Apple, the lean mean app-rejecting machine, is at it again. Just yesterday we published an article about GV Mobile, an unofficial (but great) Google Voice iPhone app by Sean Kovacs, being kicked out of the App Store (after receiving approval from Phil Schiler himself). Now, a Google representative has stated in an interview with Tech Crunch that an official Google Voice iPhone app was rejected from the App Store six weeks ago.
The app was denied because it offers free text messaging, gives competitive rates on international calls, and threatens the necessity of multiple phone numbers. Ah, why would Apple care, you ask? They wouldn't…AT&T would. There is no doubt in my mind that this app was denied because of AT&T's influence on Apple. Also, this explains why Sean Kovacs' unofficial app got kicked out…if Google themselves were denied, he should be too.
This is yet another bout in the developer vs. Apple battle, and surprise surprise: Apple wins again. Recently, Apple denied another Google iPhone application, called Google Latitude (an app which allows you to see where you're friends are on a Map, just like Loopt). Google, however, came right back at Apple by releasing a Google Latitude web app (http://www.google.com/latitude/intro.html).
Google plans to do the same for Google Voice. In an interview with Tech Crunch, a Google spokesman said:
We work hard to bring Google applications to a number of mobile platforms, including the iPhone. Apple did not approve the Google Voice application we submitted six weeks ago to the Apple App Store. We will continue to work to bring our services to iPhone users ‚Äî for example, by taking advantage of advances in mobile browsers.
It's nice to see that Google realizes the potential in the Mobile Safari (it can do a lot more than you think). While webapps are great, it's still unfortunate to see that Apple must exclude such fantastic apps simply because of AT&T. C'mon AT&T, you're ruining all our fun. No MMS, no tethering, no Google Voice. What's next…no service? Oh wait…