In Apple’s response to the FCC with regard to why the Google Voice application was rejected (though Apple declines to admit they rejected it, it’s still under “review”) from the App Store, they outlined a number of reasons why the Google Voice app is currently not in the App Store, all of which, are pretty much BS. However, aside from the BS, they are very hypocritical and I’m going to explain why. Below are excerpts from Apple’s response to the FCC and my responses to each.
Apple: “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 spent a lot of time and effort developing this distinct and innovative way to seamlessly deliver core functionality of the iPhone.”
Response: The Google Voice is its own separate application, it does not replace (technically) any of the following features of functionality. Furthermore, do I need to count how many apps in the App Store mimic (or in some cases do better) certain functionality on the iPhone. If Apple were truly sticking to this policy of not allowing apps to have similar functionality or expanded functionality then we shouldn’t have enhanced camera applications, enhanced MMS and/or text messaging applications, or even enhanced calculator applications. But, we do have all of those and they are very popular and in many cases sell very nicely (granted I bet the Google Voice app would be free).
Apple: “For example, on an iPhone, the “Phone” icon that is always shown at the bottom of the Home Screen launches Apple’s mobile telephone application, providing access to Favorites, Recents, Contacts, a Keypad, and Visual Voicemail. The Google Voice application replaces Apple’s Visual Voicemail by routing calls through a separate Google Voice telephone number that stores any voicemail, preventing voicemail from being stored on the iPhone, i.e., disabling Apple’s Visual Voicemail.”
Response: Even if that was true (which it’s not), see my previous response. We have applications that can take over the job of Apple’s default iPhone apps already in the App Store – so what?
Apple: “Similarly, SMS text messages are managed through the Google hub—replacing the iPhone’s text messaging feature.”
Response: Apple, you just, accepted a brand new app into the App Store called Ping! – it replaces your iPhone text messaging feature and the messages are not routed directly through AT&T. Uh, hello. I guess you mistakenly approved that app? For those unfamiliar with Ping! it is essentially iPhone to iPhone messaging – think BBM (Blackberry Messenger) for the iPhone.
At this point, it’s a circus and it is completely ridiculous. There shouldn’t even be a discussion about this, it shouldn’t have happened, especially given that previous Google Voice applications were accepted into the App Store at earlier dates. Apple has turned what should be a non-issue into a major issue at hand here. I expect to see the official Google Voice app in the App Store eventually, but, at what cost (read what changes will have to be made) is the real question now.