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Apple Approves Google Voice - Can You See Their Halo?

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Apple Approves Google Voice - Can You See Their Halo?

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In a move that really pissed Google off fourteen months ago, Apple blocked the approval of their Google Voice application for the iPhone.  In a complete reversal today, Apple accepted third-party Google Voice applications into the iOS app store.  The acceptance probably comes as a result of their recent decision to relax the third-party tooling rules.  Apple originally removed the official Google Voice app for competing too closely with other iPhone features.  Today, it was two non-Google applications (GV Mobile, and GV Connect) that were approved.

Apple's sudden friendliness toward non-C/C++/Objective-C developers is perplexing given their previously staunch position on shielding their platform from tools or meta-frameworks that would supposedly diminish the quality of their platform or hold them hostage (what they thought Adobe would do).  Although it's still a "walled garden" and you still can't run Flash Player on it, the iOS has become significantly more open in the last month and some people are left wondering: what's their angle?

Right now the prevailing theory is that Apple is scared of losing its market share to Android, which has been on a roll lately.  If this is true, congratulations to the recent Android converts for changing Apple by voting with your wallet for the more open platform.

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Apple also could have made the change in order to leverage some of the great tools already out there that Apple shouldn't try to duplicate.  One of these platforms (the Unreal game engine) was debuted on the iPhone at Apple's most recent presentation.  Apple may have felt that if they wanted to leverage the benefits of these 'quality' meta-frameworks, they would have to take the same stance towards all meta-frameworks, otherwise there would be a massive outcry.  

Then again, that usually hasn't stopped Apple before (the antenna issue was a recent exception).  Usually the company has been okay with the backlash from double-standards.  DZone community member Fabrizio Giudici reminds us what a cruel lover Apple can be:  "Let's remember that Apple can change rules at any moment and go backwards if they feel it necessary; not to say that they could just decide not to publish your app if they want."

An equally likely explanation is that the voices of some decent, open development-supporting engineers at Apple finally prevailed over the closed-minded business folks.

The two approved apps both cost $2.99 in the app store.

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