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Apple Kills Google Voice Apps On the iPhone

kdawson posted more than 5 years ago | from the hey-wait-isn't-he-on-our-board dept.

Communications 541

molnarcs writes "Apple pulls Google Voice-enabled applications from its App Store, citing duplication of functionality. The move affects both Google's official Google Voice and third party apps like Voice Central. Sean Kovacs, main developer of GV Mobile, says that he had personal approval for his app from Phil Shiller, Apple's senior vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing, last April. TechCrunch's Jason Kincaid suspects AT&T behind the move."

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Coming to Cydia (3, Informative)

djdavetrouble (442175) | more than 5 years ago | (#28858037)

Don't worry, you can still use it with Cydia!!!

Also on appulo.us

Re:Coming to Cydia (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28858053)

Fucking faggot.

Re:Coming to Cydia (0, Redundant)

hofmny (1517499) | more than 5 years ago | (#28858459)

Is it coming to Cydia or are you saying it is already there, because I cannot find it when I search? Also the repository appulo.us doesn't exist. I just created my Google phone number a few days ago and I was wondering when I could use it on my iPhone. This is really, really messed up of Apple/ATT. I am really sick of them making the most retarded decisions regarding what applications I can install on MY device (thank God for Cydia).

Really though, this should be added to Cydia and thrown up on torrents for everyone to download and install (if you jailbroke). Does anyone have a copy of the Google Voice Apps that they can share for everyone on a torrent somewhere?

Re:Coming to Cydia (0, Redundant)

hofmny (1517499) | more than 5 years ago | (#28858549)

OK, I found it.

Right now, only the 3rd party Application GV Mobile is available on Cydia. Download away and thumb your nose at ATT.

Re:Coming to Cydia (5, Insightful)

TooMuchToDo (882796) | more than 5 years ago | (#28858763)

I am really sick of them making the most retarded decisions regarding what applications I can install on MY device

It's really easy to ensure Apple doesn't control what software run on YOUR device. Buy your device from a manufacturer who doesn't suck. iPhone users deserve what they get, knowing Apple tightly controls the ecosystem.

Re:Coming to Cydia (4, Insightful)

dustwun (662589) | more than 5 years ago | (#28858485)

Google doesn't even have to do this themselves. They could simply drop the code into code.google.com and let someone else build/submit it to cydia. Then they can appear to be playing by Apple/AT&T rules, and still get their app used the way they want.

YAWN (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28858049)

Is anyone else bored of the endless stories about Apple rejecting apps?

Re:YAWN (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28858353)

Nope. It's up there with Flash vulnerabilities, Microsoft product catastrophes and homicidal file-system developers for stories that I can't get enough of.

Re:YAWN (2, Funny)

alexborges (313924) | more than 5 years ago | (#28858747)

How's Hans doing right now?

Ya know?

Re:YAWN (2, Informative)

moon3 (1530265) | more than 5 years ago | (#28858531)

Google got rejected. GOOGLE. That is big ^^ and not a yawn you tit.

Re:YAWN (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28858573)

haha YES

This should be good (5, Funny)

xdor (1218206) | more than 5 years ago | (#28858063)

Alien vs. Predator

Re:This should be good (5, Funny)

Em Emalb (452530) | more than 5 years ago | (#28858121)

No matter who wins....we lose?

Hmmm. Nah.
Alien versus Predator:

Do no evil vs OH, SHINY!

Re:This should be good (2, Interesting)

sakdoctor (1087155) | more than 5 years ago | (#28858129)

Whoever wins ... apple fanboys lose.

Re:This should be good (2, Insightful)

bertoelcon (1557907) | more than 5 years ago | (#28858813)

Fanboys never win.

But being one and playing devil's advocate gets you insightful mods, that's nice I guess.

Apple's pulling a Sony (4, Insightful)

ZackSchil (560462) | more than 5 years ago | (#28858095)

How long can Apple keep this up? The iPhone app store has been a great thing, but slam after slam of bad press against it is slowly turning the opinion of the technically inclined. If they don't do something soon, they're going to end up like Sony circa 2007.

Re:Apple's pulling a Sony (1, Interesting)

Nerdfest (867930) | more than 5 years ago | (#28858197)

As they say, any press is good press. The unwashed masses are only hearing "Apple, Apple, Apple".

Re:Apple's pulling a Sony (1, Interesting)

DrEldarion (114072) | more than 5 years ago | (#28858267)

That sure worked well for AIG and Enron, hm?

Re:Apple's pulling a Sony (1)

migla (1099771) | more than 5 years ago | (#28858311)

What they say is incorrect. Of course there is such a thing as bad press.

Re:Apple's pulling a Sony (5, Funny)

bitt3n (941736) | more than 5 years ago | (#28858653)

As they say, any press is good press. The unwashed masses are only hearing "Apple, Apple, Apple".

unless it's a cider press. those are bad for apples.

Re:Apple's pulling a Sony (4, Funny)

Sponge Bath (413667) | more than 5 years ago | (#28858675)

Reminds me of this [hubpages.com] Farside cartoon.

