Apple Says No To Google Voice On The iPhone

from the shameless dept

As we wait to hear if Spotify's mobile app gets approved (I heard a rumor that it was, but have seen no proof yet), we hear of another questionable Apple iPhone rejection: the Google Voice iPhone app has been forbidden from the iPhone, though the reasons aren't entirely clear. Still, it does show that Apple doesn't care who you are, or how big a name. If it doesn't like your app, too bad. Once again, this seems like an argument for why more open solutions will win out in the end. Not only do users not have to worry about arbitrary rejections like this, but innovation will happen much faster on open platforms where each innovation doesn't need to be approved by a mercurial secret cabal.


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    That Guy, Jul 28th, 2009 @ 4:13am

    Well my subtle guess is that it was rejected because it would be taking away from the call plan that the phone is actualy on. Not that that would not be a bad thing, but I do not blame Apple for barring this app from it's store. It would be a slap in the face to the providers.

     

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      PopeRatzo, Jul 28th, 2009 @ 5:29am

      Re:

      Well, I do blame Apple, for not allowing mainstream apps like Google Voice, as well as their draconian approach to vetting applications.

      It's the main reason I have not bought an iPhone.

       

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        Rob R. (profile), Jul 28th, 2009 @ 5:51am

        Re: Re:

        If you have not bought an iPhone, then why are you whining? I have an iPhone, as do many of my friends. Know how many of us are going to get rid of our iPhones because of this? NONE. Know how many of us will get the next iPhone? ALL of us.

        Know why we love it so much? Because things are controlled at Apple and what they release just works. All the way back to the Mac Color Classic I have over in the corner that still works and we still play games on that have worked for over 20 years.

        Call me a fanboy if you want - I am a fan. I will continue to be a fan so long as they keep producing things that beat Microsoft with an ugly stick as they have been. I also will keep buying Apple products and using them very happily. 2 iPods and an iPhone in my household? Damn straight. Know how many Zunes or Palms? None. Not a damn one. No problems, either.

        So yes, blame Apple for not allowing an app that would overload the cellular network of the carrier and make nincompoops whine that they need a better network. Whine because you don't have a phone that does everything and costs nothing. Whine more. Come on, whine!

        BOOOOOOOOOHOOOOooooooooooooooo...............

         

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          Ikonoclasm, Jul 28th, 2009 @ 6:02am

          Re: Re: Re:

          So, you're advocating for Apple keeping the system closed? That's a selling point for you and your friends? You'd rather have less apps, but on a phone in wider use? Can you explain how lots of other people using the phone adds benefit to your personal use? Or how Apple choosing to arbitrarily block apps benefits you?

           

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          Simon (profile), Jul 28th, 2009 @ 6:07am

          Re: Re: Re:

          PopeRatzo's point is entirely valid and relevant to this story. I'm sympathetic to his post because I happen to be in exactly the same position (Apple's policy is stopping me from becoming a customer). I do not see where he is whining.
          Rob R. you seem to have quite a chip on your shoulder feeling you have to justify the choices you have made. You remind me of a beaten wife, defending her husband's actions "he only does it because he loves me".

           

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          R. Miles (profile), Jul 28th, 2009 @ 6:21am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Know why we love it so much? Because things are controlled at Apple and what they release just works.
          Really? So, the removal of DRM in lieu of a 3 tier price scheme but offer none at $0.69 works for you?
          Or how applications, which were approved, get pulled over night because someone at Apple deems it offensive works for you?

          Wow, your definition of "works" is so liberal, I'm thankful some of us with brains refuse to support this company's way of "working" with customers.

          I'm sure you'll have no problem when Apple starts making other decisions it sees fit because they "work" for you.

          Idiot.

          The entire point of applications is to open up information for sharing. iTunes blocked on Palm Pre isn't "working", it's limiting. What purpose does this company have for blocking WORKING software from a competitor phone?

          Nevermind. Trying to explain this to you would be a waste of time.

          And Techdirt, maybe you should quit reporting crap like this. Let Apple continue to make stupid mistakes like this until the customers finally realize they're not paying for product, but draconian rules and regulations.

          This way, damn Apple can finally die already!

