Google Voice Finally on App Store
Almost a year and a half since they first submitted it to Apple, Google finally has their own Google Voice app
for the iPhone on the App Store. But it's an extremely different environment now, with many alternatives for both jailed and jailbroken iPhones, and it's unclear that the name-brand app is a significant improvement.
Google first submitted the Google Voice app 16 months ago, but its application languished in limbo: not approved, but not rejected either. Other third-party apps that operated as front-ends to the Google Voice service were explicitly rejected, however, with Apple claiming that they duplicated native iPhone functionality. After complaints from Google and US lawmakers, the Federal Communications Commission sent a request for information about the Google Voice submission to not only Apple but AT&T as well, based on suspicions that AT&T had unfairly blocked the app for use on its network. AT&T blamed it on Apple, and Apple, for its part, said the app "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 updated the approval guidelines for apps on September 9 of this year removing any reference to "duplicate functionality" and opening the way for apps like GV Mobile, which made it to the App Store after being available on Cydia since July 2009. Google's app provides much of the same functionality, but can't run on an iPad or iPod touch, like the GV Mobile + app can. What's more, the Google app has some fit and finish issues: the Add Contact button on the dialer doesn't work, for example.
You can't beat the price (free), but in this case, you get what you pay for. Time will tell if Google puts significant development resources into the app.