Re:Apple's pulling a Sony (5, Interesting)

Khue (625846) | more than 5 years ago | (#28858251)

I don't know about an iPhone but this app works fantastic on my Blackberry. Every strike against Apple like this means companies like RIM get good press. They need to be careful about this type of activity. On a happy note, I recommend applying for the Beta if you have a Blackberry. It's nice using my personal 8320 for work mobile, home, and personal mobile phone.

Re:Apple's pulling a Sony (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28858587)

Works great on the G1 as well... Too bad the iPhoen users are missing out on Google Voice, the real use of Latitude and so many other apps that Apple won't let them use... But that's what you get for living in a bubble like Apple does.

Re:Apple's pulling a Sony (2, Interesting)

sustik (90111) | more than 5 years ago | (#28858351)

Can iPhone users buy the app in another store? I hope so; buying a (smart?)phone for a couple hundred dollars which can *only* run apps from a single store is not very appealing to me.

Re:Apple's pulling a Sony (2, Interesting)

MathiasRav (1210872) | more than 5 years ago | (#28858455)

Can iPhone users buy the app in another store? I hope so; buying a (smart?)phone for a couple hundred dollars which can *only* run apps from a single store is not very appealing to me.

I am not an iPhone user, but from what I've heard it's either Apple's App Store or a jailbroken iPhone with no official warranty or support.

Re:Apple's pulling a Sony (3, Interesting)

PotatoFarmer (1250696) | more than 5 years ago | (#28858639)

Sort of - it's Apple's App Store in addition to a jailbroken iPhone with no official warranty or support. You can use both at the same time. As far as the warranty part goes, given that jailbreaking is a software process and not a hardware mod, resetting your iPhone to an Apple-approved state is a trivial process. Unless the hardware is dead, in which case there's no way they would know you've jailbroken the thing anyway.

Re:Apple's pulling a Sony (1)

MathiasRav (1210872) | more than 5 years ago | (#28858741)

Sort of - it's Apple's App Store in addition to a jailbroken iPhone with no official warranty or support.

Ah, so it's not as DRM-laden as I'd thought. I recently got an Android-enabled phone - the choice between the two was made final when I noticed the stories about rejected apps and censorship in the iPhone store on Slashdot.

With Android I often have to search Google Code or simply Google, since the Android store mainly features useless and/or proprietary applications, but that's how I've always gotten my software, so I have no problems with that.

Re:Apple's pulling a Sony (2)

obarthelemy (160321) | more than 5 years ago | (#28858809)

1- it's a lot more than a couple hundred bucks, if you take into account the very expensive plan
2- iPhone is very locked-in: pps can only come from tha apple store, unless you jail break it (and lose your warranty + get a chance to have it bricked on apple's next update)

Re:Apple's pulling a Sony (1)

Captain Splendid (673276) | more than 5 years ago | (#28858381)

but slam after slam of bad press against it is slowly turning the opinion of the technically inclined

Hogwash. The "technically inclined", if they don't already claim to hate Apple with every fiber of their being, have their ipods/iphones jailbreaked and doing all the things they want it to do already. So, to answer your question, Apple can this up for a long time.

Re:Apple's pulling a Sony (5, Insightful)

Chyeld (713439) | more than 5 years ago | (#28858743)

As a certain other famous 'evil' CEO said "Developers, Developers, Developers".

It may not matter to the end users, but if you are a developer thinking of working out that cool new killer app for the iPhone, hearing that not only does Apple have a horrible record for inconsistent approvals, but even when you are as big as Google and get a signoff from the top levels of the company, you can still have your app pulled retroactively, might mean the difference between giving the project a green light and considering someone else's platform.

Re:Apple's pulling a Sony (5, Interesting)

SpectreBlofeld (886224) | more than 5 years ago | (#28858789)

There's still a reason for them not to like it.

Have you considered the fact that this sort of behavior will stifle application development by developers? Do you really think Google would have put effort into developing the app for the iPhone if they knew it was going to get rejected? (They were previous told it would be accepted).

Developers are going to see stories like this and be dissuaded from development if their app idea in any way steps on Apple or AT&T's toes by 'duplicating functionality', which is a shame, because a great deal of the time a third-party solution is far superior to the native app.

Re: Apple's pulling a Sony (2, Insightful)

atomic_bomberman (1602061) | more than 5 years ago | (#28858439)

"If they don't do something soon..."

And what would you have Apple do? Tell AT&T, their one sales partner, to bugger off?

I'd love to hear what any one of you would do (and how) if in Apple's position. But I'm sure most of you will just complain and compare Apple to Sony, Microsoft, Cheney,...

Developers would be stupid to quit. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28858479)

The iPhone is still absolutely unmatched in any way by its competition so if developers want to play on the leading mobile computing platform, they will have to play by Apple's rules, not theirs. Apple did the hard work of building and selling this device, so these whiners should just suck it up and get on with following the rules like everyone else.

Re:Apple's pulling a Sony (1)

dakkon1024 (691790) | more than 5 years ago | (#28858791)

This is what Apple does, had been doing, and will continue to do. No single company can shoot itself better in the foot.

