In a formal response to the Federal Communications Commission inquiry, Apple told the FCC that it did not reject Google Voice and is in fact still studying it.
Google Voice, a VoIP service lets users set up one phone number and like their other phone numbers to it. It can also control which phones to ring depending on the time of the day, etc. Furthermore, it allows users free domestic telephone calls and discounted international calls and texts.
So what’s stopping Apple from approving the app?
The company said that Google Voice duplicated the functions of the iPhone which might confuse readers. The app “appears to alter the iPhone’s distinctive user experience by replacing the iPhone’s core mobile telephone functionality and Apple user interface with its own user interface for telephone calls, text messaging and voice mail,” Apple explained through the letter.
Another concern of Apple is privacy issues. According to the company, Google Voice copied info about a user’s contacts to Google’s servers and they have “have yet to obtain any assurances from Google that this data will only be used in appropriate ways.”
Apple further denies that AT&T has no hand in making the decision as to whether Google Voice will be approved or not, although it did say that it had agreed not to allow any applications that sent voice calls over the Internet, bypassing AT&T’s network, without the phone company’s permission.
AT&T has previously sent its letter of response to FCC dated August 21. The letter explains that the phone company had “no role in any decision by Apple to not accept the Google Voice application for inclusion in the Apple App Store” and that it was “not asked about the matter by Apple at any time, nor did it offer any view one way or the other.”