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Apple rejects official Google Voice app, clears App Store of third-party offerings

Zach Epstein
July 28th, 2009 at 10:48 AM

Ohhhh, Apple. In this latest chapter of the schizophrenic soap opera that is Apple’s relationship with iPhone developers, Apple has rejected Google’s Google Voice application. Here’s why, according to a Google spokesperson:

We work hard to bring Google applications to a number of mobile platforms, including the iPhone. Apple did not approve the Google Voice application we submitted six weeks ago to the Apple App Store. We will continue to work to bring our services to iPhone users — for example, by taking advantage of advances in mobile browsers.

Long story short, Google will be forced to whip up some bootleg web app as it did with Latitude because Apple is, at times, ridiculous when it comes to App Store policies. But the story doesn’t end there. Apparently Google’s rejection prompted Apple to sift through the Store and remove third party Google Voice apps with little or no warning. The reasoning? They duplicate features already found on the iPhone such as the dialer and SMS. Apparently these apps didn’t duplicate the aforementioned features when they were first approved months ago… But they do now.

That makes perfect sense of course, and maintains the same position Apple has taken with the approval process from the start. It’s not like Apple would approve 300 browser apps that duplicate the features of Safari… Or approve a bunch of calculators that duplicate the features of the Calculator app… Or approve a thousand weather apps that duplicate the features of Apple’s Weather app… Or approve a bazillion to-do list apps that duplicate the features of Notes… And so on.

In the end, what we really want to know is this: since Apple is pulling GV Mobile, VoiceCentral and the like from the App Store — thus ceasing development and blocking support (why would a dev support an app he/she can no longer make money on?) — will Apple be refunding the purchase price of these apps to customers at its own expense? Yeah we doubt it, too. If you’ve purchased a Google Voice app and would like to request a refund at Apple’s expense however, we most definitely urge you to do so. Just don’t hold your breath for a response.

Bottom line… Jailbreak.

UPDATE: A few people have hit us to let us know that GV Mobile is now available in the Cydia Store. We imagine others will follow suit soon enough — so once again, jailbreak.

Zach Epstein

Zach Epstein has worked in and around ICT for more than 15 years, first in marketing and business development with two private telcos, then as a writer and editor covering business news, consumer electronics and telecommunications. Zach’s work has been quoted by countless top news publications in the US and around the world. He was also recently named one of the world's top-10 “power mobile influencers” by Forbes, as well as one of Inc. Magazine's top-30 Internet of Things experts.

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