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Apple Kills Google Voice Apps On the iPhone 541

Posted by kdawson
from the hey-wait-isn't-he-on-our-board dept.
molnarcs writes "Apple pulls Google Voice-enabled applications from its App Store, citing duplication of functionality. The move affects both Google's official Google Voice and third party apps like Voice Central. Sean Kovacs, main developer of GV Mobile, says that he had personal approval for his app from Phil Shiller, Apple's senior vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing, last April. TechCrunch's Jason Kincaid suspects AT&T behind the move."
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Apple Kills Google Voice Apps On the iPhone

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  • Coming to Cydia (Score:4, Informative)

    by djdavetrouble (442175) on Tuesday July 28, 2009 @04:10PM (#28858037) Homepage

    Don't worry, you can still use it with Cydia!!!

    Also on appulo.us

  • It was AT&T (Score:5, Informative)

    by vertigoCiel (1070374) on Tuesday July 28, 2009 @04:19PM (#28858203)
    According to Jon Gruber, who has reliable sources inside Apple, AT&T pulled their weight to make this happen [daringfireball.net].
  • by introspekt.i (1233118) on Tuesday July 28, 2009 @04:24PM (#28858315)

    Google Voice for phone calls uses at&t minutes, which don't cost Apple.

    Yes but using Google voice to make international calls would be way cheaper than making a phone call on your cell phone with AT&T. At the moment, the iPhone isn't just the device, it's also the infrastructure that supports the iPhone (which you pay gobs for). Google voice offers services that compete with AT&T and the iPhone infrastructure in ways big enough to hurt the bottom line of AT&T, which as you can see from other comments at the least, made this app go pouf disappear.

  • by 0x537461746943 (781157) on Tuesday July 28, 2009 @04:27PM (#28858363)
    The call still gets initiated from the phone over the AT&T voice service(same with SMS over GV). GV just becomes a switching service that reroutes the call. GV is NOT a Voice-Over-IP app that sends the voice calls through the data IP plan of the iphone. It might get around international calling rates though since the call is really to GV and not to the direct party(I don't know about that part).
  • Re:YAWN (Score:3, Informative)

    by moon3 (1530265) on Tuesday July 28, 2009 @04:37PM (#28858531)
    Google got rejected. GOOGLE. That is big ^^ and not a yawn you tit.
  • fear mongering (Score:5, Informative)

    by SuperKendall (25149) on Tuesday July 28, 2009 @05:00PM (#28858907)

    jailbroken iPhone with no official warranty or support

    Who are you, the writer for "Reefer Madness"?

    If you need warranty work done, you simply un-jailbreak it (or restore it from scratch). And not even that is necessary for an obvious hardware flaw.

    It doesn't void your warranty.

    Unlocking is a different matter - but that also has zero to do with Cydia and alternate App Stores.

  • Re:Wow... (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 28, 2009 @05:09PM (#28859043)
    Well Google Voice isn't VoIP, so I am not sure where you are going with this. And GV is already available for the Android platform. Also for Blackberry.
  • Re:Coming to Cydia (Score:5, Informative)

    by Christophotron (812632) on Tuesday July 28, 2009 @05:29PM (#28859327)

    Crappy hardware from HTC? What's crappy about it? Crappy software, sure. Windows Mobile really sucks and needs a lot of work but at least it is easily hackable and upgradeable. HTC are assholes about providing drivers for their GPU chips also. Xda-devs help a LOT in making these phones as good as they can be. I can install any damn software I want to using a .cab file that I can download on the internet.

    The HTC hardware, on the other hand, kicks total ass IMO. I consider it FAR superior to anything else I have used. Of course I probably have different criteria that I am looking for in a phone.

    I want a large, high resolution touchscreen AND a large, comfortable hardware keyboard in a slider or clamshell design. Standard SD card slot for storage and USB port for charging / data transfer are absolute requirements. I also want 3G/HSDPA, Bluetooth, GPS, and perhaps FM radio. 3.5" audio jack is nice to have, too. My HTC Kaiser was near-perfect hardware IMO, and the new Touch Pro 2 is much closer to the mark, since it is higher-res and has 3.5" audio jack in the US versions. Wish it had physical d-pad keys on the face, but oh well, thats the trade-off for a bigger screen. Right now I'm 90% sure my next phone will be the Touch Pro 2 from Sprint.