Wow... (5, Insightful)

Xpendable (1605485) | more than 5 years ago | (#28858099)

Wow, that's pretty scary. I'd hate to have developed software for a platform, only to find it removed from the platform a few months later as an anti-competitive action because the company that owns the platfrom decides to release their own versions of the same thing. That could put me out of business! And I'm sure the developer agreement with Apple gives them full rights to do this. Yikes. Well, I'm one of the few around here that doesn't have an iphone anyway.

Re:Wow... (2, Insightful)

megamerican (1073936) | more than 5 years ago | (#28858419)

This is going to happen with any platform is tethered. It won't matter if it is the Apple's iPhone, Amazon's Kindle or anything else. Unless the purchasers demand a change this won't stop. Don't expect any miracles.

Re:Wow... (3, Interesting)

mrchaotica (681592) | more than 5 years ago | (#28858609)

What's going to be really interesting is seeing what happens to apps that use Google Voice to make [free] VoIP calls on Google Android devices...

Re:Wow... (5, Insightful)

Scootin159 (557129) | more than 5 years ago | (#28858733)

This also raises an interesting legal question - can a "platform" lock-out non-platform apps? For instance, imagine the fallout if Microsoft released a "patch" which removed all copies of Firefox, Chrome, Safari and Opera from user's machines. They are just a "duplication of functionality" found within IE, right?

Once again, Apple shows themselves to be Evil (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28858115)

Why on earth geeks continue to view Apple as a Good Company boggles my mind. They've shown themselves time and time again to be evil, controlling, and dedicated to being as closed as possible. This is just the latest in a long, long line of anti-customer things they've done. Why do people continue to support this behavior?

Re:Once again, Apple shows themselves to be Evil (4, Insightful)

Arimus (198136) | more than 5 years ago | (#28858173)

Why on earth geeks continue to view Apple as a Good Company boggles my mind.

Wny on earth **some** geeks would be more accurate.

I'm a geek I'd guess by most definitions and while I own and like my ipod touch I do not think Apple, Google, Microsoft et al are good 'companies' in the sense you mean. All companies, if they wish to remain in buisness, have just one goal: make the most money they can out of each individual customer.

Re:Once again, Apple shows themselves to be Evil (1)

PeanutButterBreath (1224570) | more than 5 years ago | (#28858817)

All companies, if they wish to remain in buisness, have just one goal: make the most money they can out of each individual customer.

What does that have to do with anything? You say that as though there were some objective manner in which to do so -- as though this corporate prime directive excuses the actions of any of these companies.

Even if we reject the fuzzy notion of a "good" company, I think we can judge companies on the intelligence of the decisions they make. Is Apple making smart choices WRT apps on the iPhone -- as in, choices that make the platform, their services and the services of their partners more attractive to you? Not to me, FWIW.

Then again, I think most of their products are diminished by their overweening design "philosophy".

Re:Once again, Apple shows themselves to be Evil (2, Insightful)

CannonballHead (842625) | more than 5 years ago | (#28858177)

Apple has Good PR. They are a "Good" Company in that respect?

Re:Once again, Apple shows themselves to be Evil (4, Insightful)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 5 years ago | (#28858377)

I don't think it's so much "A Good Company" as "A company that makes well designed, albeit expensive, products." If I had the cash my PC would be a mac and my phone would be an iPhone... at least, if I could use anybody but AT&T with the iPhone. That's a bigger hurde than the cost.

I don't dislike Microsoft because of their business practices; I dislike Microsoft because I don't like the way they design most of their products. YMMV as always.

Hmm (2, Funny)

xednieht (1117791) | more than 5 years ago | (#28858151)

Gratuitous rant for the day.

Fuck you Steve Jobs, you've been hanging out with Gates too much.

Not sure I understand the comparison... (5, Insightful)

akcpe (1438869) | more than 5 years ago | (#28858195)

So.. I'm a little confused here. There's all sorts of talk about Google Voice competing with the iPhone (at least on some other news sites that have published this) Not sure I understand the comparison. Google Voice for phone calls uses at&t minutes, which don't cost Apple. Its simply call forwarding. This is not VOIP folks. Google Voice SMS doesnt cost Apple either. There are PLENTY of other free SMS apps on the App Store already, why not Google Voice? Voicemail transcriptions surely don't duplicate functionality of either Apple or at&t. As far as alternative visual voicemail, again there are already apps on the App Store for that. (ie. YouMail). Can someone please enlighten me how this is due to Google trying to compete with Apple, or even at&t?

Re: Not sure I understand the comparison... (3, Informative)

introspekt.i (1233118) | more than 5 years ago | (#28858315)

Google Voice for phone calls uses at&t minutes, which don't cost Apple.

Yes but using Google voice to make international calls would be way cheaper than making a phone call on your cell phone with AT&T. At the moment, the iPhone isn't just the device, it's also the infrastructure that supports the iPhone (which you pay gobs for). Google voice offers services that compete with AT&T and the iPhone infrastructure in ways big enough to hurt the bottom line of AT&T, which as you can see from other comments at the least, made this app go pouf disappear.

