As quickly as Google Voice was beginning to pick up some steam—with a public beta version due out in September—it has been effectively shunned from one of the biggest smartphone platforms out there. Apple has removed Sean Kovacs’ GV Mobile and Riverturn’s Voice Central, the excellent Google Voice apps, from the App Store.
Kovacs recounted his experience on his blog:
Richard Chipman from Apple just called – he told me they’re removing GV Mobile from the App Store due to it duplicating features that the iPhone comes with (Dialer, SMS, etc). He didn’t actually specify which features, although I assume the whole app in general.
“Duplicating features,” huh? Apple’s getting a little too protective with its selection for application entry into the App Store, this blogger thinks. This marks the second time Apple has diverted a Google app from the App Store, providing another twist between Apple’s and Google’s relationship.
Though users can still use their phones to access Google Voice, it can only be through the tough and tedious way, the precise problem the now-banned applications were created to solve. Google Voice makes phone calls like any other regular cell phone: through the cellular provider. In a sense, Google Voice is merely a different way to make phone calls, but still requires users to use cellular voice plans to do so.
It’s 2009, but it’s beginning to seem like 1984 all over again.