Apple recently banned all iPhone applications based on Google Voice, this will certainly add some friction between the two “frenemies” as their competing interests grow more acute.
It is likely not Apple’s fault but more than likely reflects the will of AT&T. AT&T can threaten to revoke Apple’s iPhone subsidy if Apple doesn’t adhere to its wishes. The Google Voice app on the iPhone would have enabled customers to send and receive free SMS and access visual voicemail while bypassing AT&T’s voice network and associated fees. Within a matter of months or weeks, AT&T’s SMS (short text messages) cash cow could have taken a serious hit. The Google voice app could have also become a compelling remedy to the Visual Voicemail issues that AT&T has been experiencing.
Question: Why does it cost so much to send text messages which employ a single “one way” communication mechanism, uses little network bandwidth — yet it’s free to download a full HD movie on a Wi-Fi Network? It is certainly not a technological issue but rather one of convenience. SMS is much more convenient, has less friction and is often a more efficient way to communicate instead of using voice. Like Twitter and e-mail, it’s asynchronous yet these services are free!
For now, you can still access Google Voice services on your iPhone by going http://voice.google.com. You can send FREE SMS messages, but since web pages don’t support push notification you’ll have to refresh to see new in-coming messages. I will anticipate that Google will eventually use some of their AJAX mojo to enable auto-refresh for receiving SMS messages.