Google Voice creating havoc in the app world

As our loyal followers know by now we are not the biggest fans of Apple’s application approval process in which every application that might be in competition with Apple’s self interest, even if it is a great complimentary application to their hardware, gets declined into the iTunes App Store. One declined application that has created a lot of buzz lately is the Google Voice application.

The Google Voice service which allows the user to make cheaper calls and text messages, at the moment only in the US, was declined because it was considered to offer duplicate services already available on the iPhone, although several other applications that do the same thing have been approved. This random approval process by Apple are not only annoying the likes of Google, but also all the smaller application developers out there that want to make sure that the time and effort they put into their applications are not to waste because Apple decides they are not appropriate for their services.

But it is not only the developers that are getting hurt by this random approval process to the iTunes App Store. We as iPhone and iPod Touch owners are also loosing out as there are many potential great applications, like Google Voice, that are getting declined and therefore not accessible for our iPhone or iPod Touch, unless we jailbreak our device with the potential dangers involved in doing that. The biggest threat though is that the developers of other great applications will decide to move their efforts towards the Google Android market or the Pre market instead, which both seem to have a more open and “just” approval process. That means that in the end both Apple and us as iPhone and iPod Touch owners are the ones loosing out.

For all those out there in the US that were hoping to use Google Voice for cheaper calls on their iPhone’s there is still some hope though as Google have refocused their efforts towards retooling Google Voice to become a web app instead, therefore possibly circumventing the iTunes App Store approval process. It is expected to have the exact same features as the rejected Google Voice application, except being web based. Google is hoping that like with the Latitude service, Apple will allow it once it is a web based app instead of a traditional iPhone app.

We will continue to fight the cause for a more open iTunes App Store, and hope that all other bloggers and websites out there will do the same, and perhaps together we can change Apple’s thinking around this topic.


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