Re: Not sure I understand the comparison... (2, Insightful)

akcpe (1438869) | more than 5 years ago | (#28858453)

Skype is there to offer cheap international rates, albeit crippled with WiFi, However, how many people are actually using their cell for international calls? I wish i could take a poll, cause i doubt its many, if any unless someone else is footing the bill. I cant imagine paying exorbitant international cell rates for any of my calls.

Re: Not sure I understand the comparison... (1)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 5 years ago | (#28858769)

Yes but using Google voice to make international calls would be way cheaper than making a phone call on your cell phone with AT&T.

Of course, you can make a Google voice call with any phone (wireless or landline) without a special app. (Well, it has to be touch tone; I do know at least one person who still uses a rotary phone that she originally leased from AT&T, but she's not likely to ever use Google Voice, or even a computer.)

Google voice offers services that compete with AT&T and the iPhone infrastructure in ways big enough to hurt the bottom line of AT&T, which as you can see from other comments at the least, made this app go pouf disappear.

I think, though, in the end this is a bad thing for the iPhone: not having a special app doesn't stop you from using Google Voice with an iPhone, but it does make the experience less pleasant than using Google Voice with any of the smartphones that do have Google Voice apps, so it just makes those phones more attractive, without stopping people from using Google Voice.

Re: Not sure I understand the comparison... (1)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 5 years ago | (#28858673)

There's all sorts of talk about Google Voice competing with the iPhone (at least on some other news sites that have published this) Not sure I understand the comparison. Google Voice for phone calls uses at&t minutes, which don't cost Apple. Its simply call forwarding. This is not VOIP folks. Google Voice SMS doesnt cost Apple either.

Google Voice SMS, because it replaces actual SMS with a web-based SMS service which doesn't incur wireless-plan SMS usage, can cost AT&T, because it reduces the usage of in-plan SMS.

Of course, you wouldn't need a Google Voice app on the iPhone as much (given that iPhone Safari is a fairly full-featured browser), except as a slight convenience, if Google didn't force mobile users (including iPhone Safari users) to the mobile Google Voice page without even an option to use the regular page.

It was AT&T (5, Informative)

vertigoCiel (1070374) | more than 5 years ago | (#28858203)

According to Jon Gruber, who has reliable sources inside Apple, AT&T pulled their weight to make this happen [daringfireball.net] .

Re:It was AT&T (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28858545)

So what? You sign a deal with the devil to do what he tells you to do, then you're just as responsible as he is when he tells you to be an asshole to people.

Re:It was AT&T (1)

MartinSchou (1360093) | more than 5 years ago | (#28858561)

So ... every single non-US (and thus non-AT&T) iPhone user is at the mercy of the whims of a company, that they do no business with?

Or is the Apple store designed in such a way that people in Denmark only sees apps designed for the Danish market?

SMS, etc. (4, Insightful)

Dan East (318230) | more than 5 years ago | (#28858729)

Google voice provides unlimited incoming AND outgoing SMS for free. I've been using it on my blackberry because I have unlimited data, but no SMS plan (costs me 25 cents to send a single message). I'm not familiar with the AT&T plans, but if SMS packages are optional add-ons then they would certainly lose money as people realize they have unlimited texting through their google phone number.

Say it with me now... (4, Insightful)

sean.peters (568334) | more than 5 years ago | (#28858207)

... the App Store sucks. This is yet another example of why it's bad that for a given platform, you are required to get your software from a manufacturer approved repository. Don't get me wrong, repositories are great. But not if you're forced to use them, and especially not when the repository owner manipulates the software selection to suit themselves. I smell an anti-competitive lawsuit in the making here.

Brings up question of future carrier App Store (4, Interesting)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 5 years ago | (#28858225)

So if AT&T can get an app banned (as Gruber [daringfireball.net] says is the case), what happens later on when the iPhone is not tied to any one phone company in the U.S.? Carrier specific stores? That smells like the stuff people dislike about Verizon... but Apple can't let multiple companies triangulate on what apps they like.

Also interesting is that AT&T seems to allow some apps on other phones they move to keep off the iPhone, it could be because there are just so many more iPhones on AT&T they are really worried about the data load (which would explain why Slingbox is WiFi only on the iPhone but works over 3G on the blackberry).

Re:Brings up question of future carrier App Store (2, Interesting)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 5 years ago | (#28858449)

So if AT&T can get an app banned (as Gruber says is the case), what happens later on when the iPhone is not tied to any one phone company in the U.S.?

Then I'll buy one. AT&T is about the only thing that keeps me from an iPhone.

Re:Brings up question of future carrier App Store (2, Insightful)

cabjf (710106) | more than 5 years ago | (#28858517)

I bet that kind of veto power by AT&T is written into their contract. Once the exclusivity is up, I would also bet they need a new contract. At that point Apple can either stipulate less control from AT&T or take their phones to another provider, or both. Their strategy in the cell market seems to be similar to the music store market. They started out giving in to those that held the power, then after they grew their market share more than anyone thought they would, the tables turned.

Re:Brings up question of future carrier App Store (1)

erroneus (253617) | more than 5 years ago | (#28858523)

What we need is legislation like we have for land line carriers who cannot prevent users from using any equipment they have any way they want.

