It’s been a long road for the Google Voice application on the iPhone. First it was there, and then Apple pulled it without giving a reason why. So many eyebrows went up over that one that even the United States government came calling for answers. In response, Google launched an HTML5 website that you could access and get most of the service’s features, but it wasn’t quite as good as having a native app.
For an unknown reason, things have now come full circle, and the official app has relaunched as of today.
Google’s official blog post about this turn of events lacks any sort of details as to what has brought about this reversal by Apple, but does any one really care? All that matters is that it’s back, and better than ever. Some of the things you can do with the new app 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
- With push notifications, the app will alert you instantly when you receive a new voicemail or text message
- Most of your calls will be placed via Direct Access Numbers, making them connect just as quickly as regular phone calls
The application is limited to members of the service in the United States for now, but there are plans to roll out internationally in 2011. Also, before iPad and iPod Touch users get all itchy with ideas they can use this to make calls with this, those devices are not supported as of yet. There are plans to add support for them, but no timeline as to when that will happen has been given as of yet.
Could we see this pulled again? Who knows, it is Apple’s ballgame after all, but I don’t think either company wants to go through dealing with the FCC (Federal Communications Commission) again. I would imagine the two companies, despite all of the other differences they’ve had as of late, will try to make it stick this time.
What say you? Are you excited for the return of Google Voice?