Why Apple Needs to Welcome Google Voice App This Time
NEWS ANALYSIS: A new Google Voice app might be making its way to the Web for mobile Safari users to access. In order to make amends for legions of iPhone users upset at the first rejection, Apple needs to take advantage of this second opportunity with the Google Voice app and accept that new app with open arms.Apple is getting another chance at welcoming the Google Voice telephony app. Only this time, when Google finally makes its app available, Apple might not have a choice. So, to save face, Apple needs to welcome it, accept that iPhone owners will use it, and move on.
David Pogue of The New York Times reported in his column Thursday that the new Google Voice app "will take the form of a specialized, iPhone-shaped Web page." According to Pogue, the app will do basically everything that the original Google Voice app did, but this one will be available online. Users will be able to access it from their mobile Safari browser. Thanks to the iPhone's ability to place bookmarked Web pages on the home screen, users would have easy access to the app as if it were a native application they downloaded from the Apple App Store.
It's a bold move by Google. The company's Google Voice app was rejected by Apple, which claimed it had too many features that overlapped with iPhone functionality. When that happened, the blogosphere exploded, leading some folks to question Apple's motives. It also left a bad taste in the mouths of many iPhone owners who want to have the additional option of placing calls through Google's service.
By making its app available online through the mobile Safari browser, Google can effectively cut Apple out of the equation. Since the app won't be in the App Store, it doesn't need Apple's approval. More importantly, it doesn't need to wait for Apple to reject it once again for little or no reason. It's a workaround. And it's something that could make Apple look bad. Or, if it plays its cards right, it could help it redeem itself.