           

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            Mikey (profile), Jul 28th, 2009 @ 6:49am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Not being able to comprehend the benefits of an open system is why Rob D. ultimately loves his useless little iPhone. He can't help but think that since the only innovative feature on the iPhone, the touch screen, is augmented with a sleek look, he has the best piece of hardware money can buy. Unfortunately for him, and many iPhone users, aesthetics have never been correlated with functionality or utility.

            I wouldn't expect him, or any other die-hard company supporter, to ever see through gilded corporate masterpieces.

             

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              Jon Bremnes (profile), Jul 28th, 2009 @ 3:24pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              not everyone wants to buy the device with the most new innovative features or technologies. Not everyone wants to buy the device that adheres to the most stringent open, cross-platform standards or paradigms. Some do, and for those the iPhone is not the right product.

              Others want something that looks sleek, contains the necessary features for them (and has the option to add further features through an app store, which no other product did, it should be noted), and just works. For those, Apple's obsession with full control of hardware and software and somewhat whimsical approach to approval procedures to third-party apps might not matter that much.

              Let's try to avoid turning this into a pro-/anti-Apple flamewar. The iPhone has its flaws but it's still a damn good product.

              That Guy above is probably spot on, Apple may well have been influenced/persuaded through some gentle nudging by the various carriers that shelled out boatloads of cash to get exclusivity on the iPhone and see Google Voice as a direct threat to their revenues.

               

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              hexjones (profile), Jul 31st, 2009 @ 1:42pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              "Unfortunately for him, and many iPhone users, aesthetics have never been correlated with functionality or utility."

              What? I think you are confusing ergonomics with aestetics. The iPhone uses both. The utility comes in with the ergonomics and the software. Usable maps anyone?

               

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          Anonymous Coward, Jul 28th, 2009 @ 7:55am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Translation of Rob R.'s comment:

          "I don't care what any of you say or think. I love shiny gadgets and Apple has the best shiny gadgets. They "just work." I don't care that Apple dictates how I will use the device I pay a lot of money for. I love it when major corporations stifle technology. Google = Sucks. Microsoft = Sucks. Now wallow in you Google Voice misery while I go play some crappy 20 y/o game on my crappy 20 y/o Mac because it still just works."

          Whatever you say Rob. Too bad Google Voice doesn't "just work." From the latest round of Macbook updates a whole lot of those don't "just work" in many regards. But hey, keep drinking the Kool-Aid. I mean anybody with common sense knows that innovation is IMPOSSIBLE outside of Cupertino.

           

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          Anonymous Coward, Jul 28th, 2009 @ 8:07am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Though we're not friends, I'm one person who has actually reached my limit with Apple's ridiculous App Store policies. Their backtracking, backsliding, sidestepping, and other fancy footwork they use in their App Store approval process is making me dizzy. And I'm done with it.

          Too many apps have been accepted and then removed. Rejected, and then later allowed in. Rejected with no reasonable explanation. There's no rhyme or reason to most of it.

          As soon as I see a compelling Android-based phone, I'm getting that.

           

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          mcs, Jul 28th, 2009 @ 8:54am

          Re: Re: Re:

          "Know why we love it so much? Because things are controlled at Apple and what they release just works. All the way back to the Mac Color Classic I have over in the corner that still works and we still play games on that have worked for over 20 years."

          Classic.

          So the two most important selling points to you are: it has the word Apple on it, and it works.

           

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      JackSombra (profile), Jul 28th, 2009 @ 6:05am

      Re:

      You don't blame apple, where i do. They need to decide if the are a phone maker/retailer or a cell providers bi*tch

      This is number one why i don't like apple, i buy a product i want to do what i want with it, i paid for it after all, i did not rent it

       

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      Chuck Norris' Enemy (deceased) (profile), Jul 28th, 2009 @ 7:03am

      Re: Call plan

      Now that is crap. I am guessing most people have unlimited calling so that wouldn't change the cost. Using Google Voice would actually still use data. I'm not sure how good the data plan is but using GV instead of the phone plan might give network providers...(correction, the only network provider) more money. I am guessing it has more to do with battery life. =]

       

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    Tony, Jul 28th, 2009 @ 4:29am

    If ATT has free incoming calls like US Cell, then I understand the not approving the app. I say this because with google voice you can make any call that you make an incoming call. If ATT does not have free incoming calls, then I do not get it.

