In Morning Hangover #13, I wrote about Google releasing mobile applications for its Google Voice product. The apps were initially available for the Android and BlackBerry platforms. At the time, an iPhone app was promised. It's here...but unfortunately, you can't have it, because Apple said so. According to TechCrunch:
"We’ve learned that Apple has blocked Google’s official Google Voice application itself from the App Store. In other words, Google Voice -- one of the best things to happen to telephony services in a very long time -- will have no presence at all on the App Store. If there’s ever been a time to be furious with Apple, now is it."
I'm a VoIP nerd, so I've been playing around with the BlackBerry version of Google Voice for the last few weeks. The international rates are very competitive and the overseas call quality has been excellent. For some people, the voicemail-transcribing feature is extremely convenient; I'm not yet sold on it, but it's certainly novel. Unfortunately for iPhone users, they won't be able to experience the mobile version of Google Voice...for reasons that seem a bit fishy. TechCrunch has surmised that AT&T pushed Apple into blocking the program:
"It’s not hard to guess who’s behind the restriction: our old friend AT&T. Google Voice scares the carriers. It allows users to send free SMS messages and get cheap long-distance over Google Voice’s lines."
Although Skype offers some of the same features, it can only be used on the iPhone via WiFi. Assuming TechCrunch is correct, this is probably why AT&T is fine with Skype, but not cool with Google Voice. Either way, it sucks that iPhone users are being denied a cool telephony app.
What do you think of Google Voice being app blocked? Are you angry at AT&T? Angry at Apple? Or do you not give a damn about VoIP apps?