By August 27, 2009

Google Sandbagging Palm Over Voice?

palmpreandroidos_thumb A lot of people are up in arms over Apple refusing to allow a Google Voice app on the iPhone. Several high profile users have been blasting Apple over it, and now the Feds are looking into it the entire matter.  Apple has even gone so far as to post a letter defending themselves about this issue on the front page of their website. Many people want Google Voice due to the freedom it gives them to (among other  things) have multiple numbers all ring the same phone, as well as being able to have their number easily travel with them as they change phone service providers. Considering the massive amount of money Apple is making from AT&T to keep the iPhone exclusive, it is clear why Apple hates Google Voice and is willing to risk a lot to block it for as long as it can.

It is just as clear that Apple’s main rivals would therefore be quite eager to support Google Phone fully, right down to having it closely integrate with their basic calling functions. Google has developed apps for their own Android OS and BlackBerrys that do just that….but what about the iPhone’s Number 1 rival right now, the Palm Pre? Sure there is no app for WinMo or Symbian either, but most people agree that the only phone right now that is a proper challenger for the iPhone in the consumer market is the Pre and Palm has the most to gain in the short-term from Google Voice capabilities

According to Michael Arrington at TechCrunch, Google is saying all the right things but apparently NO WORK is being done to port Google Voice properly to the Pre. Certainly third parties will fill in some of that gap toot suite, but Arrington claims that due to a lack of a Google Voice API, the only people who can make an app that fully utilizes the technology’s capabilities are Google developers.

Says Arrington…

We’re hearing that Palm wants that deep integration to lure iPhone users to the Pre, and our source said it would roll out an official app some time in the next month or so. But from what we hear from sources close to Google, no one there is actually working on a Google Voice app for the Pre. They have apps for Android and Blackberry (and iPhone in purgatory), but that’s it.

Officially Google is saying “Google is interested in bringing the mobile experience of its products to many platforms, including Palm, as we have for the Palm Pre with Google Search, Google Maps, and YouTube built in, as well as easy sync to Gmail, Google Calendar and Google Contacts. We look forward to providing a mobile experience for more Google products to Palm Pre users.”

But our understanding from other sources is that Google only intends to roll out a browser based version of the service for Pre, which lacks the deep integration with native apps like the dialer and contacts. The user experience isn’t nearly as good.

So what’s up with that? Is Google trying to protect Android based phones? If so, why make the BlackBerry app? Is this due to more under the table dealings between Google and Apple, like that deal that was exposed a few weeks ago where they would not seek to hire away one another’s employees? Is Google protecting the iPhone in hopes that Apple relents sooner rather then later? Considering the newly bad blood that has been talked about lately between Google and Apple it seems like Google would be eager to stick another finger in Steve Jobs’ eye….and no better way to do it then by promoting the Pre.

Whatever Google’s reasoning, this seems to me to be a dangerous game to play with the FCC watching every move they make right now. They should be bending over backwards to calm down anti-trust regulators and show themselves eager to embrace healthy competition from all quarters….and denying this kind of cooperation to just one of their rivals (a rival that also happens to be shared by the other party in the anti-trust investigations, namely Apple) doesn’t look like embracing competition to me.

[Source Mobility Site]

Posted in: Phones

About the Author:

Seasoned tech blogger. Host of the Tech Addicts podcast.
Loading Facebook Comments ...

Post a Comment

No Trackbacks.