Google Voice to be retooled as Web app for iPhone

As it did when its Latitude native application was rejected, Google plans to turn Google Voice into a Web-based app to pass muster with the iPhone App Store.

Even though Apple prevented it from listing Google Voice on the iPhone App Store, Google is planning on retooling the application as a Web-based app, according to The New York Times.

In David Pogue's Friday column regarding the ongoing saga of Apple and Google Voice, he reveals that Google has already found a loophole:

Already, Google says it is readying a replacement for the Google Voice app that will offer exactly the same features as the rejected app--except that it will take the form of a specialized, iPhone-shaped Web page. For all intents and purposes, it will behave exactly the same as the app would have; you can even install it as an icon on your Home screen.

Google Voice is a free application that lets users assign a single number to ring their home, work, and cell phones, and also get voice mail as text transcriptions. There's speculation that AT&T is behind the decision to block the application since Google Voice allows cheap international calls and free text messages.

It's not clear if simply making Google Voice available as a Web app will change Apple's mind, but there is precedent. Apple also rejected Google's Latitude for the iPhone until it was remade as Web app .

A Google spokesperson did not say how close to completion the project might be, but reiterated a previous statement. "We will continue to work to bring our services to iPhone users, for example by taking advantage of advances in mobile browsers."

This story was updated at 3:58 p.m. PDT with comment from Google.

About the author

Erica Ogg is a CNET News reporter who covers Apple, HP, Dell, and other PC makers, as well as the consumer electronics industry. She's also one of the hosts of CNET News' Daily Podcast. In her non-work life, she's a history geek, a loyal Dodgers fan, and a mac-and-cheese connoisseur.


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