Blog Post

Google and Apple Debate the Meaning of “Rejected”

Google-Voice-DeleteApple (s aapl) rejected Google Voice for the iPhone. That’s not what Google (s goog) says, exactly, except by posting the unredacted response to the FCC on the issue there remains little room for interpretation.

According to Google, none other than Apple Senior VP Phil Schiller told Google Senior VP Alan Eustace “that Apple was rejecting the Google Voice application.” The main reason for rejection was “because Apple believed the application duplicated the core dialing functionality of the iPhone.”

Google claims that the letter (PDF) is being released because of requests through the Freedom of Information Act, and because Apple released the full contents of its own response to the FCC.

Apple representative Steve Dowling immediately fired back, stating that Apple “did not agree with all of the statements made by Google in its letter. Apple has not rejected the Google Voice application. We continue to discuss it with Google.”

That “not rejected” assertion refers to the limbo-like status Google Voice has been in for months. That status was also referenced in Apple’s response to the FCC. In that nuanced letter, Apple voiced concern over the application because it appeared “to alter the iPhone’s distinctive user experience,” arguing that “Apple spent a lot of time and effort developing this distinct and innovative way to seamlessly deliver core functionality of the iPhone.”

Google Voice does change that experience in fundamental ways. It effectively shuts down Visual Voicemail by routing calls through Google Voice, replaces Apple’s text messaging, and moves contacts to Google’s servers. But is that what’s really bothering Apple? Om Malik offered another opinion way back when people were blaming AT&T for the not-rejection of Google Voice.

This battle between Google and Apple is going to get very ugly — as it should. Both companies have pinned their futures on smartphones.

This is a war Apple has fought before. The Mac lost the desktop wars to Windows because Apple did not defend its “experience” sufficiently. Protestations about the user interface aside, Apple is not about to make the same mistake with the future of mobile computing.

17 Responses to “Google and Apple Debate the Meaning of “Rejected””

  1. Ben You are the one that is wrong, You have no clue.
    You think you do and you are completely Wrong.

    Instead of getting your talking points from TechCrunch , You should do more research.

    Facts Are:

    It “DOES” shuts down Visual Voicemail by routing calls through Google Voice.

    It “DOES” Replace Apple’s text messaging.

    It “DOES” moves contacts to Google’s servers.
    “Without your Consent May I Add”

    This is Documented, “Even by Google”, But they Downplay and Call it a “Feature”.

    I Know.. First Hand,
    It Does Sends All your Information in your Address Book to Googles Servers… ALL OF IT>>>

    And to Cut this Short. it Is True what was Posted, You May Not Like it But Unless you Know First Hand you are Just Speculating and Your Whole Post is Uneducated Speculation Nonsense.

    What Rock Have You Been Living Under.

    Use Google Search to Find the Answer’s since it will be listed in a number of first page entry’s.

    And for Goodness sake,
    Don’t get your So Called “NEWS FACTS” from One Source.

    Fact’s Are you Can Activate Google Voice and “It Will Run ALL THE TIME” and Take Over The Main Usage Function so you Never Have to Use Apple’s….

    And This Is The Problem.

    • Scott, mind sharing a link that shows that (as ben’s post contradicted) you can no longer use your own iPhone number without that being routed through Google Voice?

      I’m interested as I’ve only read this article and comment thread and I would expect what ben said to be correct, that you can retain your iPhone number, not route it through google voice and if people SMS you or leave a voicemail for you on your iPhone number (not your GV number) your iPhone will continue to work just the way it always has.

  2. “Google Voice does change that experience in fundamental ways. It effectively shuts down Visual Voicemail by routing calls through Google Voice, replaces Apple’s text messaging, and moves contacts to Google’s servers”

    Wrong, wrong, and (probably) wrong. The above statement is so wrong. Google provides it’s own voicemail for for the people who sign up for their Voice service. It’s the exact same as if you had a home phone that forwarded to your iPhone. The Google Voice App just gives you access to that service, just like having a speed dial. Your Visual Voicemail remains intact and if you receive calls on your iPhone number, it will still work. And if you go to make a call with the Apple phone application, it will not be redirected to Google somehow. Same goes for text messaging. The only time you would use the Google services is if you started up the Google application.

    As for moving contacts to Google’s servers, everything I’ve heard, it just accesses your existing contacts in your existing address book, just like hundreds of other apps. There is (probably) no uploading of your contacts to Google servers.

    Ben

  3. iphoneuser

    if I purchase an piece of hardware, I should be able to determine what type of user experience I would like to have with it. If I like Apple’s user interface, then I’ll use that; if I want to try something different then I would like that option.

    • Teslanaut

      “if I purchase an piece of hardware, I should be able to determine what type of user experience I would like to have with it.”

      As dictated by what authority? You buy a product, you buy what you paid for, what is advertised, what you know about it. Like the PS3/Xbox 360/Wii, Computers, Phones, etc. You buy into that ecosystem, that experience. If it doesn’t have something you want but a competitor does, go to the competitor.

      “If I like Apple’s user interface, then I’ll use that; if I want to try something different then I would like that option.”

      You do have that option. Android, WebOS, and more.

    • SentientThoughts

      My thought is if you want the google experience purchase a device that provides that. If you want the experience Apple designed their device for then purchase that. Thinking you are entitled to have the mix and match experience on a proprietary device is much like thinking your Ford Focus should give the same experience as Mercedes or you squash should taste like eggplant just cause that is what you are wanting to taste at that moment. Get the squash.

      • David

        I’d go with the eggplant. Wait, which one represents an apple? :/

        Had to throw that in there. Such a waste of time talking about this rubbish. But I needed a mindless break and happened upon it. Keep blathering on.