A few months after Apple rejected a downloadable version of the Google Voice app, Google released a new web-based version of the Google Voice application that works via any HTML5-enabled mobile web browser. Google announced the release of the Google Voice mobile web app for the iPhone and Palm Web OS devices yesterday on the Google Voice blog.
Today we are launching a new Google Voice mobile web app for iPhone OS 3.0 and higher and Palm Web OS devices, harnessing the power of HTML5, a new web technology that makes it possible to run faster, richer web-based applications right in the browser.
Here’s a short video from Google that explains how the new Google Voice web app works:
Aside from making calls, the new Google Voice web app lets you access a streamlined version of your Google Voice inbox and lets you choose to display your Google Voice number as the outbound caller ID which is useful if you want to have return calls directed to your Google Voice number. The app also lets you send and receive SMS or text messages for free (ideal for users who have limited text plans) and last but not least, make cheap International calls with Google Voice’s low rates.
Google Voice Inbox (voicemail) & Keypad
Google Voice SMS & Settings
[Btw that’s not my real Google Voice number. If you want to have my Google Voice number, you can ask me for it.]
Since this is a web app and not a native app, the new Google Voice app is limited. Unlike the native apps available for the Android and Blackberry, this app can’t insert itself as the default phone interface and can’t access contacts stored on your phone. Although this can be solved by using Google Sync to sync your phone contacts with your Google account.
For those who are planning to use the Google Voice web app, one thing to take note of is that when you make an outgoing call, your phone will call Google’s routing number and not the number you’re dialing then it will ask you to confirm if you want to proceed with the call or not. This can be confusing for first time users but doesn’t really matter once you get the hang of it. When someone will call you using your Google Voice number, they’ll be greeted by a voice prompt that will ask for their name and once they provide their name, Google will proceed to dial the phone number you’ve set to forward your Google Voice calls to. Right now, its unlikely that Apple would allow a native Google Voice app on the App Store so for now, this new web based app will do. I’m just glad that I finally get to use Google Voice on my iPhone.
I just recently got my Google Voice number (thanks to the invite sent by my friend AJ), and have tried the new Google Voice web app on my iPhone 3GS. Although it is limited, the new Google Voice web app is a cool and useful tool. One of the advantages of having a Google Voice number is that if in case I need to change my mobile phone number, all I have to do is change the number where I forward my Google Voice calls and I don’t have to worry about missing any calls or having to inform my contacts about my new number. This only applies if you have provided your Google Voice number to your contacts.
If you have a Google Voice account and would like to try it on your iPhone or Palm Web OS powered device, this new app can be accessed via m.google.com/voice on your mobile browser.
What do you think of the new Google Voice mobile web app for iPhone OS and Palm Web OS? Anyone else tried it on an iPhone, Palm Pre or other Palm Web OS powered device? Please share your thoughts.