  • Apple is truly Evil (Score:3, Informative)

    by DiSKiLLeR (17651) on Tuesday July 28, 2009 @05:33PM (#28859373) Homepage Journal

    Apple is truly evil these days.

    What's sad is all sense and reason totally falls away when it comes to Apple.

    Everyone bitches about Microsoft, but as soon as Apple does it, ohhh its all okay! Its okay BECAUSE ITS APPLE!

    WTF people...

  • by bennomatic (691188) on Tuesday July 28, 2009 @05:45PM (#28859533) Homepage
    Ah, but you can use Google Voice to do text messaging, and if you configure it right, those messages never go through AT&T's SMS system, so they can't charge you for them.

    SMS is gold, especially when they can charge you--what is it?--$10/mo for 500 texts. They don't want to lose that by having your SMS data going over the flat-rate data plan. You know, because SMS data are not bits like the 3G network bits, no way they could ever change that. Except, of course, Google has.

    I love all the Apple bashing; I'm sure Apple could care less, but AT&T sees a threat, and for the time being, they're the exclusive provider and they set at least some of the rules.

    Just the other day, the CEO of AT&T indicated that he knew which way the wind was blowing, and that he didn't expect the lucrative exclusive deal to last forever; you'd think that they'd try a little harder to make iPhone users *want* to stay with AT&T...
  • by recoiledsnake (879048) on Tuesday July 28, 2009 @05:51PM (#28859607)

    ... the App Store sucks. This is yet another example of why it's bad that for a given platform, you are required to get your software from a manufacturer approved repository. Don't get me wrong, repositories are great. But not if you're forced to use them, and especially not when the repository owner manipulates the software selection to suit themselves. I smell an anti-competitive lawsuit in the making here.

    You forgot the forced nice 30% cut of whatever the developer gets.

  • Re:Coming to Cydia (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 28, 2009 @06:31PM (#28860065)

    Look for a program called "Backgrounder". It does what it implies.

  • by QuoteMstr (55051) <dan.colascione@gmail.com> on Tuesday July 28, 2009 @07:32PM (#28860571)

    30? [precentral.net]

  • Re:Coming to Cydia (Score:5, Informative)

    by dunkelfalke (91624) on Tuesday July 28, 2009 @07:41PM (#28860635)

    Crappy hardware coming from HTC? Are you nuts?

    Let's compare my HTC Touch HD (which is an older device) to the newest iPhone 3GS:

    Size: 115 x 62.8 x 12 mm vs 115.5 x 62.1 x 12.3 mm - no real difference
    Weight: 133 grams vs 146 grams - iPhone wins
    Display size: 3.8" vs 3.5" - Touch HD wins
    Display resolution: 480x800 vs 480x320 - Touch HD wins big time
    RAM: 288 MB vs 256 MB - Touch HD wins
    Internal memory: 512 MB vs 8GB or 16GB: iPhone wins
    Memory card: microSDHC up to 32GB vs none at all - Touch HD wins big time again (and you get a 8GB or 16GB card with every new Touch HD)
    Camera: 5 MP with video and 1.5 MP forward camera vs 3 MP with video - Touch HD wins
    Battery: 1350 mAh removable battary vs 1219 mAh non-removable battery - Touch HD wins big time

    HTC has managed to put a bigger, higher resolution screen, microSDHC drive, a bigger, removable battery, a 3.5mm headphone jack and a higher resolution camera into a package of same size and nearly same weight as iPhone 3GS (thus negating the arguments that a removable battery and a memory card drive add so much to the device size). How is it crappy now?

