Google Voice on iPhone: Another Step Toward World Hegemony?

. Wednesday, January 27

IMG_0631Google is at it again. On the heels of unveiling “Near me now” and “Explore right here,” the search giant went live with its Google Voice HTML5 Web application for iPhone.

By creating a Web-based application using HTML5 standards, Google brings its Voice application to the iPhone in spite of AT&T’s refusal to allow the app to be available through iTunes. Google is pushing the new standards and has already created rich Web applications for Gmail, Reader and YouTube.

The screen shot is the Voice application on my iPhone. But, right from the get-go, some things don’t work the way you’d expect. It is not as seamless as an application written for the iPhone would be, starting with the ability to use the app to place an outgoing call. On a computer, to place a call, you enter in the phone number and the service then rings your phone and the desired phone number at the same time. In the process, your Google Voice number shows in the Caller ID.

That didn’t happen when I tested the service. On my phone, it showed that I dialed a strange number, and on my friend’s Caller ID was my iPhone’s number. Not good since that was the primary reason for wanting to use the service. Still, the only usefulness of Google Voice, to me, is having a secondary number to give out to keep my private number private, with all calls going straight to the service’s voice mail. In other words, it’s limited since I can’t make calls from that number without my home computer.

Another source of confusion, and limitation, is the announcement of the Web app for the iPhone with the address as, which will not come up in my phone’s browser. Instead, I entered and the app came right up. I’m not sure if it is possible to block a mobile site address across AT&T’s network, nor if it is a blocked address why the Web address still brings up the mobile application. Nor am I sure if this is the reason for the app’s limitations on my iPhone. What I am sure of is that Google will quickly fix what does not yet work as the application grows in popularity.

With Google pushing location independent (cloud) connectivity to the Internet, what with its suite of Web apps and mobile apps, there is speculation that the usefulness of applications installed on individual computers will decrease dramatically as the demand for broadband goes through the roof as a result.

In the process of pushing HTML5 standards, Google is putting the ax to Adobe’s Flash. By pushing Web applications, and now Android, it is threatening Microsoft’s position as the leader in office and operating systems. By making its mobile applications as slick and powerful as any native computer application, it is pushing mobile and Internet service providers to expand as exponentially as Microsoft pushed hardware manufacturers on its way up to the top of the heap. By pushing location independence, Google is, single-handedly, reinventing the usefulness and value of Internet connectivity for individuals and businesses alike.

No, I am not another tech writer, nor do I keep that close of an eye on tech advances outside of my own little niche of interest. But, that Google keeps breaking into the mass media warrants a bit more attention. In the middle of it all, a few major opportunities to jump on its bandwagon just might be the thing to drag the world out of this economic depression.

At this rate, Google just might become the world’s next hegemonic government. Starfleet, here we come! Is it farfetched? You decide.