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Google Gets Its iPhone Voice

kdawson posted more than 4 years ago | from the tap-tap-is-this-thing-on dept.

Communications 249

snydeq writes "Google has found a way to let iPhone owners use Google Voice, launching a Google Voice Web app that runs on iPhone 3.0 OS devices, as well as on Palm WebOS devices. The Google Voice application leverages HTML 5's functionality for running sophisticated Web applications on a browser at speeds matching those of native applications, Google said. The Google Voice-iPhone conflict is one of several issues putting the companies on a collision course, the latest of which involves Apple potentially courting Microsoft to tap Bing as the iPhone's default search."

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Oh Apple, let the Apps through already! (3, Insightful)

rolfwind (528248) | more than 4 years ago | (#30909964)

You're just shooting yourself in the foot otherwise.

Re:Oh Apple, let the Apps through already! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30910022)

but they really dont care, thats the problem.e

Re:Oh Apple, let the Apps through already! (3, Insightful)

KronosReaver (932860) | more than 4 years ago | (#30910358)

More than likely Apple does care, but just like the ban on tethering it is something AT&T is not willing to allow.

So yeah, it is banned in the Apple store, but probably due to AT&T rather than Apple.

Hopefully the iPhone being opened up to other carriers will mean a loosining of the restrictions as those carriers try and pull customers away from AT&T.

Either way though, I already retired my original iPhone for a Motorola Droid 2 months ago, with Google Voice and Tethering being two of the big reasons for doing so.

Really, why continue doing business with a company when it is clear that they have no interest in providing customers with the kind of service they want? (again talking about AT&T not Apple).

Re:Oh Apple, let the Apps through already! (5, Insightful)

Sandbags (964742) | more than 4 years ago | (#30910468)

Actually, speculation was the app is banned care of Verizon, not AT&T, as part of Apple's negotiation with them. See, on Verizon, ALL plan level support "my 5" and adding a google voice number to that, and using the convenience of the google native app, you could get unlimited free calling, and unlimited free texts, while paying only for the lowest possible plan tier.

Verizon has since (as well as AT&T) implemented a system for identifying google voice numbers, and will automatically remove them from your 5 if you add it, and backbill you for any minutes you might have used in excess of plan minutes otherwise. it is against their ToS to use a call redirection number in your fav list. until we find out for certain whether Verizon is in or out, i don;t expect Google voice to hit the device (unless the courts get involved).

Re:Oh Apple, let the Apps through already! (1)

poetmatt (793785) | more than 4 years ago | (#30910552)

I'm surprised verizon would do that. I don't know for sure but my vibe says it'd be quite a battle to try to get that one proven in verizon's favor in court, in more ways than one.

Re:Oh Apple, let the Apps through already! (4, Informative)

bilbravo (763359) | more than 4 years ago | (#30910618)

It's interesting that you said it was because of Verizon, because on my Droid Google Voice is allowed. I can't vouch for the "my 5" fave list removal, because I don't have a fave list. You mention that it is available on all plans and that is not true. At least for family plans, you must be on a plan that has at least 1400 minutes. My wife and I have a plan with 700 minutes and it has no option for any numbers. And it is 10, not 5.

Your post seems to be FUD, but I'll let others decide for themselves.

Re:Oh Apple, let the Apps through already! (1)

Kleen13 (1006327) | more than 4 years ago | (#30910642)

I already retired my original iPhone for a Motorola Droid 2 months ago, with Google Voice and Tethering being two of the big reasons for doing so.

How do you guys all afford this? It costs me like $300 + for a no-contract phone, and I have to tough it out till the thing dies..... I remember being proud of my Treo. I wish I could play with the Flav-O-The-Day. Just jealous. Move along.

Re:Oh Apple, let the Apps through already! (1)

natehoy (1608657) | more than 4 years ago | (#30910680)

I'm confused as to what exactly AT&T would lose on the deal.

OK, SMS charges maybe. But I sincerely doubt that. And whatever SMS messages are lost to the Google Voice capability, plenty of other people are going to use SMS messages to get new voicemail notifications and/or simply forward the SMS to their phone, because it's FAR more convenient.

I make MORE of my calls on my AT&T cell phone since I got the Google Voice application on my Blackberry. It's the only phone I can actually dial out of directly and have the caller ID show up as my Google Voice number. My Gizmo line at home and my work line both require that I log into the web application for Google Voice (which is fine and all, but it's not nearly as convenient as just typing a number into the Google Voice app and it automatically calling a GV access number). I'm still using AT&T airtime, and arguably I use it MORE often. My life is more AT&T-centric with Google Voice than it would be without it.

Of course, I could just up and leave AT&T and my Google Voice number would just follow me where I went, but with LNP that's true of my cell phone number anyway.

I honestly believe Apple are the ones who have an issue with this, if it's between Apple and AT&T. AT&T has little to lose, from what I can see.