Wireless carriers need to be blocked from preventing users from using any wireless devices any way they want. This sort of legislation is seriously overdue.

Re:Brings up question of future carrier App Store (2, Insightful)

mini me (132455) | more than 5 years ago | (#28858775)

The iPhone already has carrier specific stores in a sense; by country. Netshare has already shown us that AT&T calls the shots for all carriers. Rogers, for example, at the time, allowed tethering on all of their data plans. There is no reason why the app should not have been in the Canadian store, even if AT&T wanted it pulled from the U.S. market.

Doing Google a favor, actually... (5, Insightful)

GimpyE (1607443) | more than 5 years ago | (#28858227)

Apple, making Android look good since 2008.

Re:Doing Google a favor, actually... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28858505)

More like Apple, making itself look bad since 1984.

If anyone thinks that Apple is any different than any other company that is out to make money they are just fooling themselves. Their "cool" and "user-friendly" image is just that. An image. Owning an apple doesn't make you cool either. It's a decent product but not any better or worse than other options.

And yes, I owned two of their computer's in the past and now use pc's exclusively.

Between... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28858229)

The iPhone and the Blackberry... it looks like I'll be forced into the (next) android (if/when) I decide to get a smart phone. When VOIP becomes more viable I'll probably use it extensively if not exclusively.
Wait, any suggestions on smart phones?

Estoppel applies here, no? (4, Interesting)

Late Adopter (1492849) | more than 5 years ago | (#28858249)

Sean Kovacs, main developer of GV Mobile, says that he had personal approval for his app from Phil Shiller, Apple's senior vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing, last April.

If this bit is true and documented, then sue for lost development time. Apple gave assurances they wouldn't do something, Google committed resources, then Apple did it. Whatever Apple's reasoning here for changing their minds, they can't yank the football away any more than a contest promoter could decide not to give awards to a winner.

Re:Estoppel applies here, no? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28858475)

Not as clear cut as you make it. Companies are a bit different than a person because not every person in a company can commit a company to something. Exact conversations and the apple employee's job description would be needed to be evaluated to see if this 'promise' really binds apple to anything. Without all sorts of specifics recorded about what features could be included I think it would be near impossible to win a suit due to the complexities. What exactly did Google get approval for? Not the name of the app but what features. If you can't explain to me, down to every detail, what Google was allowed to include then they have no footing in court as Apple can simply claim they assumed X feature was allowed, but apple didn't authorize it.

Re:Estoppel applies here, no? (2, Interesting)

dkf (304284) | more than 5 years ago | (#28858603)

Sean Kovacs, main developer of GV Mobile, says that he had personal approval for his app from Phil Shiller, Apple's senior vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing, last April.

If this bit is true and documented, then sue for lost development time. Apple gave assurances they wouldn't do something, Google committed resources, then Apple did it. Whatever Apple's reasoning here for changing their minds, they can't yank the football away any more than a contest promoter could decide not to give awards to a winner.

Sounds to my (admittedly untrained) ear like a time to apply the legal doctrine of estoppel [wikipedia.org] , especially promissory estoppel. If I was Google, I'd be looking to recover as much as possible from Apple here, or (better yet) force the app down their throat, as that would vastly annoy both Apple and AT&T.

All the hype about phones (4, Insightful)

hodet (620484) | more than 5 years ago | (#28858257)

I bought mine in 2004 and I have to pull out the antenna to use it. Works great and only costs me like $10/month. I don't get all the hype with cell phones these days. I have a BB at work and i would never pay the outrageous fees to own one myself. As for developers, are there not other platforms that can be profitable for you that don't have Sybil as the gatekeeper. Why would you subject yourself to the stress.

Re:All the hype about phones (1)

megamerican (1073936) | more than 5 years ago | (#28858471)

I feel the same way but I can't help wondering if people like you and me are becoming The Obsolete Man [wikipedia.org] .

Re:All the hype about phones (5, Funny)

SpiffyMarc (590301) | more than 5 years ago | (#28858507)

I don't get all the hype about computers. I have a Brother word processor with a 33.6k modem and it works great. I have a Dell at work and I would never pay the outrageous price to own one myself...

Re:All the hype about phones (1)

Nerdfest (867930) | more than 5 years ago | (#28858567)

Why would you subject yourself to the stress

Because the large number of potential users who can buy your app allows the potential for one to become very rich ... although at this point, the number of apps makes the odds about the same as many lotteries.

Re:All the hype about phones (1)

SpectreBlofeld (886224) | more than 5 years ago | (#28858619)

There's one of you in every mobile phone thread.

Yes, we know that a few of you out there are happy with your 100 minutes a month with no caller ID or whatever, but you must understand this is Slashdot. We want to be able to SSH to our server from the bar, do an impromptu Wikipedia lookup on some random subject we're thinking about on the bus, get directions to the nearest Indian restaurant while in an unfamiliar city, and stream Internet radio while walking to the store.

Now that I've said my piece, I'll step off your lawn.

Re:All the hype about phones (1)

hodet (620484) | more than 5 years ago | (#28858753)

i know i know...i'm an old miserable bastard. the ssh thing from the bar is totally acceptable though.