     

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      Rob R. (profile), Jul 28th, 2009 @ 5:54am

      Re:

      I say this because with google voice you can make any call that you make an incoming call.

      Umm, what? Even if this was an actual sentence, there would still be no logic here. What does free incoming calls (or the lack of) have to do with Google Voice not being allowed on the iPhone?

       

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        fat Tony, Jul 28th, 2009 @ 6:21am

        Re: Re:

        Google Voice works by dialing you and your intended distant end. You receive a call and then you are connected to the person you want to speak with.
        You don't actually dial out to anyone. You only receive calls.

         

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          SAWK, Jul 28th, 2009 @ 8:03am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Please explain more. If I want to talk to someone, do I telepathically tell GV to call my friend and myself?? wtf??

           

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          TheStupidOne, Jul 28th, 2009 @ 8:12am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Google voice can operate two ways:

          1) you get online and tell GV to call you and call the person you want to talk to and just connect you.

          2) you call your own GV number and then make outgoing calls from there.

          I would think AT&T would love GV because it is more connections that they can charge you for because the calls to and from GV are not in-network and in-network calls are free. GV is not VOIP from your phone.

           

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            Yakko Warner, Jul 28th, 2009 @ 9:17am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            That was my thought. When I first signed up for Google Voice, I thought I would be able to use it to make calls from my PC, kind of like Skype. But that's not it at all. You still need an actual phone service to use it; it just works like a receptionist/switchboard operator to connect you to other phone numbers, and to take messages.

            Maybe Apple had the same initial thought I did and didn't look into it any further. :? It wouldn't replace any iPhone user's phone service at all; if anything, it'd help them use it more effectively.

            Can't have that now.

             

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              Derek Kerton (profile), Jul 28th, 2009 @ 10:47am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              You are saying that you signed up for GV without understanding it?

              Then you say Apple probably evaluated it as poorly as you.

              I don't like their closed system, but (esp. with a product as high profile as GV) I'm willing to concede that they probably understood it better than you before rejecting it!!

               

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    fat Tony, Jul 28th, 2009 @ 4:34am

    The poor providers

    Woe to them that make $0.20 per extra text message and even more for roaming data. Such a terrible plight having competition.
    Particularly mostly free competition. I say mostly because the international calling is not free, just very cheap.

    So far I greatly enjoy Google Voice on my G1, if the Iphoners really want to use it they can via the website:
    www.google.com/voice/m

    This inconvenience will hopefully not stifle usage. If it does, I don't feel bad for the Iphoners. They still get to have their over-rated phone

     

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      hegemon13, Jul 29th, 2009 @ 10:53am

      Re: The poor providers

      AT&T is not banning competition, just refusing to sponsor it on their network. Should Wal-mart be required to let a competing pharmacy open inside their store? Of course not. I can understand this completely. AT&T does not want voice apps because it effectively makes all plans unlimited. It is no cheaper for AT&T, as they still have to provide the bandwidth for the voice data, but they can no longer charge based on usage.

       

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        hegemon13, Jul 29th, 2009 @ 10:56am

        Re: Re: The poor providers

        Oops, I should explain...I am pretty sure Apple banned this app because of the AT&T terms of service. Nearly all mobile data plans ban VOIP and similar services in their TOS.

         

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    ScaredOfTheMan, Jul 28th, 2009 @ 4:57am

    Web based apps

    This is just reinforcement of Google notion of the Web Based App.

    Would I Love a full featured GUI on my phone absolutely, and shame on Apple for doing such a stupid thing and capitulating to carriers.

    Will I use the web version of Google Apps to send txt messages and place cheap international calls you betcha. ATT can only keep plugging the dam for so long.

     

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      Derek Kerton (profile), Jul 28th, 2009 @ 10:58am

      Re: Web based apps

      "shame on Apple for doing such a stupid thing and capitulating to carriers."

      You do not understand the industry. If Apple did not "capitulate" to carriers, you would not have an iPhone in your pocket.

      Apple got a LOT of concessions from AT&T that were UNPRECEDENTED and way out of the norm. They were able to do so because their device was so iconic, and they also brought to AT&T their base of customers, iTunes users, and fanboys. Apple had "hand" at the negotiation table.