Re:Oh Apple, let the Apps through already! (4, Interesting)

Firehed (942385) | more than 4 years ago | (#30910702)

But Google Voice is not a VOIP app - it runs over standard phone lines (at least the part that you interact with does; you can bet that all of the internal routing is done digitally). There's no reason for AT&T to try getting GV banned since it doesn't detract from their own phone service. Skype (and several other VOIP services) is available and would certainly be more damaging to revenues than GV.

Well, I'm sure they don't want GV's texting since that DOES avoid using the phone service (it basically equates to sending an email to a phone number); between push notification services and/or push email, it's a complete text messaging replacement, and that's pure profit for the service providers. That being said, I have several apps installed that also equate to a text messaging replacement and there's been no ongoing battles to get them pulled or added beyond the scope of what developers normally have to deal with in the App Store.

In any case, Apple claimed that it was blocked because it would cause confusion with the native phone app. I assume the same has been said for a native Gmail app but that's just speculation on my part. I'm sure they have their reasons, whatever they may be. I certainly don't agree with them, but there are enough apps that would be much more harmful to cell carriers than GV that I'm confident AT&T had no say in GV getting blocked, as I believe all three companies have claimed.

Re:Oh Apple, let the Apps through already! (1)

PhotoJim (813785) | more than 4 years ago | (#30910824)

Tethering isn't an Apple thing - it's an AT&T thing. I have an iPhone on Rogers in Canada and I can tether just fine. All you need with Rogers is a data plan giving 1 gigabyte or more and they include the feature at no extra cost.

Re:Oh Apple, let the Apps through already! (1)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 4 years ago | (#30910158)

Agreed. The closed nature of the app store has some semblance of keeping things in order...but really all it does is limit innovation. It isn't too hard to tell when an app is going to be a crapp (see what I did there?), but that's Apple for ya...iron fist wrapped in a velvet glove.

Don't listen to this guy, Apple. (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30910256)

Apple, the iPhone is the greatest cell phone in history. You cannot build them fast enough and your profit is rising year on year by 50%. This is all directly attributable to your brilliant tightly managed closed application ecosystem strategy. YOU hold all the cards, and developers have no choice but to play by the rules, meaning that you can tailor the end user experience to maximize profitability, no matter how much developers complain about the process.

I sure hope that when the iTablet is released tomorrow, you will upscale this app model to it as well, and really as an investor, I'd like to see the same thing brought to OS X in general, so that developers for all Apple platforms have to go through you FIRST before they can be allowed to make software that may damage the reputation of the company.

Re:Don't listen to this guy, Apple. (4, Interesting)

clang_jangle (975789) | more than 4 years ago | (#30910366)

Anyone can develop and publish apps to run on OS X, but it hasn't harmed Apple's reputation. Same thing can be said of *nix and even Windows. The reason the iPhone is treated as a special case almost certainly has more to do with potential liability issues regarding AT&T's network. But of course it still sucks.

Re:Don't listen to this guy, Apple. (2, Insightful)

ViViDboarder (1473973) | more than 4 years ago | (#30910426)

Is it just me or did this post seem like sarcasm?

I really hope so.

Re:Don't listen to this guy, Apple. (1)

Sandbags (964742) | more than 4 years ago | (#30910534)

Actually, I would not mind seeing a case for ALL OS vendors where all apps must be signed in order to be run. Not really a process of review, but simply complete validation of who published an app so if it turns out to have illegal content the owner can be quickly found, and so that viruses basically become obsolete unless they're honest vulnerability exploits that can bypass that system (ie, no more mailware or trojans or gernal viruses, only outright hacks could infect a system).

Re:Oh Apple, let the Apps through already! (1)

whisper_jeff (680366) | more than 4 years ago | (#30910362)

Oh Apple, let the Apps through already! You're just shooting yourself in the foot otherwise.

Sorry, but I keep seeing people say this but I have yet to see any evidence to support it (and, quite frankly, have seen nothing but mountains of evidence to the contrary...).

_YOU_ may be annoyed with Apple because they operate in a closed garden but the _VAST_ majority of users really don't care all that much. Slashdot reader =/= average consumer.

Re:Oh Apple, let the Apps through already! (2, Informative)

TooMuchToDo (882796) | more than 4 years ago | (#30910464)

Slashdot reader =/= average consumer.

iPhone consumer =/= average consumer.

Re:Oh Apple, let the Apps through already! (1)

Captain Splendid (673276) | more than 4 years ago | (#30910526)

You don't get out much, do you? All I see on the streets are iPhones and Blackberries.

Re:Oh Apple, let the Apps through already! (1)

dunkelfalke (91624) | more than 4 years ago | (#30910628)

I see more Windows Mobile phones than iPhones every morning when I'm on the train to work. iPhone is the largest group, though, because of the diversity of WM devices.

Re:Oh Apple, let the Apps through already! (1)

TooMuchToDo (882796) | more than 4 years ago | (#30910654)

Clearly, it's the other way around. I travel extremely frequently for work to both US coasts, as well as to Europe and Japan. iPhones everywhere they are not.

