Apple blocks Google Voice on iPhone

In the past few weeks, Google was been generating a lot of buzz around Google Voice as it starts sending out invitations to the service. Google Voice sets you up with a kind of universal phone number, and then slathers on all kinds of extra features that make the good old telephone seem exciting again. Right now the service is by invite only, and demand is high enough that some people are selling invites on eBay! Mobile users can access Google Voice on Android phones and Blackberries and, for a while it seemed like iPhones would be next.

That's apparently off the table, thanks to Apple removing 3rd party apps that facilitate using the service, and rejecting Google's 'official' Google Voice iPhone App. TechCrunch has a pair of posts about the situation, and they suspect AT&T is behind the scheme (since Google Voice offers for free some services that AT&T charges for).

I don't own an iPhone, but from the outside looking in, this App Store situation seems like a real mess. I hear so many stories about legitimate apps getting rejected, or getting approved and then pulled. And conversely, apps like "Baby Shaker" get approved, at least temporarily. TechCrunch accuses Apple of stifling innovation, and I would have to agree. I suppose it is cliché for me to reference the old '1984' Apple ad, but who is Big Brother now?

iPhone users, does this kind of behavior on the part of Apple bother you? Or is the technology worth the trade-off of having Apple determine what you do and do not get access to? Please share your opinions in the comment section below.

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