Posts Tagged ‘Google Voice’

Google Voice on iPhone. At Last

17 Nov

If it seems like a lot more than a year that Google Voice has been languishing in the limbo between Google’s labs and the iTunes App Store, that’s because it is. Google’s one-phone-number-everywhere service served as the best example of Apple’s byzantine and opaque app “approval” process.

Now, Google Voice is back, and available as a free download for U.S iPhone owners. With it, you can all but replace the iPhone’s phone app, receiving push notifications for incoming texts and voicemails, read (often hilariously inaccurate) transcripts of those voicemails and make calls to contacts in the iPhone’s built-in address book. Your caller Google Voice caller ID is even shown to people you call.

This is really the last step in Google-fying your iPhone – Gmail has long been a first-class iPhone citizen, and the maps app is powered by Google.

Why use Google Voice? The service lets you assign all your phones to one number, be they mobile, home or office. Callers call this number but you choose where you answer, and you have fine-grained control over how incoming calls and texts are handled.

Calls are still routed over the regular cell network. As our own Brian Chen pointed out back in January, Google Voice isn’t VoIP: it uses the iPhone’s telephone app to place calls. Tell this to the metric-ton of commenters on the App Store who are complaining that the app won’t work on the iPod Touch.

So there we have it. Apple is finally “open”. Or at least those who like to complain that Apple is “closed” (by not supporting proprietary, inefficient and badly-coded browser plugins, say) have now lost their best weapon.

For more coverage, and a history of the Google Voice app, see this great post from our sister blog, Epicenter.

Google Voice [App Store]

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