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  • Black Swan's "Weblication" Improves on Google Voice for iPhone


    Last July, Apple refused to allow Google Voice's iPhone app onto the App Store, claiming it violated the iPhone SDK's restriction against duplicating native features like dialer and SMS, after pulling the third-party GV Mobile app for the same reasons. And despite the fact that Vonage's app is essentially feature-for-feature the same, Google's app remains banned from the App Store. So in January, Google decided to do an end-run around the App Store and release a mobile Web portal to Google Voice, allowing iPhones as well as other devices with HTML5-compliant browsers to access the service. Now, Riverturn has also come out with a feature-rich Google Voice front end - what it terms a "weblication" - called VoiceCentral Black Swan.

    This weblication is simply a Safari link on your Home screen that goes to the Voice Central site, a Google App Engine-powered middleware layer between your iPhone and Google Voice. Since all the processing is done in the cloud, the app is quick and much slicker than the one at m.google.com/voice. The dialer and contacts screens all resemble the native iPhone interface, with little details like swipe-to-delete and navigation icons at the bottom of the page.

    The web approach is definitely a clever way to escape the App Store tyranny, but certain limitations of Safari create flaws in the otherwise seamless look-and-feel of VoiceCentral. When you dial, for example, Google Voice calls your phone and you have to answer your phone to place a call. It's pretty strange, though it's not hard to get used to once you're expecting it. Another unexpected but manageable quirk is due to the fact that Safari can't use the earpiece to play sounds: you have to listen to your voicemail through the built in speakers or through headphones. And you won't be able to use your iPhone's contact list, but this is fairly easily worked around by using Google Sync.

    It's a web app, and free for the basic version: just go to voicecentral.riverturn.com/install to load the client-side databases and create the Home Screen link. Riverturn is having a sale on its Premium Subscription: for $6 US a year - discounted from $10 - you get to import contact pictures, a Do Not Disturb option, unlimited calling history and (coming soon) inbox searches. Premium subscribers can also get live response to support requests within 24 hours. They're currently offering 7 days free subscription for anyone who wants to try the Premium feature set.
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Black Swan's "Weblication" Improves on Google Voice for iPhone started by Paul Daniel Ash View original post
    Comments 13 Comments
    1. stevelucky's Avatar
      stevelucky -
      What's the benefit of this over GV Mobile? I guess GV Mobile requires a jailbroken iPhone...
    1. matthew1111's Avatar
      matthew1111 -
      Yeah, just jailbreak your iPhone. Problem Solved.
    1. feng303's Avatar
      feng303 -
      as a constant user of google voice for free texts, with push notificaiton with voiceprowl, i have tested GV mobile +, the google web app, and black swan today....with regards to speed it seems that the black swan is faster, then the google webapp, then GV mobile +
    1. jason3675's Avatar
      jason3675 -
      how do i get a google voice account
    1. feng303's Avatar
      feng303 -
      i have 2 invites left. pay me? LOL
    1. iLaw-One's Avatar
      iLaw-One -
      Unfortunately, GV is still not available outside the US! When are they going to make it available???
    1. moon#pie's Avatar
      moon#pie -
      GV mobile + is the best. I tested out blackswan yesterday and liked that it saves texts offline, but I think that it's too slow. Still GV mobile + for me.
    1. pyromcr's Avatar
      pyromcr -
      they should release google voice on cydia. i would get it...
    1. Lazworks's Avatar
      Lazworks -
      Cydia is where you get Google Voice. Search for GV Mobile.
    1. knguyen's Avatar
      knguyen -
      Quote Originally Posted by pyromcr View Post
      they should release google voice on cydia. i would get it...
      There is an app for google voice in Cydia and it's called GV Mobile. If you're speaking of an app made by Google, then that will never happen. I'm sure Google does not want to be anyway involved with the JB community. Sure they hate Apple, but it's good business ethics on their part.
    1. romeo_herman's Avatar
      romeo_herman -
      Quote Originally Posted by Lazworks View Post
      Cydia is where you get Google Voice. Search for GV Mobile.
      Yeah, but you must have googlevoice account first.....
    1. rest_easy's Avatar
      rest_easy -
      I'm wondering what is the benefits of google voice?
      Doesn't it use your minutes and data anyhow and such? What do I gain in having it? Thanks.
    1. DayumQuitPlayin's Avatar
      DayumQuitPlayin -
      The main benefit of having GV is that you have one number that you give out. This one number is associated with your home, work, cell, etc. You control who calls you and which calls rings which phones. Basically it's a way to forward calls. Another benefit is free text messages. Right now MMS isn't supported.

      All in all, GV is great for someone who has more than one or two numbers. You can manage them all using GV.