      But don't be a fool and think AT&T didn't also have "hand". AT&T was not a lightweight. Without a big national carrier, Apple would have no scale, fewer distribution points, and would be selling an unsubsidized $600 phone in June 2007. At that price, volume would be constrained (as it was). It was the AT&T subsidy that brought the price down to $200 that put the iPhone in the winner's circle, and only the carrier can offer a subsidy, because only they can recoup it in monthly revenues.

      Basically, both sides of the negotiating table made painful concessions. AT&T is used to total control of their phones, Apple is used to total control of their devices and iTunes environment. Both gave up control to launch the iPhone. Neither "capitulated".

      If the control had gone more in AT&T's favor, they would have dumbed down the iPhone and made it another ROKR. If the control had gone more in Apple favor, they would lose the recurring revenue share, and probably lose the subsidy.

      Now the two companies are partners (like it or not). And they both have a say in how products and services are rolled out. Good, bad, legal? I dunno. But it is a big step forwards over the way we were.

      Apple put a tremendous dent in the way the carriers normally did business, and they could only do it with a great device. Sure, they made some concessions. That's business.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Jul 28th, 2009 @ 10:46pm

        Re: Re: Web based apps

        It was the AT&T subsidy that brought the price down to $200 that put the iPhone in the winner's circle, and only the carrier can offer a subsidy, because only they can recoup it in monthly revenues.

        Actually, you're still paying that extra $400, it's just spread out in payments over the term of your extra expensive contract. Now, Apple could have offered a payment plan that would have worked out to be the same or even less over the same length of time if they had wanted to, but they didn't. That was because they wanted more control over what the users could do with the phone and partnering with an exclusive service provider was a way to accomplish that.

        AT&T is used to total control of their phones, Apple is used to total control of their devices and iTunes environment.

        Actually, Apple *doesn't* have that kind of control over their other computers and they were jealous of the way that wireless companies like AT&T did. That's why they partnered with one.

        Lock-in and control is central to both Apple's and AT&T's business models, so they have similar goals.

         

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          Derek Kerton (profile), Jul 29th, 2009 @ 11:46am

          Re: Re: Re: Web based apps

          I think I agree with you more than I disagree. But I'll focus on the latter:

          When I say Apple is used to total control of their devices and iTunes environment, I am not thinking of their computers, for which they exercise less control. But iPods and Itunes are pretty locked up! Look how they react to the Palm Pre, and look at AAC DRM.

          Then, I disagree with your premise that Apple could have sold the phones themselves for $600 with a payment plan. While, mathematically, this would work out to pretty much the same, it is not a likely market success. Consumers would compare the $600 iPhone with the $200 and free phones from carriers, and the masses would choose the cheaper upfront payments. Also, no carrier in the USA offers a discounted plan for BYO Phone. So you would still end up paying $100 or so per month at ATT or T-MO to connect your $600 iPhone, but NOT get the benefit of the subsidy. Nope, this wouldn't work.

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Jul 30th, 2009 @ 1:24pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Web based apps

            Consumers would compare the $600 iPhone with the $200 and free phones from carriers...

            Ah yes, the old "free phone" lie the carriers like to tell. That's really blatant fraud, in my opinion, but law enforcement looks the other way when it's the likes of AT&T doing it.

            Also, no carrier in the USA offers a discounted plan for BYO Phone.

            Yeah, that fact kind of blows away the "it's to pay for the phone" excuse telco apologists give for why the carriers require contracts. They still require the same contracts and charge the same rates whether you're getting a phone or not. I really wish the FCC would prohibit the telcos from essentially requiring people to purchase other items in order to get phone service. In other industries, such as electricity, water, gas, etc., that's illegal. For example, the power company (at least where I live) can't tell you that you have to go buy some new appliances from one of their "partners" before they'll hook you up for electricity.

             

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    John Doe, Jul 28th, 2009 @ 5:01am

    Can you say Android?

    Sure, I thought you could.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Jul 28th, 2009 @ 5:37am

      Re: Can you say Android?

      I can say it, but I always chuckle afterwards. I'll keep my iPhone, thanks.

