TechCrunch’s Jason Kincaid notes that it’s now been a year since Apple told the FCC that it hadn’t rejected Google’s Google Voice app–it was just concerned about Google Voice bypassing the iPhone’s own Phone interface, and “pondering” how to respond.
Twelve months later, Apple is still pondering–which is confusing, because it’s also approved Line 2, Skype, and other apps which let you make phone calls without using the iPhone’s phone features. Meanwhile, Google ended up releasing a Web-based version of Voice for iPhone users–not bad, but nowhere near as seamless as the native one for Android and BlackBerry. And most of the other interesting things that Google has done for iPhone users in the past year have come in the form of Web apps, not local ones. I don’t think Google is boycotting the iPhone, but it sure would be understandable if it preferred not to invest a lot of time in apps that Apple might decide to “ponder” indefinitely rather than approve.
If there’s any explanation for Apple’s permanent pondering of Google Voice at the same time that it approves other phone apps that doesn’t involve its rivalry with Google, I’d love to know what it is. And I’d love to know the FCC’s take on Apple’s explanation. Maybe it’s still pondering it.
Meanwhile, Kincaid notes at the end of his story that he, like TechCrunch founder Michael Arrington, is one of the few folks who have been permitted to port their existing phone number to Google Voice, making it possible to make that number reach them on any phone. He says Google plans to roll out the feature to everyone “soon.”