Apple vs AT&T vs Google re: iPhone App

. Saturday, August 22


This particularly long-time headliner of a story continues to saturate tech sites, blogs and newspapers as it becomes clear that it is the consumer that suffers when monopolies can’t seem to play well together.

GrandCentral came to be when it’s developers decided to offer a free phone number/voice mailbox – sans any telco – to the homeless, a great idea that allowed various services to communicate with the people that so needed their help. GrandCentral grew to become an online application that could fill many needs. One number that will ring all your phones, a central voice mail, a safe and private way to give out your phone number and make calls without the risk of your real number landing on the lists of telemarketers.

Google sucks up GrandCentral, adds in voice mail transcription and SMS and creates smartphone applications, knowing that there are quite a few people who use their smartphone much like they do their computer to stay connected while away from home.

Rating second in the field of numerous smartphones because of its lack of business savvy though quite strong in the general market, creating an iPhone Google Voice application was a logical move. That logical move has turned into a media mud-wrestling match that pits Apple against AT&T against Google to the point where the FCC has no choice but to become involved. How they figure to stop monopolies from monopolizing is now the question.

Apple says that it didn’t reject the Voice app outright, but is mulling it over due to privacy concerns. The Voice app will upload all the contacts on the iPhone to the Web version of the application, located on Google servers. This time, Apple and AT&T aren’t in cahoots, neither contacted the other to discuss the Voice app, but AT&T, it is revealed, is the only cell phone carrier that does not allow VoIP. Apple contends that allowing the iPhone Voice app will confuse us stupid users that will not be able to figure out what to do having two voice mail apps, SMS apps and phone calling capability.

In the end, Apple is cutting off its nose by not allowing this privacy-protecting service on users’ cherished iPhones. AT&T is now forced to reconsider its ban on VoIP, though the calls Voice makes to connect phone numbers happens over traditional phone lines and not VoIP. And, Google has bought sympathy and time to fix up their growing mountain of services that don’t work together.

Too big for their britches, I’d say. I want my iPhone to do what I want it to do, and that includes using Google Voice!


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