       

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        John Doe, Jul 28th, 2009 @ 8:26am

        Re: Re: Can you say Android?

        Actually, I have a Blackberry Storm. But when I am due for a replacement, I will examine all of the smart phone choices and choose the best one for me at the time. I am not brand loyal, though I am partial to Verizon as many of my friends and family have Verizon so I can talk to them without burning minutes. Unfortunately, networks limit the choice of phones as well, but that is another topic.

         

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        Anonymous Coward, Jul 28th, 2009 @ 10:48pm

        Re: Re: Can you say Android?

        Android is nerdy, like Linux.
        iPhone is cool, like Apple.

         

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    TPBer (profile), Jul 28th, 2009 @ 5:14am

    GV

    Is one of the best things to come out of Google as of late. The sms is absolutely outstanding and the free phone # along with free US calling will make the other guys cry in the near future. You can change wireless carriers like underwear without ever changing your GV #.

    Bye,Bye AT&T

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Jul 28th, 2009 @ 5:39am

      Re: GV

      And how exactly is it bye bye AT&T?? How is Google voice going to take down a huge cell phone provider - that provides the bandwidth this app would use on the iPhone?!? Are you frikkin daft?

      Google Voice is a great thing and will definitely change things, but there is a ZERO% chance that it will make AT&T go bye bye.

       

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        TPBer (profile), Jul 28th, 2009 @ 7:58am

        Re: Re: GV

        Please refer to post #24, if you need further clarification refer to this link,

        http://www.tmcnet.com/news/2009/07/27/4293373.htm

        "Like I said bye bye AT&T"

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Jul 28th, 2009 @ 8:28am

          Re: Re: Re: GV

          Gizmo5 doesn't have an iPhone client that I'm aware of, so I don't see how it's relevant to a discussion about how GV will impact ATT.

           

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            TPBer (profile), Jul 28th, 2009 @ 9:17am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: GV

            "Gizmo5 doesn't have an iPhone client that I'm aware of, so I don't see how it's relevant to a discussion about how GV will impact ATT."

            They will become irrelevant as a cel provider with the ability to turn wifi devices, like the Ipod Touch, into free cel devices. Do yourself a little research first then comment.

             

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              Anonymous Coward, Jul 28th, 2009 @ 10:48am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: GV

              "Will become..." may indeed be the case. However, that's not on topic for this article. I'll do research if you'll stay on point.

               

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              Derek Kerton (profile), Jul 28th, 2009 @ 11:03am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: GV

              Oh, man. Are we really going back to the "Wi-Fi will kill cellular" arguments of 2003-2007?

              We heard this over and over. At Techdirt, we kept saying that WiFi was local, and cellular is wide area. But the other side kept going, saying Muni-WiFi was going to bring down cellular.

              In the end, we see that cellular phones ALSO have wifi in them, to offload data traffic whenever the carrier can. However, people STILL have their subscriptions (market penetration numbers and usage numbers for cellular keep growing) to cellular carriers.

              Hasn't the "wifi will kill..." gambit been discredited enough?

               

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    Ed (profile), Jul 28th, 2009 @ 5:38am

    why bother?

    I still do not see the reason for such an attraction to iPhone. With the "nanny-state" policies of Apple and the money-hungry policies of AT&T, whatever interface advantages the iPhone may have are seriously degraded. There are far better choices for great phones out there that don't come with the tremendous "gotchas" that are mandatory with iPhone. Simply not having to install that wretched iTunes on my computer is incentive enough to NOT get an iPhone (or any other Apple product).

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Jul 28th, 2009 @ 5:42am

      Re: why bother?

      And you are obviously SO much smarter than the tens of millions of people that have iPhones and have made it the de-facto standard for smartphones. I bet you are one of the tens of people that have a Pre?

      Congratulations, you are a moron.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Jul 28th, 2009 @ 7:58am

        Re: Re: why bother?

        ever play lemmings?

         

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        Anonymous Coward, Jul 28th, 2009 @ 8:39am

        Re: Re: why bother?

        So since a lot of people use an iPhone it's perfect in every way and the Pre just sucks? Brilliant logic. A lot of people liked Vanilla Ice back in the day. Did that clearly make him the best artist on the radio?

