Apple blocks Google Voice iPhone app

Google Voice, the one-number-to-rule-them-all phone solution recently rolled out and rated very highly in Pocket-lint's review, has reportedly been banned from the iPhone App Store for duplicating functionality that the device already offers.

Google built apps for BlackBerry and Android, and a handful of third-party coders also ported the service to the iPhone, with apps such as GV Mobile and VoiceCentral that have been available for a few months. Now, however, they're gone.

GV Mobile coder Sean Kovacs said: "Richard Chipman from Apple just called - he told me they're removing GV Mobile from the App Store due to it duplicating features that the iPhone comes with (Dialer, SMS, etc)".

"He didn't actually specify which features, although I assume the whole app in general. He wouldn't send a confirmation email either - too scared I would post it. I'll see what I can do to get it back up there gang".

Some are blaming AT&T for the move, suggesting that they demanded to Apple that it be taken out. Others pin the impetus behind the ban on a jealous Apple, comfortable with people locked into 2-year contracts.

If it's the latter, it bodes poorly for Spotify's iPhone app being approved, as that clearly does duplicate functionality available on the handset already - and arguably improves on it. It'll depend largely on how protective Apple feels about the iTunes store.