Paras Chadha

Official Google Voice App for the iPhone!

Google Voice has been out for almost a year now and is being used by thousands of people. Majority of smart phones even provide an application for it to make it much easier to use (the default way of using it tends to be quite sloppy). Of all smart phones to not offer a Google Voice application, the one that doesn’t is the top selling smart phone and the phone with the largest application store: the iPhone. Google has remade the app several times and continued reapplying it so that it can be added to the app store, however it keeps getting rejected by Apple. Google Voice apparently was rejected since it “replicated features already present in the iPhone.” Rumor has it that it was actually rejected due to a dispute with AT&T. Most companies probably would have given up at that point, but lucky for us Google always gets what it wants.

The Google Voice application is now available to all iPhones rather then just jailbroken ones! How did they make this possible though? They did this by making it a web-based app in the Safari browser (like the old apps back before the app store was released). This gets them around the app store and it is hosted by Google servers so Apple has no way of removing it. The real question is, since it’s web based will it be able to compare with the application released in Cydia for jailbroken phones?

Since this app is a web based app, it definitely gives it a bunch of handicaps. Lucky you all, I’m awesome and I went ahead and compared both the applications. From what I noticed the web based app has close to no load time. When loading the app between GV Mobile (Jailbroken App) and the Google Voice website, the Google Voice website loads MUCH quicker then GV Mobile. Another plus to this application is making calls itself, it doesn’t call you back with your Google Voice number (building a longer process for making calls). Instead it provides us with a number to call, and we call it, that’s it, it forwards to the number we dialed and just masks our number with the Google Voice number! Everything else is pretty well organized. Text messages work about the same way just look slightly different. Although this seems all great there are some bad sides to this application. One of the bad sides to this application is the fact that it’s web based. Web based apps don’t have the freedom that regular apps do. For example GV Mobile provides sounds when dialing numbers so you have a feeling of dialing while you’re looking at a number (kind of a feedback that you’re a dialing) unlike the web where it stays completely silent.

When it comes to the actual use of the application it really is a personal preference thing on whether you want to use GV Mobile or the web application. I personally prefer the Jailbroken application, although it takes longer to load, it feels much more user friendly, but I’m sure with a few updates to the web app they’ll probably pull me in. Now with the web app in mind, since they already have the app out there, maybe this will give apple/AT&T a hint to allow the application in the app store, since users are getting the app either way, if anything allowing the app will sell more phones, since the lack of Google Voice was a joke on the iPhone in the smart phone community.