         

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          Derek Kerton (profile), Jul 28th, 2009 @ 11:28am

          Re: Re: Re: why bother?

          You guys just don't get it. Discussing the merits of the iPhone, and why it's a tremendous success isn't about YOU.

          The one side says how much they love it.

          The other side says it's just a shiny object that limits your control.

          Because this is how YOU each interpret it. Who gives a shit? If we're talking about the market, the business, then what really matters is how an iPhone connects to the mass market. And the evidence is that it does OK.

          Like many of you Techdirt readers, I'm an extreme geek so I don't want an iPhone. I don't want to be limited. I like installing prototype apps to my WinMo phone, doing streaming, Slingbox, Skype, Kyte.tv, Qik, etc.

          But do you really think the mass market understands or even knows about the limitations of their iPhone? Before iPhone, it was an extremely small subset of the market that had EVER installed an application to their phone. Now, we're supposed to cry a river because Apple blocks 2% of the submitted apps? These phones are going out to people that are installing apps for the first time because the iPhone makes it easy, so how limiting is Apple's model to those people? Not at all!! (different story for developers)

          I've been doing phenomenally advanced stuff on my phone for years. I have been alone. I ran the Disney team that built mobile content for phones (some brands you might recognize like ESPN and ABCNews) in 1999-2001. It was lonely when nobody knew how to view the content I made - and not much changed by 2007. The iPhone was the device that took techno-fools, and empowered them to do the same stuff as me. Meanwhile, I still have a few tricks...but my phone also has hiccups, hangs, glitches, etc.

          I do enjoy the irony of reading an article that suggests, or seeing an iPhone user act as if they are "techie" or "a geek". I see this group as tech laggards. But in reality, they are just the mass market that needs a product's value proposition to be easily accessible.

          It's not about you. It's about the mass market. This iPhone is a winner. It is fantastic. It is seminal, it is a game changer, it empowers normal people to actually USE the mobile web. Deny that in the face of sales and data traffic statistics, and you'll seem like an anti-Apple fool.

          But still, it's not the right device for me, and maybe not you either. So we get something else, but why rant against iPhone just cuz it's not for you. My HTC Touch Pro is pretty slick. Doesn't mean the iPhone sucks.

          Metaphor time: An Android or WinMo user saying the iPhone sucks because "it's actually a simple device and you lose control" is like a stick-shifter saying automatic transmissions suck in cars. It may be so for you, but the market disagrees most vehemently.

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Jul 28th, 2009 @ 11:04pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: why bother?

            If we're talking about the market, the business, then what really matters is how an iPhone connects to the mass market. And the evidence is that it does OK.

            Good point. There is indeed a seemingly large segment of the population that wants to be told what to do, what to think, etc. To them, having Apple as their nanny is actually a good thing because it makes life simpler for them.

            Like many of you Techdirt readers, I'm an extreme geek so I don't want an iPhone. I don't want to be limited. I like installing prototype apps to my WinMo phone, doing streaming, Slingbox, Skype, Kyte.tv, Qik, etc.

            But many people DO want to be limited. Freedom is a scary thing to them and they want someone like Steve Jobs to guide them. Yes, they actually WANT Apple to tell them which apps to run and which not to.

             

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      Harshal (profile), Jul 28th, 2009 @ 5:57am

      Re: why bother?

      "Simply not having to install that wretched iTunes on my computer is incentive enough to NOT get an iPhone (or any other Apple product)."

      Absolutely

       

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    Matt, Jul 28th, 2009 @ 5:56am

    When you say "though the reasons aren't entirely clear." you make it seem like all of the other apps apple rejects were clear cut

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 28th, 2009 @ 6:53am

    Misunderstanding about Google Voice

    My understanding is that Google Voice does NOT provide free calling, at least not directly. GV calls you first, then the number you want to dial, then connects the two. So, you must ALREADY have phone service through some provider for this to work. And if it's ATT on a mobile phone, then it's going to use ATT minutes, even if you're going through GV.

    Where GV will impact ATT rates:
    - SMS
    - International calls (because you'll be connecting to an international number, but only using "normal" minutes)

    Unless my understanding is off (and I don't think it is), then some of the comments in this thread need to be re-thought.

