Google Mobile Voice? There’s not an app for that!

A couple of days ago Sean Kovacs, the developer of Google Voice Mobile, posted on his blog a piece of news reporting that Richard Chipman from Apple just called and told him they were removing GV Mobile from the App Store due to it duplicating features that the iPhone comes with. No further details have been provided.

This is quite curious, since there are a lot of applications on the App Store that duplicates existing iPhone features and by the way just considering that as a valid reason to remove an application could be debated. By the way, Apple has removed also all the other applications that were using the Google utility.

Google Voice provides users with one number for all personal phones, voicemail as easy as email, and lots of cool calling features. The service is free, but a charge applies for international calls or special services. SMS are free, anyway, and international calls are really cheap, since it does not use VoIP thru WiFi but phone lines.

Jason Kincaid (TechCrunc) and many others are supposing that AT&T is behind that restriction. In fact, AT&T has the exclusive distribution rights for iPhone in USA, and GV Mobile was a fearful competitor for that telco.

I am not surprised by this fact. The main reason I have not yet purchased an iPhone, even if I like its design, interface, and capabilities, is the control that Apple has on the App Store. I am a supporter of Open Source and Freeware, and I do not like that somebody may decide what I can run on a device of mine and what I cannot. Of course Apple says that such a control is intended to ensure application quality and reliability, but the «GV Mobile affair» demonstrates the opposite. I am always very suspicious when somewone says that he is doing something for my own sake. This is a case all iPhone’s enthusiast should think about.

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