Apple denies the denial of Google Voice app

Apple denies the denial of Google Voice app

Summary: Google Voice is a cool new service that Google is working hard on -- and part of their effort includes bringing it to mobile devices.Google has already made apps for Android, and Blackberry phones, however, Apple is playing hard to get.


Google Voice is a cool new service that Google is working hard on -- and part of their effort includes bringing it to mobile devices.

Google has already made apps for Android, and Blackberry phones, however, Apple is playing hard to get. The FCC officially questioned Apple's "denial" of the Google Voice app in their app store, and their response was basically "we haven't denied it, we just haven't approved it".

In Apple's response to the FCC, they explained some things that are causing them to stutter -- including the fact that the Google Voice application would replace the native dialer.

The application has not been approved because, as submitted for review, it appears to alter the iPhone’s distinctive user experience by replacing the iPhone’s core mobile telephone functionality and Apple user interface with its own user interface for telephone calls, text messaging and voicemail. -- Apple

But if that is actually the case, and AT&T has nothing to do with the "denial" of Google Voice -- why is RingCentral still part of the App Store?

According to Philip Elmer-DeWitt, RingCentral is basically the same thing, except there may be some interesting dealings going on under the covers there:

RingCentral has signed a strategic agreement with AT&T to do "something much bigger and cooler that they will not discuss openly because of intense competition."

What do you think of the rejection of Google Voice? Do you buy Apple's response?

Topics: Telcos, Apple, Google, Government, Government US

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  • follow the money

    If it's in Apple's financial interest find a reason - any reason- to deny the app, I believe they will.

    If an altered user experience results in people being not will to pay a premium for the product, then I can see the concern.

    More of a concern though is users knowing they are using a Google app to do what they really want. If that's the case, then why not go for Android (OK the iphone has better hardware but not everyone knows that [I have Android myself]).

    The main problem is that it's from Google. We know that, you know that and they know that.

    Apple doesn't think it's users can tell the difference between the phone and an app. If I don't like an app, I don't use it. Is Apple saying their interface can't be changed back.

    Apple is arguing that people won't use the iphone if they don't like a Google app. Aren't users smart enough to pick the interface they prefer.

    I said it before and will say it again -- Apple is asserting that users are stupid. Is the app really going to ruin the phone? I can't get my beloved Apple dialer back.

    (writing this from my MacBook which I love and use to write apps for Android)
    • FCC needs to be regulated

      Funny how federal government w/ a massive negative balance sheet is trying to order around how profiting business like Apple should conduct their business. Look at the tens of trillions dollars of debt and obligation they have no idea how to pay off. If Apple followed FCC' directions, they'd be in no time as broke as these perennial money losing pits run by government such as Post Office, Social Security, Medicare, Fannie & Freddie and maybe soon universal health care. It's like a college student w/ straight 'F's on his transcript regarding himself qualified to dictate how a straight 'A' student should conduct his study. What a joke.
      • A better analogy would be

        the student with straight Fs telling all the C students that if they let him
        run their lives, he'll beat up the A student, steal his beer and give it to
        them. Whereupon all the C students proclaim him as their savior and
        • Fail...

          The FCC may be overstepping their bounds, but the public still should know how Apple conducts business and that in buying an iPhone they are locking themselves and their wallets into Apple's own mini-monopoly.
          • Calling users stupid

            And what, pray tell, makes you think that they don't already know this?
            What makes you think that this is not a PRIME reason the buy the iPhone
            in the first place?

            Seems the only person calling users stupid here is you.
      • Thats interesting....

        ...when the conservatives are in office no one is worried about the deficit and debt though they are climbing out the window. Now all of a sudden 9 months or so after they ran it up its a big problem and the "government" doesn't know what its doing.

        Lets just call a spade a spade. The CONSERVATIVES ran up the debt and THEY need to be regulated. They are no longer in power so the FCC should go right on ahead doing the business of the people as it should be.
        • Not so fast, Johnny

          I didn't specifically lay the blame on one party, did I? All I criticized was government which covers both sides. But then you just could not hold off the eager for a partisan fight. Fine, you want it, you can have it.

          Wasn't it Bush that tried to regulate Fannie & Freddie only to be blocked by the liberals in congress? Barney Frank and Chris Dodd were the ones saying "F&F are fundamentally sound... creating wealth... not in any danger... no reason to be panic... going forward will be solid... blah blah blah", weren't they? Now after F&F almost completely crashed the national economy and had to be bailed out w/ tax payers' money, it suddenly became that conservatives didn't regulate? LOL. Yeah, let's call a spade a spade. If only you could handle a dose of own medicine.

          Try looking into the mirror first next time before firing a pot shot.
      • Missing the point

        The FCC is not "trying to order around how profiting business like Apple should conduct their business."
        Their job is to make sure said profiting businesses don't abuse their position. Abusing their position stifles innovation.

        This has been a basic principal in the US for quite some time, and has been enforced against other companies. I fail to see why people take such offense when it's trying to be enforced against Apple.
        • Probably because Microsoft was granted a free pass!

          Face it, Microsoft is the Robber Baron...from 1980 through today. Microsoft's free pass will continue and that sets a precedent for other companies to get a free pass. Microsoft has doomed us all!

