All right, stop the presses, because hell just froze over. After more than a year, Apple has finally okayed the Google Voice App for the iTunes App Store. The app allows iPhone users to route call to multiple phone numbers as well as make cheap phone calls, something that cannot possibly have pleased Apple or carrier At&T. In fact, Google claims that the app was earlier rejected by Apple after being submitted in June 2009 for duplicating the core functionality of the phone. However, Apple has denied this charge, instead claiming that they have spent the last one and a half years studying the app. Of course, this came after the Federal Communications Commission or the FCC started an investigation into Apple’s app store practices and policies.
The bad blood between Google and Apple is hardly a secret, with the two tech companies battling it out for the crown of the king of smartphone OSs. While Apple iOS maintains a healthy lead in terms of apps, Android has shot up to become the second most popular global smartphone platform thanks to the fact that it’s free and open source and thus, implemented in many third party devices, unlike the iOS which can only be found in Apple products. However, it is this free and open source nature of the Android platform that has given rise to its biggest problem – fragmentation. Moreover, because of Apple’s tight control over the iTunes app store, which is the iOSs only official app store, the quality of iPhone apps are also much more stringently monitored.
Coming back to Google Voice, it’s certainly good to see the app on the App Store, because it’s an incredibly useful app and a favorite of many. However, this is hardly any sort of reconciliation between the two hottest names in mobile, so expect this war to get even more bloody in the months to come.