     

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      chris (profile), Jul 28th, 2009 @ 7:34am

      Re: Misunderstanding about Google Voice

      GV calls you first, then the number you want to dial, then connects the two. So, you must ALREADY have phone service through some provider for this to work. And if it's ATT on a mobile phone, then it's going to use ATT minutes, even if you're going through GV.

      GV will place calls to gizmo5 accounts. G5 has a web app so you can make receive calls via their web page, and a number of clients for operating systems and mobile phones.

      i don't think they have an iphone app, but G5 uses SIP for it's VOIP protocol, so any SIP client should work for making and receiving calls.

      you can integrate GV and G5 under your user preferences on the G5 website so you can automate going to the google talk website and have GV call your G5 account and the party you are calling up.

      since this is all SIP, there is no PSTN termination and assuming you can find a working sip client, you could use GV+G5 to make and receive calls using the data option on your phone.

      i have not tested this on an iphone, since i don't have one, but it works on my nokia N810 over wifi, and with my sipura ATA.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Jul 28th, 2009 @ 7:46am

        Re: Re: Misunderstanding about Google Voice

        That's fine if you're at the computer, but that's not the issue here. We're talking about the impact of GV on ATT's mobile plan.

        Further, even SMS is forwarded to your phone, using SMS credits. This doesn't have to be the case ... you can go to the website to check your SMS, but that's inconvenient. Now, a native GV app with push notification to alert you to incoming SMS would certainly get around ATT's SMS credit requirements, but there are already "free SMS" apps in the App Store, so I don't get that objection, either.

         

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          chris (profile), Jul 28th, 2009 @ 9:33am

          Re: Re: Re: Misunderstanding about Google Voice

          That's fine if you're at the computer, but that's not the issue here. We're talking about the impact of GV on ATT's mobile plan.

          there are SIP clients that run on mobile platforms and with the availability of web based voip clients for both GV and G5, the possibility exists to make and receive calls using the [supposedly] unlimited data plan or via wifi, effectively bypassing the use of your AT&T minutes or AT&T SMS.

          i believe this possibility (or the specter of such a possibility) is the reason for apple blocking the GV mobile app.

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Jul 28th, 2009 @ 11:14pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Misunderstanding about Google Voice

            there are SIP clients that run on mobile platforms

            In case you missed it, we're talking about the Apple iPhone. Apple has not approved any SIP clients for the iPhone and the Google Voice app they banned did not include one either.

            i believe this possibility (or the specter of such a possibility) is the reason for apple blocking the GV mobile app.

            Considering what I just wrote above, your reasoning then makes no sense.

             

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      Josh - To common a name. This is me. (profile), Jul 28th, 2009 @ 8:42am

      Re: Misunderstanding about Google Voice

      Actually this is a misunderstanding...on your part.

      GV only makes use of my mobile minutes if I have it set to call my cell phone. However, I can set it to call any number I want it to. For example, I have it set to call my work number between 7:30am and 4:30pm weekdays and my cell phone any other time. So it would only use my cell minutes if it called my cell. However, it does not use my cell minutes for long distance or international calls. It is only a local call to my cell phone no matter what number I dial.

      The way it works is that you purchase international minutes directly from GV. With rates substantially lower than the rates that POTS or even cell providers offer.

      So what the second commenter (tony) said, that some people had trouble understanding, makes sense. If you have a cell plan that allows for free incoming calls, i.e. it does not charge against your cell plan minutes. Then GV truly does not cost you anything. GV calles your phone via your GV number, so that call is free to you, then GV completes the call to the person you are trying to reach using the POTS. Again, not using any of your cell minutes.

      So really, the only way that GV can impact the price you have to pay AT&T, or any provider, is if you have it set to allow SMS messages to be sent to your phone. And that's only if you don't have a $20 unlimited text plan.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Jul 28th, 2009 @ 10:45am

        Re: Re: Misunderstanding about Google Voice

        First of all, the only thing that's relevant to this conversation is the MOBILE aspect/uses of GV.

        Second, ATT does charge for incoming calls, so no matter how you use GV, you're going to be "using minutes."

        True, the SMS feature (if you don't forward them to your phone) and the international calling are a threat to ATT. However, "lost minutes" aren't.

