Apple turned away Google app because it changes iPhone

Dylan Bushell-Embling
24 Aug 2009

Apple says it turned away the Google Voice app from its App Store because it changes the workings of the iPhone.


“Google Voice replaces Apple’s Visual Voicemail by routing calls through a separate... telephone number that stores any voicemail, preventing voicemail from being stored on the iPhone,” said Novelli in response to a query from the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC).

She added that similar rerouting occurs for SMS and user contacts database.

She denied the company had rejected the application, but said it did not win approval because of its impact on the device and the user experience.

“We are continuing to study the application and its potential impact on the iPhone user experience. Google is of course free to provide Google Voice on the iPhone as a web application, or to provide its ‘Google-branded’ user experience on other phones, including Android-based phones,” Novelli said.

In a separate reply, AT&T SVP James Cicconi said the carrier had nothing to do with the decision.

“AT&T had no role in any decision by Apple to not accept the Google Voice application for


Apple confirmed this, but also added that there is a provision within its agreement with AT&T that forbids Apple from including native VoIP functionality within any iPhone.

“Apple has approved numerous standard VoIP applications (such as Skype, Nimbuzz and iCall) for use over Wi-Fi, but not over AT&T’s 3G network,” the letter adds.


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