Apple rejects Google Voice iPhone apps

The grand unveiling of Google Voice apps for BlackBerry and Android was two weeks ago, but an iPhone app for the service was conspicuously absent. Now it has come out that all Google Voice apps are being pulled from the iTunes app store on the familiar grounds of "duplicate functionality."

Apple has done away with a lot of notable apps that provide a service which the iPhone already presumably provides. The most famous instance of this happened in 2008 with Podcaster, which duplicated the functionality of the Podcast section of iTunes. It also happened with Opera Mini, which duplicated Safari's functionality.

Google Voice unifies multiple phone lines under a single number, creating a line which receives calls and texts from all of a user's phones (home, work, mobile, etc.) simultaneously. Since Google Voice lets users make domestic calls and send SMS for free and make cheap international calls, it is technically repeating the functionality provided by AT&T.

The sting of this news is increased as it comes only a matter of days after Google released its "crippled, toothless" version of Latitude for iPhone, which was limited to Web app status because the iPhone still doesn't support background tasks.

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