  • by mjwx (966435) on Tuesday July 28, 2009 @09:33PM (#28861349)

    Sorry, too much money is being made for all developers to abandon the device. There are over 100,000 developers,

    You're assuming that every developer is making money. You'll find that maybe the top 4 or 5% are making their money back and only the top 1 or 2% are actually making a profit. This is typical when a market is over saturated.

    Once large development houses get involved and start making deals the smaller developers will be squeezed out of the market by the costs of the SDK, waiting for publshing approval, the risk of disapproval as well as the development time itself. Once this happens the cost of iphone apps will rise.

  • Re:Hmm (Score:2, Informative)

    by jgostling (1480343) on Tuesday July 28, 2009 @09:42PM (#28861399)
    With XNA the XBox is the most open of the game consoles from a developer's point of view. PS3 allows you to run Linux, but access to the video hardware is quite limited, and for the Wii your only route to hobby development is homebrew.

    Cheers!
  • by novakreo (598689) on Tuesday July 28, 2009 @11:33PM (#28862003) Homepage

    And Apple designs their products such that they are owned and controlled completely by Apple even after you've bought them from Apple. You consider that a good design?

    Okay, I'll bite. You have a point regarding the iPhone, but how is an Apple computer owned or controlled by Apple after purchase? Nothing stops you from installing whatever applications or operating system(s) you want.

  • Re:Hmm (Score:3, Informative)

    by shutdown -p now (807394) on Wednesday July 29, 2009 @01:29AM (#28862613) Journal

    You're too young to remember "The job's not done 'til Lotus won't run." Microsoft apparently would make minor changes in MS-DOS and early versions of Windows so that Lotus 1-2-3 (the most popular spreadsheet of the era) wouldn't work right.

    The "Lotus myth" was debunked [proudlyserving.com] a long time ago, and the story even made it to Slashdot [slashdot.org].

    If you actually want a real example of that, it would be the story of deliberate incompatibility of Windows (3.1 beta, specifically) with DR-DOS, due to a number of specific checks - the AARD code [wikipedia.org]. Which, I agree, wasn't nice at all - especially as the associated emails clearly show it to be a deliberate anticompetitive measure - but it's a very different thing, as the issue there wasn't Microsoft OS doing something deliberate to prevent third party software from working, but rather Microsoft software doing something deliberate to prevent itself from working on a third-party OS. It should also be noted that AARD code didn't make it into the final 3.1 release.

    It's also fairly ancient (1994) piece of history, so its relevance when comparing to 2009 Apple tactics is questionable.

  • by agrif (960591) on Wednesday July 29, 2009 @01:57AM (#28862729) Homepage

    It is very unlikely that a jailbroken iPhone will brick during an update, at least as long as Apple keeps doing updates the way they have in the past. Updates are distributed as disk images, which overwrite the partition on the iPhone that does not hold music. It's hard to make the system inoperable when you replace the whole system at once.

    In addition, if you do brick the iPhone, it has a really handy feature where holding down both buttons in a really precise but not particularly hard sequence will put it into a mode where the whole disk can be accessed by iTunes. Even the most dead iPhone can be restored this way. If this doesn't work, then chances are something happened to your iPhone at the hardware level, not the software level.

    Where you'll really get in to trouble with bricked iPhones is unlocking, which is different from jailbreaking. An unlocked iPhone can be used with SIM cards from other carriers, so you could use your iPhone with Verizon, etc. To unlock the iPhone, you need to overwrite the firmware in the cellular modem, and if there's an update to that firmware in the future, or an update to the OS that expects different firmware, this can brick your iPhone pretty irretrievably.

  • Re:Coming to Cydia (Score:3, Informative)

    by jo_ham (604554) <(moc.liamg) (ta) (999mahoj)> on Wednesday July 29, 2009 @07:15AM (#28864211)

    There is no anti trust here - Apple is nowhere near a monopoly share of the phone market, or the carrier networks it uses for voice/sms.

    People throw around the word "anti trust" without really understanding what it means, or what conditions are required to enable it.

    While Apple have done this because of AT&T, and thus don't need to do it outside the US, even if it does happen here there's no illegality in it (even if it is a stupid move).

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