Google Voice Invades iPhones Again

Refused as an iPhone app, Google's calling software sneaks back as a Web app

Tuesday, Jan 26, 2010  |  Updated 7:45 PM EDT
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Google Voice Invades iPhones Again

Google got its Voice app kicked off of the iPhone, but now it's back -- using the iPhone's own browser.

Last year, Google tried to introduce its Google Voice service to Apple iPhone owners. But it turned out to be a victim in the souring relationship between the two companies.

Though AT&T was accused of booting Google Voice, it turned out that Apple was to blame -- denying Google a spot in the App Store on the pretext that the application shared too many features with the iPhone's own functionality.

Today, the Google empire struck back by introducing a version of the voice application that works in mobile Web browsers -- including the iPhone's.

Of course, you were always able to access Google Voice from mobile browsers, but the site wasn't optimized for mobile devices. The new site, at least for the iPhone, looks pretty much exactly like the old application that Apple objected to.

The one problem is that it can't access a phone's internal contact list -- and the procedure for importing contacts from other applications into Google Voice is a little complicated.

But it does mean that you can place calls through Voice, and at Voice's free and reduced rates, without necessarily spending minutes on your voice plan.

It's a shrewd move on Google's part, and it will be interesting to see if AT&T and Apple can, or will, react.

Jackson West uses Google Voice online to place calls when T-Mobile cuts him off for being late to pay his bill.

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