Google uses mobile Web to bypass Apple's app block

Jan 26, 2010
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(AP) -- Google Inc. is trying to make its Voice application easier to use on the iPhone, whether Apple Inc. likes it or not.

In an upgrade announced Tuesday, Google revised the mobile Web site for Voice so that it's easier to display the service's most popular features on the iPhone's latest operating system.

Among other things, Voice offers an alternative dialing pad, voice mail and international calling discounts.

Apple has refused to allow the Voice program to be distributed through the iPhone's applications store since last summer on grounds that it would duplicate or alter important iPhone features. To get around that roadblock, Google is trying to entice iPhone users to rely on a mobile Web browser to access Voice.

Google says the overhaul will make the Web browser experience more like what users would get if Google were allowed to offer a downloadable app that could be installed on the iPhone.

Google already offers downloadable Voice apps for Research In Motion Ltd.'s BlackBerry phones and devices running on Android, an operating system developed by Google. The upgrade to the mobile Web site also makes Voice simpler to use on devices that run on Palm Inc.'s operating system.

The jousting over the Voice application underscores the rising tensions between Google and Apple, the two most valuable companies in Silicon Valley.

Apple's rebuff of Google's Voice application triggered a Federal Communications Commission inquiry into whether Apple and AT&T Inc., the iPhone's exclusive U.S. service provider, were trying to stifle potential competition.

Apple told the FCC that it hasn't rejected the Voice application outright, but Google says it still hasn't heard anything further on its attempts to make the program available for iPhone downloading. AT&T says it didn't take part in Apple's review of the Voice application.

Google's Voice service had 1.4 million users as of October, according to a company disclosure to the FCC.

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not rated yet Jan 26, 2010
Good idea, but I don't think it's in Google's best interest. Apple can just block Google Voice's web address all together.

I do think Apple has the right to do this as Google is essentially stealing profits from Apple/AT&T by allowing this to happen.
not rated yet Jan 26, 2010
"Apple can just block Google Voice's web address all together."

Google would like that as it would bring the FCC back into the fight. If apple ignore it & its popularity grows apple looks bad if they don't approve it as an app.

If apple update safari (the only browser on the iPhone) to cripple the app google can cry anti-competative behavior akin to explorer being bundled with windows and maybe offer a version of chrome?

Google wins either way

not rated yet Jan 26, 2010
Good for Google, put the pressure on AT&T and Apple.

Now if only I could get a Google voice invite.
5 / 5 (1) Jan 27, 2010
I do think Apple has the right to do this as Google is essentially stealing profits from Apple/AT&T by allowing this to happen.

I respectfully disagree. The Internet and access to the Internet should remain neutral of corporate interests. Allowing Apple to block web addresses would be the first shot across the bow in the net neutrality fight.