Re:Oh Apple, let the Apps through already! (1)

poetmatt (793785) | more than 4 years ago | (#30910588)

bingo. if they know how to install apps, they already know how to google their problems and are definitely more skilled than the average consumer.

Anyone else think... (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30909980)

that the headline could have been a lot better?

Dear Apple (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30909988)

I switched to Mac so I wouldn't have to use a Microsoft product ever again.

I'll keep using Google as my search engine, even if it means I have to use a bookmark instead of the search field!

Re:Dear Apple (1)

nneonneo (911150) | more than 4 years ago | (#30910308)

iPhone gives you the option of using Yahoo as the default search engine, too. If Apple makes a deal with Bing, it's likely that the option to use Google will still be there, but it won't be the default for new devices.

Re:Dear Apple (1)

Sandbags (964742) | more than 4 years ago | (#30910570)

Yes. I seriously doubt they're replace google, except as the default setting. Bing will be the new default on new or re-imaged devices. Hopefully Bing is not hard set in an update to 3.2/4.0 though, that would REALLY piss me off. NEVER change my active selections...

Re:Dear Apple (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30910472)

Office for Mac is quite nice. You should upgrade to it.

Re:Dear Apple (1)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 4 years ago | (#30910704)

There is actually a very good Google app that not only gives you quick access to Google features (Gmail, maps, search, etc) but also has a voice search. Talk into your phone and get Google search results.

Google getting a bit too cocky. (2, Funny)

X-Power (1009277) | more than 4 years ago | (#30910010)

Is it just me or does Google have this disgusting sense of righteousness that makes them think they are always right and can do whatever they want.
Apple told you No, stop trying to circumvent it.

Re:Google getting a bit too cocky. (4, Insightful)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | more than 4 years ago | (#30910056)

It's just you. If Google wants Google Voice to succeed in the market space they have positioned it for, users must be able to use it on the Iphone.

Re:Google getting a bit too cocky. (4, Insightful)

QuantumRiff (120817) | more than 4 years ago | (#30910360)

Not really.. I run Google Voice with a landline, a blackberry, and a dumb cell phone (crappy Motorola Flip phone) All you really need internet for is to setup the call routing or change it. I have it send SMS to my mobile phone (free incoming texts) with transcripts of my voicemails, as well as emailed to my gmail account. I could, just as easily call in and listen to them too.

The iphone app is just a handy way to manage it all, to use all the screen real estate. I guess there could be some functionality with SMS, or when calling someone from GV, it just puts your phone in "talk" mode, instead of calling it.. but the power of Google Voice is the simplicity of management, and the backend stuff. I almost never deal with the website.

Re:Google getting a bit too cocky. (4, Funny)

michaelhood (667393) | more than 4 years ago | (#30910084)

Is it just me or does Google have this disgusting sense of righteousness that makes them think they are always right and can do whatever they want.

Apple told you No, stop trying to circumvent it.

Hi Steve,

I think Google is trying to increase the visibility, for the average user, of Apple's strong handed walled garden approach. Most people outside of Slashdot don't know how ridiculous Apple's policies are with the iPhone, so Google is helping Apple make an ass of themselves in a way Google can publicize.

Re:Google getting a bit too cocky. (1)

X-Power (1009277) | more than 4 years ago | (#30910180)

Hi Michael.

When Google takes over everything you do, you will realize all your fears about Bill were really about Sergey & Larry.

Re:Google getting a bit too cocky. (1, Flamebait)

soupd (1099379) | more than 4 years ago | (#30910410)

Most people outside of Slashdot don't know how ridiculous Apple's policies are with the iPhone,

Do you think perhaps that for the tens of millions of people who've bought an iPhone and seemingly like it, really don't care that much? Apple are making $$$ hand over fist and the phone is still selling like crazy. Little in this world comes without strings attached and if you don't like the strings that come with the iPhone then just jailbreak the bloody thing or move on and buy something else but quit whining that the world doesn't work how you think it should.

Re:Google getting a bit too cocky. (1)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 4 years ago | (#30910730)

I was seriously thinking about jailbreaking mine just to get the Google Voice app. I might not need to now.

Re:Google getting a bit too cocky. (1)

ElSupreme (1217088) | more than 4 years ago | (#30910280)

Who the fuck cares if Apple said no. If I owned an iPhone and wanted Google voice I could now have it.

Why anyone would want either is beyond me. I alreay give up enough freedoms.

Re:Google getting a bit too cocky. (1)

Aeros (668253) | more than 4 years ago | (#30910300)

yea I also think its just you. Apple didn't want them to have their app on iphone for business reasons that were bad for Apple. People got upset about it and Google needs this to be more available in order to make it a business for them. So of course they're going to keep pushing.

Re:Google getting a bit too cocky. (1)

Sandbags (964742) | more than 4 years ago | (#30910606)

Uh, this has NOTHING to do with Apple. Likely, AT&T is also right in that they had no involvement. OTHER phone companies however, including those that do not yet have but are negotiating for iPhone access have some sway. (Verizon, here's looking at you).

