After banning all Google Voice-related apps from the App Store, Apple’s Google Voice moratorium appears to be over.
This comes fourteen months after Apple removed all Google Voice apps from its App Store — including fan favorites GV Mobile and VoiceCentral — and refused to approve Google’s official app. That ban led to an FCC inquiry and the creation of an HTML5-specific web app to sate iPhone users. As recently as last month, Google told us that nothing had changed in regards to the status of its native iPhone app, but since that conversation, Apple has made some significant changes to its developer policies.
With the release of GV Connect, it seems like only a matter of time before other apps (like GV Mobile+) will make their way back to the App Store.
Both Google’s official Google Voice web app and the well-made BlackSwan VoiceCentral web app bring Google Voice to the iPhone. However, because these are web apps and not native apps, the system address book isn’t the same. Other features like push notifications and masked calling are also unavailable, although it’s unclear if anything short of an official app will bring some of those features.
For that reason, many users who jailbreak their iPhone devices have used various Google Voice apps from Cydia.
For users who rely on Google Voice as a central number, having a dialer that can directly access your address book is a pretty big deal. Now that iOS supports multi-tasking, doing things like sending SMS messages and switching between a call and a web browser should be easier too.
We haven’t downloaded GV Connect (we’re waiting for GV Mobile) but are excited that Apple’s more lenient policies seem to mean bringing back useful apps to users.