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Apple approves Google Voice app

Wed, 11/17/2010 - 7:05am
Andrew Berg, Wireless Week

Remember a while back when the best daytime drama in the wireless industry was Apple's rejection of the Google Voice app? Well, the waters appear to have calmed with yesterday's appearance of an official Google Voice app on Apple's iTunes App Store.

Google Voice assigns users a new phone number and allows them to make and receive free phone calls from any phone or computer. The service also includes cheap international calling rates, voicemail transcription and screening features.

Earlier this year, Google launched Google Voice HTML5, a Web app for iPhone users that did an end-around of Apple's approval process by offering the service through the mobile browser. A post on Google's Google Voice Blog promises a better user experience with the new native app.

The new app provides all of the same features as the HTML5 version, but it adds push notifications, as well as the promise that a call will be placed faster due to the use of Direct Access Numbers (DAN).

Approval comes almost a year after Apple initially rejected the app, prompting an inquiry of the matter by the FCC, which was concerned that Apple and AT&T might be attempting to stifle competition.

Apple responded by saying that it had not rejected the app but was in fact holding it for further consideration on grounds that it may duplicate some of the iPhone's core functionality. AT&T responded to the FCC by saying that the decision to reject the app was entirely Apple's.

The Google Voice app is now available for free in the iTunes App Store.

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