Google Voice App Developer Taking Another ShotGoogle Voice App Developer Taking Another Shot
Apple's newly revised developer guidelines have given hope to the creator of Google Voice for the iPhone, who believes his application now has a good chance of being approved.
September 10, 2010
More than a year ago, Sean Kovacs developed a third-party application that enabled Google Voice on the iPhone. The app was called GV Mobile, and provided an on-device client for accessing and controlling Google's call forwarding service. There was also an official app available from Google.
Both Kovacs' application and Google's later mysteriously vanished from the iPhone App Store, seemingly pulled by Apple. The matter ended forcing the Federal Communications Commission to intervene, which asked Apple, AT&T and Google all to answer questions about the issue. The FCC never made any final ruling or proclamation about what happened. In order to circumvent the app approval process, Google developed a Safari browser-based version of Google Voice for the iPhone, but it isn't nearly as powerful as the native app that is available for Android devices. The HTML5-powered Web app has grown in features and functionality since its debut earlier this year, but it lacks the polish of the Google Voice on Android. On Thursday, the landscape changed a bit with Apple's revised app developer guidelines. According to TechCrunch, Kovacs perused the guidelines and believes that his application no longer violates any of the them. He emailed Apple to ask about having his GV Mobile application reinstated to the iPhone App Store. Apple responded, saying that Kovacs was welcome to resubmit the GV Mobile application for review. Previously, Apple hadn't responded to Kovacs at all. TechCrunch points out that it's possible the Apple employee who responded to Kovacs could have made a mistake, and Apple may still believe that Kovas' app breaks the rule stating "apps which appear confusingly similar to an existing Apple product or advertising theme will be rejected." Still, it seems possible that Apple might re-approve Kovacs' application, providing Google Voice users with a better option than the Safari-based client. Speaking of which, TechCrunch reached out to Google for comment and asked whether or not the company would develop a new, official Google Voice application for the iPhone. Google said, "We currently offer Google Voice mobile apps for Blackberry and Android, and we offer an HTML5 web app for the iPhone. We have nothing further to announce at this time."
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