Apple pulled the Google Voice iPhone application from the iPhone, according to letters the company filed in response to an inquiry by the Federal Communications Commission. Apple says that it has not outright rejected the Google Voice app, but is merely studying it. Problem is, it mucks around with the user experience and interface Apple is trying to create with the iPhone. From Apple’s letter to the FCC:
Contrary to published reports, Apple has not rejected the Google Voice application, and continues to study it. The application has not been approved because, as submitted for review, it appears to alter the iPhone’s distinctive user experience by replacing the iPhone’s core mobile telephone functionality and Apple user interface with its own user interface for telephone calls, text messaging and voicemail.
Don’t mess with Steve Job’s vision! For those who need a refresher on this little tech tempest, at the end of July the Google Voice application for the iPhone, which allows Google’s voice and messaging service to get access to certain features on the handset, was pulled from the iPhone’s App Store. Much of the Google Voice functionality is still accessible from the browser, however. Many blamed AT&T, citing the carrier’s reluctance to allow for VoIP minutes on its cellular network. AT&T does in fact prohibit this in apps, as it admits in its own filing today. However, the carrier has maintained all along that it played no role in the removal of the Google Voice app from the App Store, and now it’s been proven right. Om actually believed AT&T, and argued that the removal was because of a brewing rivalry between Google and Apple. As for the rest of the letters, we’ve included links to PDF copies below for those of you who want to learn more.