an official Voice app. So, Google is now working to revamp their app to work with iOS 4′s multi-tasking capabilities.
Certainly, the wave of FCC inquiries after their original rejection had something to do with this.
It remains to be seen what Google will have in their official app that the third-party apps don’t. One would think that, being Google, they’ll be able to create an awesome app. Also, using the power of Google’s servers, perhaps they’ll be able to do actual push notifications for Voice-powered SMS. The way things work, those push notifications need to be powered by a third-party server and that’s why these unofficial apps operate more in a little island to themselves.
The timing of this is rather ironic for me, seeing as it was lack of Google Voice which was one of my top reasons for ditching the Iphone and switching to Android. It is great to see the service finally show up on the Iphone, however the jury is still out on just how full-featured the integration will be. One of the great things about using Android is that it integrates with Google beautifully.
On Android, Voice is fully ingrained into the phone. All out-going calls are automatically made using Google Voice. When I get an SMS, I get the notification just as I would if somebody had sent a text to my direct cell number. With Apple, they are famous for only allowing third-party apps to get access to certain things. I’m still skeptical on whether we’ll see a FULL integration on the Iphone. If you have to open up a separate app to make a phone call, I wouldn’t really want to use it.
We shall see. Either way, it is inviting and welcome news.
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