Re:All the hype about phones (1)

0x537461746943 (781157) | more than 5 years ago | (#28858693)

It is apparent to me that you have never evaluated an iphone for a few days. I was 100% blackberry for the past several years with it's physical keyboard. I smirked at people when they got out their iphones. I always commented that they can have their touchy feely screen. Give me a physical keyboard for my phone. That is until 2 weeks ago.

I had to evaluate/test one for exchange integration at work. While yes there are some issues where blackberry can be faster(get to the email screen quicker with blackberry for example), The interface is a joy to use on the iphone though. The built in apps for it are very intuitive and easy to use. I have since converted over to one and even bought my wife one. We really enjoy using them where with the blackberry it just wasn't that useful except for emails IMHO. There are truly some innovative apps on the appstore too.

This does not mean that I am happy with the AppStore situation though. I do not like all the control that apple is placing on the appstore. For me the usefulness of the iphone and the apps that are available tip the balance toward toleration for me. Should I make a stand and just say no to iphones. Probably. Will I.. No :).

Re:All the hype about phones (1)

croddy (659025) | more than 5 years ago | (#28858721)

I bought mine in 2004 and I have to pull out the antenna to use it.

oh my... you should at least upgrade to one with fewer moving parts, especially moving parts in a subsystem as critical as the radio!

Sigh...TechCrunch (4, Insightful)

basementman (1475159) | more than 5 years ago | (#28858279)

TechCrunch is citing AT&T is behind it, yet they have absolutely no evidence to indicate that. It is in both Apples and AT&Ts interest to keep the Google Voice app off the iPhone. TechCrunch is just blaming AT&T so they can keep their Apple fanboyism going.

Breakup (5, Funny)

gailrob (937536) | more than 5 years ago | (#28858285)

Apple: Look, you're suffocating me, we need to take a break.

Google: What's wrong baby? We were doing so well together!

Apple: I TOLD YOU! I JUST NEED SOME SPACE! YOUR APPS ARE ALL OVER MY ROOM!

Google: Fine... Don't come crying to me when your MAPS stop working!

American Telephone & Telegraph? Never! (0, Offtopic)

Gizzmonic (412910) | more than 5 years ago | (#28858303)

Dearest Penelope,

The revelation that American Telephone & Telegraph Company is responsible for this shocking rejection of the Google's Voice Application Programming Software has dealt a crushing blow to my masculine vanity. I stand before you broken and afraid, longing for the succor found only beneath your delectable pantaloons.

Signed,

Phil Schiller

GV is not VOIP. AT&T Still get their minutes. (2, Informative)

0x537461746943 (781157) | more than 5 years ago | (#28858363)

The call still gets initiated from the phone over the AT&T voice service(same with SMS over GV). GV just becomes a switching service that reroutes the call. GV is NOT a Voice-Over-IP app that sends the voice calls through the data IP plan of the iphone. It might get around international calling rates though since the call is really to GV and not to the direct party(I don't know about that part).

Re:GV is not VOIP. AT&T Still get their minute (1)

Delwin (599872) | more than 5 years ago | (#28858461)

What they don't get is their 'money for free' SMS charges.

Re:GV is not VOIP. AT&T Still get their minute (1)

akcpe (1438869) | more than 5 years ago | (#28858565)

There are already handfuls of apps on the App Store for free SMS.

This is why closed platforms suck (4, Insightful)

Tridus (79566) | more than 5 years ago | (#28858371)

It's always nice when companies go and make the case for why closed platforms suck with no effort required on anybody elses part. Apple is just another example. Having a gatekeeper say what you can and can't run on your phone like this was never a good idea, and now we're seeing why.

Apple fanboys will put up with anything, of course. I hope this type of nonsense gets through to the more sensible people out there though.

And THIS is why closed platforms rule. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28858695)

Consistency.
Ease of use.
Integration.

Good luck getting any of that with a freetard Linux based system like Android or the Pre. The fact is, Apple absolutely deserves to be able to dictate who and what is allowed to use THEIR servers and THEIR platform in order to protect the three key pillars of their success I outlined above. If you losers want to bitch whine moan and complain, why not go develop your apps for Android or the Pre, but don't be surprised when you manage to only sell a couple of dozen copies. Selling MILLIONS of copies is only possible on the iPhone.

"duplication of functionality" (4, Insightful)

dzym (544085) | more than 5 years ago | (#28858393)

I'm sure it's occurred to more than a few of us that citing "duplication of functionality" is a gigantic fucking can of worms.

And Apple opened it.

Re:"duplication of functionality" (1)

garry_g (106621) | more than 5 years ago | (#28858599)

Well, of course it's a duplication of functionality - after all, it's a f@cking phone already. Apple saves its followers a big amount of time, saving them from downloading an app that would allow them to do phone call ...

Anyway, I guess it just fits together - after all, I reckon they get a decent cut from AT&T's income of phone minutes, so if people were to move to VoIP/Skype, they'd call less, ergo less income ...

Sorry, but this dictatorship is what will keep me from getting an iPhone, even if it may be a well designed piece of soft- and hardware ... will be picking up a G1 some time soon I guess ...