Initially, when the Google Voice app was presented, it WAS against AT&T's contractual terms with apple. AT&T has since amended those terms opening the door, however, both google and apple admit to be "continuing research" on making this happen. I'm sure this has to do with other provider contract terms they're being cautios of.

Re:Google getting a bit too cocky. (1)

Jaysyn (203771) | more than 4 years ago | (#30910312)

It's just you. Personally, I think it's great to see someone get around Apple's AppStore on a non-hacked iPhone.

Re:Google getting a bit too cocky. (4, Insightful)

toriver (11308) | more than 4 years ago | (#30910616)

It's not really "getting around": Prior to the SDK/XCode release, Apple's preferred approach was that devs should write webapps. With HTML5 this is even more tempting than before, and there is no vetting process at all.

Re:Google getting a bit too cocky. (1)

TooMuchToDo (882796) | more than 4 years ago | (#30910482)

Apple didn't purchase the iPhone, the user did. So Apple can go suck a bowl of dicks.

Re:Google getting a bit too cocky. (1)

greywire (78262) | more than 4 years ago | (#30910696)

"Is it just me or does Google have this disgusting sense of righteousness that makes them think they should have the right to deliver their product to whoever wants it. "

There, fixed that for you..

Or more accurately, the converse statement:

"Is it just me or does Apple have this disgusting sense of righteousness that makes them think they can dictate what their customers are allowed to do with their own devices after they've paid for them?"

Does that mean (2, Interesting)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 4 years ago | (#30910036)

If I run out of minutes I can use my data package?

If I had an Iphone, which I don't...

Re:Does that mean (3, Interesting)

mathfeel (937008) | more than 4 years ago | (#30910186)

I don't think so. I have an Android phone, and it has a native google voice app which will dial to my destination using a random number. On the receiving end, they will see my GV # show up, but on my call history, it's as if I called some random number (including area code). How it works is somewhat convoluted, and is explained in this article [pcworld.com] . I quote:

Calls initiated from your cell phone using Google Voice are carried over your wireless carrier's network and are not VoIP calls, according to reports.

However, two advantage for the iphone is immediate apparent to me:
1. SMS.
2. Free call to Canada.

Re:Does that mean (2, Interesting)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 4 years ago | (#30910214)

Well thats why I'm wondering. Its no longer a native app - they're saying its a web app. Meaning you access it... Through the Web... So I imagine its like browsing the net on your IPhone.

Re:Does that mean (5, Informative)

nneonneo (911150) | more than 4 years ago | (#30910354)

HTML5's local storage feature means that this app, if written correctly (which I suspect is the case), can be used offline without a data connection at all.

For example, see Neven Mrgan's GlyphBoard [mrgan.com] ; this is a web app which you can add to your home screen and use offline. The iPhone's new online user manual is another example of a fully offline web app.

Re:Does that mean (0, Redundant)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 4 years ago | (#30910398)

Now that is interesting.

Re:Does that mean (1)

Sandbags (964742) | more than 4 years ago | (#30910630)

Makes no sense to use offline. It's purposes are to access voicemail, edit calling groups, manage contacts, control forwarding, and place calls, none of which work without a connection. (placing calls requires an IP signal to Google to program an available pass-through number for you to call with your device to route the call).

Yea, having access to your google contacts offline might be handy, but there are already easy ways to sync google and you iPhone contact list...

Re:Does that mean (2, Interesting)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 4 years ago | (#30910470)

Well thats why I'm wondering. Its no longer a native app - they're saying its a web app. Meaning you access it... Through the Web... So I imagine its like browsing the net on your IPhone.

Using the app UI is. Actually calling isn't like browing the web, though, as it uses the hooks Apple provides to the dialing functionality for web pages (originally, Apple focussed on web apps as the primary apps for the iPhone, and when they added native apps, they didn't remove that functionality.)

Note that you could use most of the Google Voice function from the existing mobile web app that they've had for a while, the only real change is that now, rather than using the dial-back system that the "vanilla" Google Voice web interface uses when making calls, calls dial out from your phone. And the UI is a bit prettier than the earlier web interface.

Back before the native iPhone app got stalled, there were some features you couldn't use from the "mobile" version of the web page, but it didn't take very long after the whole storm over Apple not allowing the native app for Google to add most of the functionality into the mobile web app. I think the only thing that is actually new (in terms of functionality rather than UI) in the new iPhone-targetted web app from the old generic mobile web app is access to account management features like forwarding settings, contact editing, etc. (and since the iPhone contacts have been able to sync with Google Voice's forever, you can already do the contact editing part from the iPhone's native contacts utility.)

Re:Does that mean (1)

kehren77 (814078) | more than 4 years ago | (#30910694)

One sure way of testing... iPod Touch. If it works on there then no minutes required.

Doesn't look like it works. I get an error that says "Safari cannot open the page because the address is invalid."

