Vonage iPhone App Released; GVoice Still in Limbo
image via AllThingsDigital
Having rejected an app
for allegedly "replacing the iPhone's core mobile telephone functionality and Apple user interface with its own user interface for telephone calls," Apple approved an app that pretty much replaces the iPhone's core mobile telephone functionality and Apple user interface: Vonage Mobile, now available as a free download
When the iPhone is connected to a WiFi network, Vonage sends calls over the data link, bypassing the wireless carrier entirely. When WiFi is not available, the calls go through the carrier's network, using up minutes on the user's wireless plan, and transporting the calls over the Vonage network to domestic and international numbers. Vonage users must pre-pay their airtime, though reports indicate that an all-you-can-eat flat fee will be rolled out later this year.
According to an Apple spokesperson
, Apple Vonage's application to be in the same category as other VoIP apps, such as Skype Mobile, that have already been approved for the iPhone. She declined to answer whether Apple considers there to be significant differences between Vonage's program and Google Voice... even though like Vonage - and unlike Skype -Google Voice uses the cellular network when WiFi is unavailable.
The FCC is still probing a dispute between Google and Apple
over Apple's non-rejection rejection of the Google Voice app.