Google Voice for iPhone hands-on!

By on November 16, 2010 at 3:17 PM.

Google Voice for iPhone hands-on!

Apple finally approved (or accepted) Google’s official Google Voice app for the iPhone just minutes ago, and while 3rd party versions of the software were allowed back in a couple months ago, sometimes there isn’t anything like the official version. We messed around with the app and here are some of our initial thoughts:

  • We love how straight forward the app is to use. You’d think this would be the case for any application, but Google really nails the usability angle here.
  • Dialing a number quickly and efficiently is the most important part of a phone calling app, and since you have to manually switch to another app and not the iPhone phone app, you don’t want to waste more time by jumping around tabs, and different screen views. On here, hit the dialer tab, and you’re ready to dial. Also of note: Google Voice for iPhone makes use of outbound dialing, so you never have to wait for an incoming call to ring your phone, you just “dial out”.
  • One major issue with Google Voice’s web apps and iPhone-optimized website, was that the experience was kind of lousy. You’d want to dial or shoot a quick text message off but couldn’t due to the fact the entire UI was in Safari, thus it scrolled around, sometimes would be a little delayed, etc. The app provides very quick access to SMS creation and sending, especially for conversations not yet started. This is important here, because the faster these tasks get, the more people will use Google Voice and centralize their calling/texting habits and behaviors.
  • The inbox view is great — you have all your voicemails, incoming calls, missed calls, text messages and recorded calls in one neat, and super clean-looking list. You can also manually view just a specific category like voicemails or text message if you’d like, however.
  • Push notifications on here are lightning fast, and are so, so necessary.

All in all, this is close enough to an integrated experience like Android offers to make iPhone-using Google Voice users extremely happy. Now if they could only work on their voicemail transcriptions… Check out our hands on photos in the gallery!

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Security flaw allows calls (and more) from a locked iPhone running iOS 4.1

By on October 25, 2010 at 6:01 PM.

Security flaw allows calls (and more) from a locked iPhone running iOS 4.1

Blog 9to5Mac has picked up on an interesting bug in iOS 4.1, running on the iPhone, that will allow users to bypass the device’s lock screen and make phone calls. From a locked iPhone pressing the “Emergency Call” button, dialing a non-emergency number (such as “###”), then quickly pressing “Send” followed by the iPhone’s lock key will actually force the device into the “Phone” application. From there you can access favorites, contacts, the dial pad, recent calls, and voicemails. The “home” button remains inactive throughout the process, preventing users from jumping to the home screen, however… going to the “contacts” tab, selecting a contact, and clicking “Email” or “Share contact” will allow a bypasser to send emails and MMS messages.

The issue is reminiscent of a bug in Motorola’s BLUR interface that allows users to make calls using voice actions from a locked screen we told you about last week. We’ve passed the information on to Apple and, hopefully, a fix is included in the next software update. We have a short video demonstrating the bug after the break. More →

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