          The danger is Real! The Danger is Microsoft!
          No More Microsoft Software Ever!
  • Net neutrality enforcement on wireless networks

    The issue with Google Voice is just a symptom of a much bigger problem: lack of enforcement for net neutrality on wireless networks.

    "Wired" broadband service providers do not:
    1. restrict what software you can install on your PC.
    2. restrict what data you can send/receive over your broadband connection.

    Why are "wireless" broadband service providers allowed to do this?
    • Net neutrality is irrelevant

      If wired service providers provided you with a subsidized PC, and wrote
      the OS on it, there is NO regulation in place that would prevent them
      from implementing similar restrictions. Net neutrality has noting to do
      with this issue.
    • What's in the Best Interest of the Public? FCC's Role

      In my opinion, the FCC should "butt in" and force AT&T to act in the best interest of the public. The public spectrum and AT&T's license to use it is regulated by the FCC for the public, in the public's best interest.

      Though hard to swallow...even by me, please FCC: [B]Compel AT&T to force Apple to act in the public's interest[/B] by forcing Apple to open the app store to all external developers or force them to close the store to all external developers. You can't have it both ways and call it in the public interest.

      Any other mandate violates the public's best interest in use of the airwaves by AT&T and allows Apple's anti-trust actions to continue to stifle competition.

      Not meaning to change the subject. The "new Government??s philosophy seems to be to regulate everything in our lives (so to speak). They have gone as far as to toss the constitution and take over nearly the entire auto industry and banking industry in a day or so. Why not send a similar message to AT&T and Apple that if they don't start operating in the public's best interest, they will be forced to start to do so or be assimilated. Just a Left, Right, Liberal, Conservative citizen's opinion, wanting to see the right thing is done.

      Please don't start a flame war over this, as this is my opinion only. I am not a constitutional expert or an attorney. I personally just want to see the right thing done and see Apple's childish actions put to an end. [B]I sincerely hope they, Apple, listen to their customers and do the right thing on their own.[/B]

      • No worries about a flame war over your post. Everyone is just ignoring it.

        I mean, it's not like you posted anything worthy or something!
        No More Microsoft Software Ever!
  • RE: Apple denies the denial of Google Voice app

    My guess is that Apple is coming up with their own app
    to do this and is dragging their feet in approval of
    the Google app because they want to promote their own
    first...they don't want the competition from Google
    before they roll out theirs. There must be $$$ in it
    for Apple.

    All I know is that personally my AT&T service is very
    poor in my home and in some areas. Since it is so poor
    at home, I can hardly use my cell but I can use my
    WiFi on it. I would welcome an app to get around AT&T
    at home. Too many garbled sounds and many, many
    dropped calls since June especially.
    • Poor AT&T voice quality and about 80% EDGE service in full 3G area

      I couldn't agree more about AT&T's service quality being VERY poor. I rarely get 3G service, though I am in a full 3G area in Los Angeles. Even with 5 bars, I can rarely talk more than a few minutes before being dropped. There are frequent dropouts in conversations, causing loss of parts of words to several words.

      The communication always sounds like your head is in a fishbowl. I regret re-upping my contract, though the early termination fee is less than a month's service. Any opinions...should I switch to Sprint or Verizon? I need a phone with Blackberry or possibly unlocked iPhone and a family plan for 4 phones. 2 Blackberry and 2 basic vioce + Text.
      • I find that hard to believe. Is your iPhone encased in LEAD?

        I get 3G service everywhere I go. No dropped calls. I live in the Bay Area, CA and drive down the I-5 to LA and Orange Counties. Many places between switch to EDGE but from LA (Magic Mountain territory) all the way thru Orange County (Laguna Beach territory) 3G works and I can place and receive calls without a single drop out.

        Perhaps you are leaning on your End Call button? Otherwise, check with an Apple Expert. Your phone is one in a million (i.e. not working as it should).
        No More Microsoft Software Ever!
    • AT&T service for me is superior to my prior T-Mobile service.

      I would like a voice activated dial interface. If Apple is working on it and get's it done in the next 6 months I have no problems.

      Although, based on limited research, Google Voice is not voice dial. It's a voice mailbox system, right?

      I want Voice Dial! Give it to us, Apple!
      No More Microsoft Software Ever!
  • RE: Apple denies the denial of Google Voice app

    Stalling. The FCC, Google, and progress. Apple does not want to make it easy for iphone users to experience Android ideas. They are well aware of the coming battle and doing everything they can to hold ground now. There will be books about it soon enough.
  • RE: Apple denies the denial of Google Voice app

    Since when do we require a business to offer the competitors
    product? It's like telling Chrysler they have to sell Fords and
    Hondas too. And since when is it a crime to base your
    business decisions on profit? Of course it's about dollars.
    Why would you hand over profit to a competitor???
  • Open request to Google...

    ...please quit tiptoeing around Apple. Put multi-touch into Android (though it really serves no real purpose) and any other features you're holding back because of Apple. You see they aren't going to play so nicely when the shoe is on the other foot so go ahead and open the full whup arse on them.