updated 07:45 am EDT, Tue September 28, 2010
Google's own Voice app finally reaching iPhone
Google may finally join others in bringing Google Voice back to the App Store based on tips early this morning. A contact near Google has reportedly indicated that the official Google Voice app for the iPhone has already been approved and that Google is simply holding off to finish iOS4 and iPhone 4 support. The source for TechCrunch claims it could be in the App Store within the "next few weeks."
A Google spokesperson would neither confirm nor deny plans and said only that the company has "nothing further to announce at this time."
While third-party Google Voice apps have been flooding back into the store following roughly a year of their being banned, the official app has never been present and has been symbolic of the state of affairs both between Apple and Google as well as for the App Store. Apple has insisted that it never formally rejected the app but left it in limbo. Google claimed that it had been rejected due to "duplicate functionality" despite a few third-party apps briefly making it to the store, suggesting that Apple had singled out Google specifically.
While the motives have never been revealed, speculation has persisted that Apple was both anxious about the rising influence of Android and hoping to avoid giving Google too much influence over the iPhone. Whether or not it had a change of heart is uncertain, but EU legal pressure may have played large part in the new policy.
Google Voice is now considered an important part of Android and has official widgets that will likely be included with most Android 2.2 or later phones from the T-Mobile G2 onwards. Until the App Store policy changes, it had been limited to an HTML5 web app that could provide only some of the functionality.