Google Voice to finally get iPhone approval

Ronny Kerr · September 28, 2010 · Short URL:

Over a year after its submission to the Apple App Store, Google Voice approved by the powers-that-be

Google Voice for iPhone

One of the biggest tech stories last summer had to be the ongoing war of words between Apple and Google over the rejection of the Google Voice app from the iPhone App Store, a struggle of titans that, though initially attracting the attention of the FCC, eventually withered into a quiet that lasted for months. Many people probably assumed that Google Voice would never make it into the App Store.

Never say never because, according to multiple sources, the official Google Voice app will be coming to iPhones very soon.

A free application that grants users a single number to catch all their other phones—home, work, mobile—under one umbrella, Google Voice has already proven itself to be an invaluable resource and one of Google’s most recently successful products.

To explain its rejection from the App Store, Apple flip-flopped between either saying that the app mimicked the iPhone’s functionality too closely (though Skype and similar apps had been approved) or that the app was still in the review process. But not even the longest approvals take months.

At some point, Google built an elegant Voice Web app accessible via Safari and seemed to let the issue rest.

Then a few weeks ago, much to the delight of those who found fault with Apple’s often inconsistent approval and rejection of apps, the Cupertino company published a set of App Store Review Guidelines. The comprehensive and straightforward guide seemed to cover everything from the mundane and indisputable--"We have over 250,000 apps in the App Store. We don't need any more Fart apps”--to the more complex--"Apps that enable illegal file sharing will be rejected.” But nobody could point to anything in the guide that explicitly explained Google Voice’s exclusion from the App Store.

And that’s when users started noticing third-party Google Voice apps appearing in the store.

Of course, it’s unlikely that any of these will stand up to an official app developed by Google and now we have little reason to doubt that such an app could be rejected.

Neither Apple nor Google have responded to inquiries about the state of Google Voice for iPhone.

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