It could be the content filter here at work messing things up, but I doubt it. You can't place a call on the Google Voice website and use a headphone/mic setup on your computer, it just rings one of your phones.

I'm going to say that minutes are required.

Re:Does that mean (2, Informative)

Sandbags (964742) | more than 4 years ago | (#30910284)

No, Google Voice is NOT a Voip technology. The app simple helps you place/connect calls to your multiple phones. The advantage of the app on the iPhone really boils down to a) managing your Google contacts better and b) when you place a call from your cell phone, the target sees your Google voice on their caller ID, not your cell number, so when they call back, it;s routed through Google voice. With a native app and notifications, if you choose not to pass through caller ID the app would be able to tell you who's calling while caller ID simply displays your Google voice number. (this was originally a good idea that might have enabled free calling to/from your Google voice number if you added it to your "list" but providers quickly began IDing google voice numbers and auto-remove them from your list as it;s against their ToS to use call redirection technology.

Re:Does that mean (1)

Fast Thick Pants (1081517) | more than 4 years ago | (#30910550)

when you place a call from your cell phone, the target sees your Google voice on their caller ID, not your cell number, so when they call back, it;s routed through Google voice.

Just to be clear about this -- Google Voice does not and cannot change the outgoing caller ID of any of your phones. Instead, the Google Voice server calls both of you at the same time (the number you're "dialing" using the Google Voice interface and the number of the phone you want to use on your end) and conferences them. That's how they can control what caller ID your callee sees.

Re:Does that mean (4, Informative)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 4 years ago | (#30910756)

Google Voice does not and cannot change the outgoing caller ID of any of your phones. Instead, the Google Voice server calls both of you at the same time (the number you're "dialing" using the Google Voice interface and the number of the phone you want to use on your end) and conferences them.

Google Voice does not, in fact, call your phone with the new app, which is the change from the previous mobile web app (which used the same model as the regular, non-mobile web interface, which calls back to one of your registered phones.)

The new app gives your phone a number to call and invokes the dialer of your phone, so you make an outgoing call, but to Google Voice, not the final destination of your call. Otherwise, it works the way you describe.

Re:Does that mean (1)

b0bby (201198) | more than 4 years ago | (#30910546)

I think you'd set the call up over the web, but then Google Voice will call you, then connect you to whoever you're trying to reach. I think the downside for AT&T is that on some plans you can pick 5 or so numbers that don't count towards your minutes, so if you make your Google voice number one of those you'd have unlimited calling & never touch your minutes. (Except for people not on your list who call you, I guess.)

Kind of scary that it works.... (0)

argent (18001) | more than 4 years ago | (#30910068)

I sure wouldn't have thought letting a website access the microphone was a good idea. Next up... web bugs that really bug you.

Re:Kind of scary that it works.... (1)

MarkKnopfler (472229) | more than 4 years ago | (#30910140)

Yet another comment without any prior knowledge. I just remembered why I stopped reading slashdot.

Re:Kind of scary that it works.... (2, Funny)

nschubach (922175) | more than 4 years ago | (#30910430)

If you stopped reading, how did you get here?

Re:Kind of scary that it works.... (1)

MustardAndPizza (1617631) | more than 4 years ago | (#30910574)

It's easy to stop reading Slashdot. I've done it hundreds of times today alone.

----
Whoops... we'll get you your signature with fries in just a moment.

Re:Kind of scary that it works.... (1)

_bug_ (112702) | more than 4 years ago | (#30910152)

Flash has been allowing this for years. Along with web cam access.

Re:Kind of scary that it works.... (1)

dgatwood (11270) | more than 4 years ago | (#30910288)

There is no Flash implementation on iPhone in Safari.

Re:Kind of scary that it works.... (1)

nneonneo (911150) | more than 4 years ago | (#30910392)

At the very least, Flash prompts for permission before accessing them (well, usually [itbusiness.ca] ).

Re:Kind of scary that it works.... (3, Insightful)

dgatwood (11270) | more than 4 years ago | (#30910240)

I don't think there is a way to get access to the microphone from a web page. On iPhone, Safari doesn't allow any plug-ins to load. From the description, it sounds like this just tells the phone to make a local call over the cell network to a special number that then forwards your call to the desired destination.

Re:Kind of scary that it works.... (1)

Sandbags (964742) | more than 4 years ago | (#30910644)

Bingo!

Re:Kind of scary that it works.... (1)

Trashman (3003) | more than 4 years ago | (#30910460)

Wrong, Thanks for playing. The website does not use the mic. You clearly have never used it or you wouldn't have posted this.

Re:Kind of scary that it works.... (1)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 4 years ago | (#30910554)

sure wouldn't have thought letting a website access the microphone was a good idea.

Websites can't access the microphone, I don't think, but its immaterial, since Google Voice isn't a VoIP app and wouldn't have a use for the microphone.

