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Tuesday, November 16, 2010, 12:20 pm PT (03:20 pm ET)

Apple approves official Google Voice application for iPhone

The official Google Voice application was finally accepted into the App Store by Apple on Tuesday, bringing to the iPhone an application that was previously rejected and resulted in an inquiry from the U.S. Federal Communications Commission.

The Google Voice App is a free download available in the App Store, and works for any users of the Google Voice telephony service. Features of the application advertised by Google include:
  • Cheap rates for international calls
  • Free text messaging to U.S. numbers
  • Voicemail transcription
  • Display your Google Voice number as caller ID when making calls

The software also offers a number of features that can only be accomplished with a native iPhone application. Previously, Google had offered a mobile Voice service through a website.

The native app will alert users when they receive a new voicemail or text message with push notifications. In addition, most calls will be placed via Direct Access Numbers, making them connect just as quickly as regular phone calls.

Google Voice for iPhone requires iOS 3.1 or later and a valid Google Voice account to use the App. It is currently available in the U.S. only.

Voice


Reports that Apple would change its stance on the Google Voice application first surfaced in September, after Apple revised and published its own App Store Review Guidelines. Applications that accessed the Google Voice service were pulled in 2009, after Google submitted its own official application.

Apple refused to accept the official Google Voice app into the App Store, which prompted an investigation from the U.S. Federal Communications Commission. Apple told the FCC that it was reviewing the software, but contended it did not outright reject it.