Re:"duplication of functionality" (1)

Scootin159 (557129) | more than 5 years ago | (#28858707)

Hmm... I've yet to find any app without at least two or three "duplication of functionality" clones. Heck, if you broadened your definition of "functionality" from "twitter" to "entertainment", there must be 1000 duplicates of that one.

Re:"duplication of functionality" (1)

Frankenshteen (1355339) | more than 5 years ago | (#28858827)

So the core will allow 47 kinds of clock and 18 different flashlights, but Skype is the only alternative phone? Google voice rocks, and if Apple doesn't embrace it, they'll only add credence too Android...

..Trust Apple to maintain a fair marketplace? (2, Insightful)

erroneus (253617) | more than 5 years ago | (#28858397)

In a word? NO. Apple+AT&T are clearly operating under their own agenda and any agreements, past, present and future, are subject to change without notice or compensation. You will not be able to depend on them any more than you can depend on Amazon not to delete your books from your Kindle.

This is a risk of putting yourself under the control of companies like these -- they might seem cool now, but are quite subject to change without notice or compensation. The only protection anyone might enjoy is legislative or judicial relief. We have had such relief in the past and it has worked well for "we the people." We seriously need to break the agreement between AT&T and Apple as well as other handset exclusivity agreements along with all manner of other problems associated with mobile phone technologies.

The continuous merging and dealing among technology companies are in need of deeper scrutiny as at every turn they seem to limit or control technological advancement for their own anti-competitive and price-controlling purposes.

So? Just download it? (0)

2obvious4u (871996) | more than 5 years ago | (#28858435)

So what, they pulled it from the official application store, can't you just download and install it yourself from the application developer?

I wouldn't know since all I got is a crappy Audiovox CDM 8945...

Re:So? Just download it? (1)

Achromatic1978 (916097) | more than 5 years ago | (#28858569)

LMAO. Please please tell me that was a setup for someone to respond with some remark that you could then reply "WOOSH" to?

Re:So? Just download it? (1)

SpectreBlofeld (886224) | more than 5 years ago | (#28858719)

Apple only allows programs to be added from their application store. The only way around this is to jailbreak your phone (hack it), which is against the terms of agreement and voids your warranty, and is always 'fixed' by the next OS update (you have to wait until someone figures out how to jailbreak the new OS version).

You would be correct if you were describing virtually any other mobile platform. Blackberry and Android have their own app stores, but there's no restrictions on getting your apps somewhere else. Blackberry has a nice over-the-air install process for apps - you just follow a hyperlink to the install file, and the browser downloads and runs it. On Windows Mobile you can point your mobile browser to a .CAB file, download, and unpack it. I'm not familiar with how Android or Palm's new WebOS does it.

Apple can have it both ways here (1)

alispguru (72689) | more than 5 years ago | (#28858501)

They get the credit for the most visible good parts of the iPhone, and they can arrange it so that AT&T gets the blame for the most visible bad parts. Gruber [daringfireball.net] says his sources primarily blame AT&T for this one, and I believe him. It is awfully convenient, though, that this decision is also in Apple's best financial interests (and not their customers').

I wish Google had won the 700 MHz spectrum auction (1)

Lordplatypus (731338) | more than 5 years ago | (#28858527)

I would be a very happy camper right now if I could use my google voice number with my google andriod phone on my google wireless plan.

/sigh

INT WTF??? ROFLMMFAO.... (1)

davidsyes (765062) | more than 5 years ago | (#28858585)

"Duplication of Functionality" my ASS. This is anti-competitive. It's just a pre-rigged way to discriminate against or deny access to vendors they don't want onboard, even if they comply with every last Apple bullet. I am sure this won't fly in the EU...

This is a shame; Apple should know better (2, Interesting)

Whuffo (1043790) | more than 5 years ago | (#28858617)

Google Voice (Grand Central rebranded) is a wonderful service. Not for the reason many tout - its bevy of useful features. It's incredibly valuable because it provides a virtual phone number which redirects to whatever phone number you have now. Change carriers or move out of their service area? No problem; just change the forwarding phone number in GV and anyone who calls your GV number still is calling you.

This is something that is also valuable with email - Mail.com used to offer free redirection for life but they've since gone back on their promise and now charge for their service. Imagine having an email address that is yours forever - one that simply redirects mail to whatever account you currently have. Change providers? No problem; change your address at the redirector and nobody has to change the email address they reach you at.

Anyone who has changed phone numbers or email addresses knows what a hassle it can be - these redirection services provide a solution to this problem.

Hey, AT&T and Apple - what me, a customer, wants is to have a phone number and email address that is mine - one that will be mine for as long as I want - no matter if my email or phone provider changes or goes out of business. That's what Google Voice provides and AT&T does NOT. Phone number portability is largely a joke as anyone who's tried to keep a phone number knows. Portability doesn't help if you move to a different area code, anyway.

Phone companies like to lock in their customers - one of the ways they do this is through the fear they instill in their customers. If you change providers, you'll have to tell everyone you know that you've got a new phone number. Rather than deal with that nuisance, people accept yet another fee increase and stay with the same provider. This isn't customer service at all - it's corporate service where they inconvenience you to insure that the corporation makes more money. That's why they sabotage "portability" in any way they can - and it's why AT&T doesn't want Google Voice on the IPhone.