Websites can request the phone to dial a number, which creates a pop-up window and requires active user confirmation to actually dial. It is this functionality which the Google Voice iPhone web app uses to place calls (it calls a Google Voice phone number, which is set up to route your call to the actual number you dialed via the web interface.)

Woohoo! (4, Insightful)

SixDimensionalArray (604334) | more than 4 years ago | (#30910102)

Hmm.. first complex HTML5 app maybe?

I'm probably not the first person to say it, but thank GOODNESS somebody is pushing HTML and web markup tech forward again. Even though some folks don't like some of the new elements present in HTML5, at least it's progressing again. Let's hope this continues!

-6d

Re:Woohoo! (1)

Alcimedes (398213) | more than 4 years ago | (#30910248)

Apple computer:

Total dicks to the competition, and therefore driving innovation!

Way to go Apple. :p

Re:Woohoo! (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30910268)

Wait, you consider this to be a positive thing? HTML, CSS and JavaScript provide the least-desirable development platform that I've worked with in the past 20 years. I mean, compared to late-1980s technology like NeXTSTEP and its class libraries, the web is a massive step backwards. Even MFC development was more enjoyable.

And really, how is this progress? I mean, they're doing something that was possible using Flash five years ago, Java applets 10 years ago, and NPAPI plugins 15 years ago. That's not progress. That's just reinventing the wheel.

iPod Touch Fails (1, Informative)

Jedi Holocron (225191) | more than 4 years ago | (#30910192)

Yeah, this is impressive, but it will not function properly on an iPod Touch. Google needs to have a way to switch to a different mode of operation that is Touch compatible.

Yeah, I could use the Skype App....but then I'd have to pay.

Re:iPod Touch Fails (5, Informative)

Sandbags (964742) | more than 4 years ago | (#30910368)

That's because Google Voice is not a VoIP app, but a call redirection service. On a touch, the ONLY features it has are managing voice mail and contacts, it can NOT place calls.

On an iPhone, from the web app, if you select a contact to call here's what happens:
1) Google generates a "one time" number in your local area if possible.
2) Google programs this number such that an incoming call from your selected phone to that number is routed to your selected contact's phone number
3) it presents you a UI button to press to have the iPhone call the Google one-time number.
4) when you click the button, you iPhone calls Google's selected one-time number (not your contact). This call will appear on your bill as a call from your cell phone to Google and uses airtime (which depending on your plan and time of day might be free).
5) Google routes the call and rings your contacts number, presenting your Google voice number on their caller ID screen.

Re:iPod Touch Fails (1)

brindle (8241) | more than 4 years ago | (#30910370)

I have a Skype account and unfortunately Google Voice cannot use the Skype account to make this work on an iPod touch. Its a bit of a disappointment but there is a lot at stake in this space and progress comes slowly.

Re:iPod Touch Fails (2, Informative)

Sandbags (964742) | more than 4 years ago | (#30910796)

There is an explicit reason this is so. Google currently operates solely as a call forwarding service. They also offer Gizmo services on that number, but only to other gizmo subscribers as PC to PC communication. Should Google offer to connect a traditional Voip Provider, as a voIP extention accessing a google numebr that could call terrestrial lines, then google would become a telephone proivider, not a routing service provider, and then they'de be responsible for 911, e911, and special rates they don't want to pay (that AT&T is fighting to make them pay).

By remaining a simple central routing point for other numbers and services, Google provides a good service for free. Stepping across certain lines opens them up to regulation, requires them to collect certain taxes, and incurs fees to you.

It IS possible to have Google voice forward to a Skype-in number, and it;s also possible to dial through google voice with Skype, however, that's not going to work through an iPod touch as the google web app is trying to contact the iPhone dialer API which does not exist there, and web programs can't access app launch protocols so the google web app can't talk to the skype app at all (for very good security reasons!)

Re:iPod Touch Fails (1)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 4 years ago | (#30910612)

Yeah, this is impressive, but it will not function properly on an iPod Touch. Google needs to have a way to switch to a different mode of operation that is Touch compatible.

Google Voice isn't a VoIP service, its an SMS, voice mail, call routing and contact management service that requires an actual phone line to route voice calls to (or take them from); the only "mode of operation" that would be Touch compatible is the dial-back mode used on the basic website where placing a call has Google Voice call one of your phones to complete the call. Which I suppose might be useful if you had a touch and access to a phone that didn't have its own web connection.

Experience? (2, Informative)

whisper_jeff (680366) | more than 4 years ago | (#30910200)

Anyone have some first-hand experience with Google Voice willing to share their thoughts? I find it very intriguing but am very hesitant to use it without knowing more...

Re:Experience? (1)

Stavr0 (35032) | more than 4 years ago | (#30910290)

Receiving a Google Voice call: Forward call to your iphone's number.
Calling with Google Voice: Call number, call your iPhone, link the two calls.

You are still using your voice minutes (incoming) to do Google Voice calls.

Re:Experience? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30910346)

I use Google Voice routed to my Gizmo5 number on a jailbroken iPhone. The combined effect is free VOIP phone calls over 3G or wifi. If the call quality remains reliable, I will attempt to drop the voice plan from my ATT contract entirely.

