MediaFile

Apple hasn’t rejected Google Voice iPhone app after all

Apple, Google and AT&T all filed their responsesFriday to the FCC’s requestfor more information in the Google Voice app saga. The story line thus far has been trying to determine the reasons behind Apple’s decision to reject the iPhone app.  Some blamed AT&T for the thumbs down, believing that the iPhone’s exclusive U.S. carrier feared the app would provide competition for voice services on the smartphone.

But Apple said AT&T played no role in the rejection. In fact, the iPhone maker said the Google Voice app hasn’t even been rejected.

“Contrary to published reports, Apple has not rejected the Google Voice application, and continues to study it,” Apple said in its response. “The application has not been approved because, as submitted for review, it appears to alter the iPhone’s distinctive user experience by replacing the iPhone’s core mobile telephone functionality and Apple user interface with its own user interface for telephone calls, text messaging and voicemail.”

Google, in its filing with the FCC, chose to keep confidential Apple’s explanation for rejecting — or rather, failing to approve — the app.

Apple also provided some interesting tidbits on the App Store, which is now stuffed with more than 65,000 applications just over a year after its launch. Apple said it has more than 40 full-time trained reviewers, and at least two different reviewers study each app. It said 95% of applications are approved within 14 days of being submitted.

Vonage CEO sees no reason for iPhone Google Voice rejection

The US telecom regulator FCC has been looking into why Apple rejected an Internet telephony application from Google for inclusion in its iPhone application store. Responses from Google, Apple and AT&T, the exclusive U.S. iPhone carrier, are due today.

Along with Google Voice’s consumer fans, the outcome of the inquiry will be closely watched by other Internet telephone services such as eBay’s Skype. Apple approved a Skype app for iPhone but consumers can only make Skype calls when they are connected to a short-range wi-fi network and not via the AT&T cellular network.
The head of another U.S. Internet telephony provider Vonage weighed in on the topic in an interview this week. Vonage plans to offer its own mobile communications application later this year.

Marc Lefar previously served as chief marketing officer of Cingular, now AT&T Mobility, where he helped put together the mobile operator’s iPhone deal with Apple, before becoming Vonage Chief Executive last year. Taking his previous experience in the wireless industry into acccount, Lefar said it was unclear to him why the Google Voice application was rejected for iPhone.

Apple event next month not likely to feature tablet -blog

Tech bloggers love to write about Apple, for better or for worse. The secretive nature of the company means a lot of those blogs are speculative and light on sources, yet  we still all love to read them because the house that Steve built is indeed both a fascinating and hugely successful company.

The latest round of speculation is around Apple’s planned September keynote event which sources have told AllThingsDigital is due to take place on Wednesday,  Sept 9 in San Francisco. There has been a huge amount of speculation around whether Apple will unveil a new tablet device but sources tell the blogs there will be “no discussion whatsoever” of the such a device.

AllThingsDigital’s John Paczkowski isn’t giving up though saying: “Too bad. It’s looking more and more like we’ll have to wait until 2010 for that.”

Cracked Macs rankle Apple customers

Apple isn’t going out of its way to publicize the problem, but the Sydney Morning Herald has reported that cracked Macbooks are troubling users. Underscoring that, a Flickr site carries pictures of more than 200 cracked Macs, posted by the owners, along with their commentary.

Apple spokesman Bill Evans invited users with problems to bring them to Apple.

“Any user who has an issue with their Macbook should contact AppleCare for support, even if it is out of warranty,” he said of the problem, which dates back to at least 2006 and is still angering consumers.

Apple won’t say if they have upgraded the plastic that cracks, how many Macs they have fixed or if they expect more troubles as the aging plastic splinters.  Although the problem is notorious in old machines, users say it has also appeared in machines that are less than a year old. A British website, The Inquirer, reported earlier this year that Apple will repair the problem for out-of-warranty Macs at no charge.  Users like this one on the Flickr site also said the machines were repaired at no charge.

from Commentaries:

The European browser elections and other tech news links

Microsoft says the best way to resolve its dispute with European Union competition regulators may be an election.  The software giant spelled out late on Friday Brussels time plans for an election-style ballot to decide the question of which browser consumers use in Windows.

The forthcoming Windows 7 operating system would offer a "ballot screen" that lets consumers turn off Microsoft's own Internet Explorer (IE) and instead use rival browsers such as Mozilla Firefox, Apple Safari Google Chrome or Opera Software.

Microsoft browser ballot proposal

 There are two obvious issues with this approach: 1. Most consumers rely on default settings and rarely change their browsers once they are installed. Will more than a small percentage of users elect to change browsers at the moment they are installing Windows?

Microsoft and Apple — a momentary peace

Well, that’s one less controversy to worry about. As CrunchGear reports, Microsoft has apparently tweaked the “Laptop Hunter” commercial that ruffled feathers over at Apple. Ah peace, for now.

Here’s the latest version:

iPhone Mystery: Why did Apple kill Google’s app?

Google prides itself on its unique culture of innovation and product design.

But when it comes to Google products for the iPhone, it’s Apple that calls the shots.

At least that’s how it appeared this week following a surprisingly candid blog post from a Google product manager introducing Latitude for the iPhone – Google’s product that allows people to see the locations of their friends on a map.

Instead of releasing Latitude as an iPhone app, or incorporating the Latitude functionality into the iPhone’s existing Maps application, Google introduced Latitude as a browser-based service that can only be used within the iPhone’s Safari Web browser.

How many phones is too many?

Most people have one phone or handheld device for work, and maybe another one for play. But how about 14?

That’s how many devices Google’s vice president of engineering Vic Gundotra has. They make it “very hard to get through the airport,” he joked.

We asked him and other executives in the mobile advertising industry what devices they use, after about an hour of a panel discussion on where mobile advertising is going at the Fortune Brainstorm: TECH conference.

Microsoft learns from Apple store real estate guru

After pulling a page from Apple’s playbook with its plan to launch its own chain of stores this fall, Microsoft is calling on the expertise of one of the players who made its rival’s stores such a big hit.

The world’s biggest software company confirmed on Tuesday that it has hired former Apple exec George Blankenship as a consultant to advise on real estate, as it puts together its retail strategy.

Microsoft hasn’t said much about the stores since announcing them in February, but its chief operating officer last week came out with guns blazing, saying: “We’re going to have some retail stores opened up right next door to Apple stores this fall. Stay tuned.”

With Apple, Microsoft ahead, this is no time for vacation

Get ready for another big week of earnings, with Apple, Microsoft and Yahoo the highlights (at least in our world).

Interestingly, talk about both Microsoft and Apple has been pretty positive ahead of their quarterly results, despite the rancid economy. When it comes to Apple, whose stock has been among the best performers in tech this year, the chatter is about the new iPhone, which it launched in June to big fanfare.

“I think the key is that core consumer demand is there,” Hudson Square Research analyst Daniel Ernst said in a recent Reuters story. “There are lines for $400 phones. Clearly they’re well positioned, and when the PC market comes back, we believe they’re going to take significant share.”