Google Voice for iPhone – Free Calls and SMS via Wi-Fi
Google goes end-around Apple by going to web app
Looking for ways to save on your phone service? Tired of needing payday loans to pay your iPhone’s monthly bill? Google tried to bring a Google Voice app to the iPhone via the App Store last summer, but Apple shot it down. Their thinking was that it would duplicate their own phone service application, making it obsolete. There was public uproar and the FCC even got involved. Reuters reports that Google CEO Eric Schmidt even stepped down from Apple’s board over this quagmire.
Now Google Voice comes to iPhone via a web app, which is something the Apple App store Gestapo cannot regulate, at least not without a court order. If you have a Wi-Fi connection and a Google Voice phone number, you can now use your iPhone to make free telephone calls in the U.S. and Canada and send free SMS messages!
Simple as Wi-Fi
Recently, it looked like T-Mobile or the Nexus Google Phone were the only ways to enjoy the full Google experience on a smart phone. Now the Blackberry, Palm and the iPhone can use the power of Google Voice, and Apple the gatekeeper can’t stop you. Simply open Safari in your iPhone (it must have at least the 3.0 OS) and go to http://m.google.com/voice. Log in with your Google account info and use your Google Voice number as it was intended.
If you haven’t heard about Google Voice
Google Voice enables users to call anywhere in the U.S. or Canada for free via Wi-Fi. SMS messages are free, and international calls can be made at a low rate. Other neat features include forwarding calls to multiple phone numbers from the Google Voice number and visual voicemail with text transcription. Aside from calling outside the U.S. and Canada, it’s all free if you’ve been invited to sign up for Google Voice (and have a Google account).
An upgrade from the previous browser-based service
Google Voice on iPhone gives the ability to listen to voicemail directly from the Safari browser and dial phone numbers via the onscreen keypad (see photo). This is an upgrade from the “beta” browser experience. While Google Voice users enjoy the phone and SMS service, Apple is apparently still reviewing the old Google Voice app submission. No word from Apple on the approval status there, but it’s a safe bet that people won’t be needing quite so many payday loans with the new Google Voice iPhone web app.