And they'd really prefer that you didn't realize that if your phone number is in one area code and your Google Voice phone number is in a different area code that you could be receiving local calls from a much larger area. In areas like Silicon Valley this can make a huge difference in the ability of people to contact you.

Stuff like this is why I do not have an IPhone - it's a nice piece of hardware but since it's tied to AT&T it's not for me. I got away from AT&T years ago and never looked back.

Why? (1)

leamanc (961376) | more than 5 years ago | (#28858679)

Why, if they allowed Skype? Is it because of the free SMS feature?

Why would you buy an iPhone in the first place? (-1, Flamebait)

FunkyELF (609131) | more than 5 years ago | (#28858715)

Oh, thats right...you can't.
You can only rent them from Apple.
These renters are sheep.

Stop complaining. It won't do anything. Apple hates developers. Apple hates users who are anything more than mindless consumers (sheep).

Do something about it and buy an Android phone. Once enough people buy an Android phone Apple will allow VoIP applications and all of the Apple FanBoi's will be able to pretend like it was there all along and start bashing Android.

But seriously, keep buying Apple stuff. I need AAPL to hit $163.00 so I can sell the 6 shares I bought for $160 in January 2008 and break even after fees. I was just kidding. Apple is great. You're not sheep. You're hip and cool.

Sherman (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28858745)

Ok, if anyone is an anti-trust lawyer, enlighten me if I'm off base, but how is this crap not a total violation of Sherman and Clayton? Apple is specifically yanking apps that compete with their own. How is that allowed? How has Apple not been bitchslapped for violation of the Sherman antitrust act and the Clayton antitrust act?? I thought Sherman and Clayton were created specifically to prevent this kind of garbage from ever occurring again?

Apple can't hack it without Jobs? (3, Interesting)

rennerik (1256370) | more than 5 years ago | (#28858797)

As TFA mentions, Apple pushed the recording industry to accept the $0.99/track, even when they weren't happy about it. When the iPhone was being developed, and Apple was shopping around for a carrier, AT&T made a significant amount of concessions that other carriers would never have made: modify the voice mail system, lack of network branding on the phone, complete control by Apple over the design of the phone, etc. It can be said that a lot of this would not have been possible without Steve Jobs at the helm, with his influence and charisma telling these other companies that *they've* got to work *with* Apple, not the other way around, if they want a slice of the pie.

Now it seems AT&T is walking all over Apple and Apple is just letting them. Is it because Jobs is absent from the spotlight, and he's lost his influence? What is going on that makes them cower in the corner and submit to AT&T? If anything, it should be the other way around. AT&T would be *nothing* without the iPhone, and Apple would be able to go to any other carrier and have them begging at their feet (contracts notwithstanding).

On a completely different note, I wonder when this sort of thing will stop? Carriers have finally let handset developers do what they want, because they realized that companies like Nokia and Palm and Apple make better phones than Verizon, Sprint, or T-Mobile does, and that they shouldn't inject themselves into the process. This is all thanks to Apple. But these networks are still protective of their cashflow model, trying to use their relative exclusivity and propriety to keep relatively cheap methods of communication off. They charge for SMSes, even though these things actually, *literally* don't cost them anything (the packets in which SMSes are sent are sent or received regardless of whether or not there's an SMS in there) -- especially US carriers. The cost of text messaging in the US far outweighs any other market, for no reason other than it's a million dollar cash cow annually. They keep the Internet crappy, slow, and unreliable so that users can't use it to do anything important, other than get email or browse Facebook, because God forbid you should be able to make a phone call... then that keeps them from charging you $0.40/min when you go over your minutes; or charging you exorbitant monthly fees for voice time. When will all of this change?

Something has to remove their stranglehold over the industry. I get that they want to protect their business model, but they've had it for close to 40 years now in one form or another, and they're stifling change and innovation. And I suppose we can only hope that by doing this, new players will come to market that will be the death knell for the old timers that can't or won't change. And technically, we don't even need a player; all we need is one of the current players to change their tune. Remember the unlimited plans? None of them had it until T-Mobile or Sprint (not sure which) introduced it, and then suddenly everyone jumped on the boat. The first company took an awful big risk to do something like that, but in the end, it paid off.

Let's hope it happens again.

WTF slashdot (0, Offtopic)

Tibor the Hun (143056) | more than 5 years ago | (#28858811)

I realize that pagehits bring in revenue, but remember when slashdot used to be a cool place for *NIX nerds to hang out?

WTF is this site becoming? I don't mind a valid critique of Apple, they deserve it on many issues, but shite like this is easily caused by ATT. Some actual reporting wouldn't fracking hurt.
As it is, the whole slash is becoming one massive Idle section, good for nothing but wasting time.

Anti-Trust? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28858825)

Seriously, how can anybody argue Apple isn't a few hundred times worse than M$ at this point? You can't even build an i{whatever] app without owning a Mac, despite the fact they based their OS off of an open source entity. Didn't they learn their lesson in the 80's?
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