Having said that, this webapp does not provide that functionality. It defaults to using the native phone app, skipping the Gizmo5 route entirely. My current setup uses GV Mobile to initiate calls and Gizmo by Acrobits to answer the calls.

Even if you don't want to go the VOIP route, the free text messaging alone should save you money on your bill.

Re:Experience? (1)

ktandaeo (116154) | more than 4 years ago | (#30910374)

I use Google Voice all the time. The fact that Apple didn't allow it on the IPhone is what made me buy the Nexus One instead and drop my IPhone.

Best purchase I ever made.

The complete integration with Google Voice makes the Nexus One better than the IPhone hands down. Even though this new web workaround technically works, the fully integrated experience is 10 times better.

Re:Experience? (1)

Itninja (937614) | more than 4 years ago | (#30910436)

..all the time.

..made me buy the Nexus One.

Best Purchase I ever made.

..Nexus One better than the IPhone [sic] hands down

..fully integrated experience is 10 times better.

Do you always post with such obscene levels of hyperbole?

Re:Experience? (2, Informative)

AlexBirch (1137019) | more than 4 years ago | (#30910380)

Google voice is awesome... free texting, I can mark incoming calls as spam, you can listen to a voicemail while it's being recorded and can actually pick up the call.

Re:Experience? (1)

Trashman (3003) | more than 4 years ago | (#30910390)

Anyone have some first-hand experience with Google Voice willing to share their thoughts? I find it very intriguing but am very hesitant to use it without knowing more...

What do you want to know?

Re:Experience? (1)

Sandbags (964742) | more than 4 years ago | (#30910414)

1 good thing, i can now call any of my contacts in my google contact list, and on their caller ID they see my google number, not my cell phone number. there's also a generic dilaer so i can call anyone.
The individual pages from the app have unique icons if you save them to the home screen (dial pad, voice mail, contacts), so you can have single click equivalents to the native iPhone apps.
It;s a nice interface to the voicemail system as well, and you can also access your call history on the run (and block those pesky numbers you don't like, or add a new number to an existing contact, or manage calling groups). Basically, you no longer need to sit at a PC to manage the account.

Re:Experience? (1)

brindle (8241) | more than 4 years ago | (#30910454)

Its very useful. Here are a few of the ones I have come across.

Voice to text transcription of voicemails. You can read a message a lot faster than you can listen to one.

All email and voicemails can be emailed to you. Voicemails will have the sound file and the transcription

Reply to text messages through your email client

You can assign different missed-call messages for your different contact groups.

You can create a missed-call message for a single contact

You can record phone conversations

You can send specific callers directly to voice mail.

Re:Experience? (3, Informative)

Itninja (937614) | more than 4 years ago | (#30910480)

Been using GV on my Android for about 3 months now. Works pretty good. One big complaint is poor call quality. Making a call with my T-Mobile service is fine. But making the same call, from the same location, with GV gives me echos, 1+ seconds delays, and a few other oddities. However the transcribed voice mail is cool, albeit marginally accurate.

Re:Experience? (1)

PGGreens (1699764) | more than 4 years ago | (#30910494)

I have Google Voice and an Android phone, but I haven't found it that useful. This is partly because I only use one phone in my day-to-day life, and GV would really come in handy if you were using it to manage multiple lines (home, work, cell, etc). It's been said already, but you cannot use it to get free minutes. However, you can use it for free texting. That could be a big deal for some people, but I rarely approach my limit, anyway.

Re:Experience? (1)

spuke4000 (587845) | more than 4 years ago | (#30910508)

I use it, and I quite like it. I don't use the number that google provides, but I have linked my voice mail to gvoice so that rather than going to my Tmobile vmail messages go to Google voice. The transcriber is not so great. You can usually get the gist of a message, but it makes a lot of mistakes. That said, the other voice mail functionality is much better than Tmobile's standard offering, so on the whole the voice mail is much better.

Also, even without using the google voice number I can initate calls to Canada for free, which is nice.

If I did use the google voice number you get a lot more features (recording calls, etc. You can look them up). But I find it quite awkward. For instance, if I give everyone my google voice number then they can call and text me there. But if I call them directly, without going through google voice, their caller ID is going to show my tmobile assigned number. I could initiate the call through google voice, but that's a bit of a pain in the ass.

I have a blackberry, and the google voice app for bberry should make some of this easier, but it's pretty terrible. It's very slow, and lately it's been throwing errors saying it can validate google voice's SSL certificate. It's really not ready for primetime.

So, I do like google voice, considering it's free it adds some value, especially the voice mail functionality. But it's got a lot of rough edges.

Re:Experience? (1)

pdragon04 (801577) | more than 4 years ago | (#30910542)

I got a GV number to replace a second line I bought for my business. Just have it forward to my existing cell number and don't have to spend that extra money anymore. Worked great even before I got an Android phone and now it works even better with it nearly fully integrated into the phone.