         

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    Overcast (profile), Jul 28th, 2009 @ 7:47am

    I wish I owned a cell phone that the provider would tell me what to do and what not to do with.

     

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    The Infamous Joe (profile), Jul 28th, 2009 @ 8:14am

    Info.

    I have a GV account, and an iPhone. I'd hate my iPhone if it weren't jailbroken. I admit it to anyone who asks me how I like it. Apple's app policy is complete crap. Do they also control what can and can't be installed on their laptops? The creator of GV Mobile, a GV app that was approved and now removed, is putting up his app for free on Cydia (as I urged him to from the beginning, I might add!)

    Also, you *do* make outgoing calls with GV. You have to call your own GV number. The "get around minutes" plan only works on networks where you can pick "favorite" numbers to not count towards your minutes-- because picking your GV number would then allow you to route everything through them, and nothing would cost minutes.

    AT&T does not have a "favorite" type plan that I am aware of.

    Sean Kovacs (The creator of GV mobile) got a phone call that said:
    Richard Chipman from Apple just called - he told me they're removing GV Mobile from the App Store due to it duplicating features that the iPhone comes with (Dialer, SMS, etc). He didn't actually specify which features, although I assume the whole app in general. He wouldn't send a confirmation email either - too scared I would post it. I'll see what I can do to get it back up there gang!

    Just FYI.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Jul 28th, 2009 @ 11:52am

      Re: Info.

      Also, you *do* make outgoing calls with GV. You have to call your own GV number.
      That is an option, but not your only option. You may also initiate a call through the website (desktop or mobile), and the system will dial you; when you answer, it dials the remote party. Thus, the free-incoming-calls argument holds...just not for AT&T.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 28th, 2009 @ 8:15am

    who cares about a stupid application on a stupid application store. this is hardly worthy of posting on your website, but it is becoming apparent that you dislike apple
    Starting to sound a bit bias.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Jul 28th, 2009 @ 8:49am

      Re:

      Look around the internet about the buzz that this rejection is causing. It's a noteworthy story.

      So when Apple rejects an app because of some convoluted ridiculous reason, Techdirt is supposed to not care because they don't want to appear biased? Did you forget that you're reading techDIRT? They would call out Microsoft or Ubuntu or whoever if they acted stupid as well.

       

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        Derek Kerton (profile), Jul 28th, 2009 @ 11:37am

        Re: Re:

        We've been quite complementary to the iPhone here at Techdirt, but not to the control exercised on the app community. Control often allows a company to leap forward as they design the entire experience (AOL). But there will be bodies in the basement of any dictator.

        And even then, we only argue that the closed nature will leave the door open for other more open approaches in the future - either from Apple or someone else.

        Some work by techdirt:
        https://www.insightcommunity.com/case.php?iid=1052

         

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 28th, 2009 @ 8:33am

    Let's just hope...

    The Omnia HD gets a flashy ad campaign that attracts the same developer enthusiasm the iCrap had. With a better hardware base, and no Apple restrictions, that phone could be the most fun you'll ever have. Plus, it has Wi-Fi, with no built in method for forcing you to pay for mobile internet (under the guise of an EXCLUSIVE plan just for YOU) which is like saying, "We have Wi-Fi, but by default you must use a $30/month service that is slower and less reliable than the network you're in range of and if you don't like it we'll brick your phone."

     

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    Ed (profile), Jul 28th, 2009 @ 8:42am

    better value...

    I have an unlocked T-Mobile Dash that I bought on Ebay for around $80. I have no contract with T-Mobile. I have a loyalty plan that gives me unlimited anytime voice, unlimited SMS/MMS, and unlimited data for $75/month. T-Mobile not only allows tethering but supports the included one-touch-connect on the phone. I just upgraded the phone's OS to Windows Mobile 6.5 and am enjoying a nice new interface that does everything I want and need without hassle, my browser can view flash websites without a problem, and I can purchase $5 batteries on Amazon and have one charged up and ready in my desktop charger for a quick swapout when needed. And at least in my area, I get far better coverage and call-quality than my friends with AT&T and their iPhones. And I don't have to install iTunes!

     

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    HostWiseluy, Aug 12th, 2009 @ 9:57am

    This is really a nice post!This seems to be very informative,and seems to give great new ideas about the latest in computers.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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