Not too long ago Apple created a ruckus by banning Google Voice from the iPhone with the pathetic excuse that the app duplicated functionality Â (despite the fact that other apps like Skype did and were permitted).
Now TechCrunch (who was recently acquired by AOL) is reporting that Apple is now allowing the official app to join the iOS universe after previously approving third party Google Voice apps.
The App Store review office at 1 Infinite Loop has officially frozen over: weâ€™ve gotten word that the official Google Voice application is on its way to the iPhone in the next few weeks. In fact, weâ€™ve heard from a source close to Google that itâ€™s already been approved â€” Google just needs to revamp the application to work with the iPhone 4 and iOSâ€™s multitasking capabilities. If youâ€™re a Google Voice user and youâ€™re on an iPhone, this is great news. (TechCrunch)
It may sound strange as to why Apple is having a change of heart, but the answer probably has more to do with the fact that despite Cupertino’s distaste for Android, Apple needs Google more than Google needs Apple.
With Android sales on the rise, the day will come when iPhone’s will be regarded as a minority smart phone player against the sea of Android devices available.
When this happens, developers will begin to code for Android first and iOS second, which means Apple faces a certain future where iOS is not treated as the only “magical” device around by developers.
By approving Google Voice, Apple removes the last rift between itself and Google while at the same time encouraging the search giant to invest more energy creating official apps for iOS.
With rivals like RIM and HP challenging iOS with smartphones and tablets of their own, respectively, Apple does not want to be the “odd man out,” lacking critical Google services which could cripple its iAppeal (especially in the corporate world).
While Apple is still the darling of the masses, truth be told users need Google, and forcing them to choose iOS minus Google’s services could easily spiral the iPhone’s downfall (something Cupertino would be wise to avoid).