Re:Experience? (2, Informative)

Trashman (3003) | more than 4 years ago | (#30910672)

Arstechnica [arstechnica.com] has a pretty good write-up on what it is and how it works. I've been using it for several months now. I don't give out my real number anymore and trying to get people to delete my old number and use my Google Voice number to reach me. As It gives much more control.

And yeah, it's somewhat cumbersome to initiate a call from the website but (much) less so than it is to do that from your phone. A native iPhone app would solve most of the hassles of initiating calls..

Re:Experience? (3, Informative)

natehoy (1608657) | more than 4 years ago | (#30910802)

Love it. I have one phone number, and it rings all of my phones based on a schedule I set up. When I'm at work, I get no cell signal at my desk, so I answer my work phone. When I'm on the road, my cell is the only one I'm near, so I answer that. When I'm at home, I answer my Gizmo line so I don't use cell minutes.

The beauty is, if you want to reach me, you don't have to know where I am. You don't have to keep track of three or more numbers to reach me. You just dial my Google Voice number and, if I'm reachable, I answer. And if I'm not, you leave me a voicemail. I get an SMS on my phone with a transcription of that voicemail, and a copy of the transcription is sent to my Gmail account. Plus I can always call Google from any of my phones and listen to your voicemail directly, or listen to it over the Web.

And if you are a telemarketer who calls me a lot, you get my "go away" message and I never have to be aware of your existence again. :)

Not really. (1)

Stavr0 (35032) | more than 4 years ago | (#30910242)

This is not the same as the iPhone Skype implementation: The only trick they did is to allow access to the Google Voice web page. The useful stuff, making a call and receiving a call is done by forwarding incoming calls to your iPhone's number and by setting up a 3-way call where GV's PBX where it dials your iPhone and the dialed number.

In short: this does not work with an iPod Touch.

Re:Not really. (1)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 4 years ago | (#30910658)

The useful stuff, making a call and receiving a call is done by forwarding incoming calls to your iPhone's number and by setting up a 3-way call where GV's PBX where it dials your iPhone and the dialed number.

Actually, no, that was the old way (and the mechanism still used by the "vanilla" Google Voice web interface you get if you aren't using an iPhone or, presumably, Android phone.) This new app actually uses the iPhone dialer to call into the GV PBX rather than calling back to the iPhone.

I don't think so (5, Funny)

jollyreaper (513215) | more than 4 years ago | (#30910244)

"Google has found a way to let iPhone owners use Google Voice."

Really? There's a patch for that.

The next step (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30910274)

Now if they can just manage to invent websites which let you check the weather or news, then the entire App Store model will be history!

Seriously, games I get, but for any app which is only useful when you're connected to the network anyway... why not just use a website?

Forget Google's Web App (3, Informative)

pudge (3605) | more than 4 years ago | (#30910316)

Use GV Mobile [seankovacs.com] , available through Cydia. Much much better. An actual app for starters. :-)

Re:Forget Google's Web App (1)

mthiel (21378) | more than 4 years ago | (#30910818)

I don't think GV Mobile has direct-dial though, no? It still has to setup calls via a (literal) call-back?

Ipod Touch too? (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 4 years ago | (#30910330)

We do have wifi, and a mic.

Re:Ipod Touch too? (1)

Stavr0 (35032) | more than 4 years ago | (#30910396)

No. This is not a VOIP app. It's merely a call-forwarding hack.

Re:Ipod Touch too? (1)

cbhacking (979169) | more than 4 years ago | (#30910416)

But, you don't have phone capability... which is what is required for this. The "app" just uses the phone capability to place a call to a Google-owned number, which then routes the call to your destination such that it shows as coming from your Google Voice number, rather than your iPhone number.

Re:Ipod Touch too? (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 4 years ago | (#30910792)

That is why i asked, i was hoping it was a real VoIP that we could use, without jailbreaking first.

Now we need a Gizmo app (1)

Oyjord (810904) | more than 4 years ago | (#30910548)

I use Google Voice in conjunction with Gizmo on my PC, and it works brilliantly for free, cell-phone free calling. So I guess now we need a Gizmo app to complete the circuit, no?

Not VOIP (1)

Archangel Michael (180766) | more than 4 years ago | (#30910558)

And Google has (Temporarily) killed the best VOIP service out there: Gizmo5.

I only wish I picked up a Gizmo SIP while I had a chance. I'm extremely depressed that I didn't. :(

Google, please bring it back!

Oh great... (1)

mackinaw_apx (1444371) | more than 4 years ago | (#30910614)

Have fun with the Bing! crap. VZW shoved that down the throats of some (or possibly most, I'm not certain) BlackBerry and Droid users. Come to use my phone one day, with the Bing! app icon on my BBs "desktop", and the default search in the web browser set to Bing as well..... Dammit, let me have my Google, please. (In all fairness, I can still use Google... I was just ticked at the fact they went ahead and shoved Bing on my phone)
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