Google's Rubin: Android isn't blocking VoIP, despite claims
This morning a USA Today article discussed the FCC's investigation into why the Google Voice App was banned from the iPhone. The article goes on to say that Google could "soon find itself in the hot seat" because Android cannot use Skype, proposing that Google itself blocks VoIP to force users into traditional voice calls.
Andy Rubin, Google's Vice President of Mobile Platforms, had to step forward and call USA Today out.
Rubin said, "Here are the facts, clear and simple: While the first generation of our Android software did not support full-featured VoIP applications due to technology limitations, we have worked through those limitations in subsequent versions of Android, and developers are now able to build and upload VoIP services."
Rubin says it's up to the operators to decide if certain applications violate their terms of service.
"As we told USA Today earlier in the week, Google did not reject an application from Skype or from any other company that provides VoIP services," Rubin continued. "To suggest otherwise is false. At this point no software developer -- including Skype -- has implemented a complete VoIP application for Android. But we're excited to see -- and use -- these applications when they're submitted, because they often provide more choice and options for users. We also look forward to the day when consumers can access any application, including VoIP apps, from any device, on any network."
In short, Android app availability is up to the carrier, but on iPhone, nobody has stood up to take responsibility yet. In the investigation into the rejection of the Google Voice App on the iPhone, an application which lets users manage all of their phones (home, office, mobile, etc) from a single number, AT&T denied having a role in the decision.