In the last week of July, we all learned that based on some very vague reasoning, including “duplication of features”, several apps using Google Voice were rejected by Apple and their App Store. To add insult to injury, Google Voice apps that were already in use were cut off from iTunes.
The first call was to developer Sean Kovacs, who was notified that his app, GV Mobile, was being rejected for duplication of features. GV Mobile allows subscribers of he VOIP service to make cheap international calls, send sms messages, play back voice-mails and dial numbers from the iPhone’s address book. The app had originally been approved by Apple’s Senior Vice President Phil Schiller.
Add to this the fact that Google’s CEO Eric Schmidt is resigning from Apple’s board of directors. Apple CEO Steve Jobs had this to say in a statement released by the company.
“Unfortunately, as Google enters more of Apple’s core business, with Android and now Chrome OS, Eric’s effectiveness as an Apple board member will be significantly diminished, since he will have to recuse himself from even larger portions of our meetings due to potential conflicts of interest. therefore, We have mutually decided that now is the right time for Eric to resign his position on Apple’s board…”
On top of all this, the Federal Communications Commission has now opened an inquiry into Apple’s rejection of the Google Voice app. Letters were sent to both Apple and AT&T, asking why Apple was rejecting and removing GV apps from their App Store, and whether AT&T was consulted when deciding to do so. The FCC had great interest in AT&T’s role in the approval or denial of applications for the App Store.
All in all, its tough going for the GV developers, although some of them, like Sean Kovacs, are releasing their apps for free via Cydia, but only if your phone is jailbroken.