The iPhone Google Voice story has now finally come full circle. More than 14 months after Apple pulled Google Voice and GV Mobile from the iPhone App Store, it has re-approved two applications that enable Google Voice on the iPhone.
The first to be approved and hit the iPhone App Store was GV Connect. This application, which costs $2.99, works natively with the iPhone and iPod Touch and lets users skip the browser-based version of Google Voice.
According to GV Connect, its application lets users:
- Place calls using your Google Voice number rather than your mobile number - enter number directly, select a contact from your device's contacts, or call back any number in your history.
- Send and receive text messages (SMS) from your Google Voice number.
- Listen to voicemails and recorded conversations right on your device (allowing you to pause, rewind, or fast forward to any point within the message) - voicemails will also show the transcription of the message when available.
- Mark messages as starred, attach notes to conversations, block/unblock senders, or delete conversations.
- Easily search in your history by contact, message, or note.
- Messages are stored on your device for offline access.
- Composing notes and text messages can be done in landscape mode.
- Quickly change various Google Voice account settings (call forwarding, do-not-disturb, message notifications, …) directly from within the application.
- Automatic checking for new messages while the application is active.
- Direct access to your device's contacts without needing to synchronize them with Google
- Automatic fallback to offline dialing mode if no data connection is available.
- All communication is done with the Google Voice website directly, no need to hand over your account information to a third-party.
- Full support for fast app switching in iOS4 and high-resolution graphics for retina displays.
At the time of this writing, GV connect had an average rating of three stars, with approximately 400 reviews of the product already submitted.
The second application approved by Apple was one of those pulled during the summer of 2009. Sean Kovacs' GV Mobile + is now back in the iPhone App Store, and according to Kovacs, is "better than ever."
As with GV Connect, it is not a SIP/VOIP dialer. GV Mobile + lets Google Voice users do the following from their iPhones:
- dial numbers via the iPhone address book, entering on the keypad, or choosing from the internal favorites
- send, retrieve, and delete SMS messages
- retrieve and delete recent call history
- playback and delete voicemails
- take calls from different phones other than your iPhone
- enable, disable, add, or delete the phones that Google Voice forwards calls to
GV Mobile + also costs $2.99, and requires iOS 4.0 and up. It only works in the U.S. for now, and Kovacs recommends that jailbreakers remove the Cydia-based version of GV Mobile +.
At the time of this writing, GV Mobile + had a 3.5 star rating, with 460 reviews posted.
Both applications require an active Google Voice account.