Google Voice For the iPhone Is a Good Call

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It's not the apocalypse and hell isn't freezing over, but Google Voice is reportedly going to become available from Apple's App Store.

This may come as a surprise after Apple publicly rejected the Google Voice app last year from the iTunes App Store. Some rumors say this may have been more AT&T's doing, because it would be the company with the most to lose--as in text messaging charges.

The Google Voice mobile app would allow a caller to send and receive free SMS and use cheap long-distance calling, so it wouldn't be doing AT&T any favors.

Perhaps a lot changed in a year, or Google chief executive Eric Schmidt, who also sits on Apple's board of directors, was able to sprinkle a little Google fairy dust. Now Apple has reversed its decision and will make the Google app available in the next few weeks.

But the reversal of the Google Voice app ban also signifies something more important: a possible understanding and partnership between Google and Apple, and essentially their Android and iOS mobile platforms.

That means if both companies continue to partner to offer quality applications, customers can only win. Imagine using some of the better Android apps, such as Google Voice, on your iPhone, and using Apple's FaceTime on your Samsung Galaxy Tab. It opens up the applications to broader commercial success and usage.

With FaceTime, which runs on the Apple iOS, its code could potentially be rewritten to run also on the Android platform, so that two people--one with an iPhone and one with a Droid X, for instance--could both use the program to communicate directly.

Few platforms speak with one another, but enabling such applications as Google Voice to run on different platforms could lead to more diverse apps markets and customized products, and mean a longer life for all operating systems.

This app trading could also keep costs down. IT managers could opt to buy a cheaper tablet or smartphone and then download needed applications, rather than buying a more expensive device. Instead of purchasing a pricey iPad, a manager could choose a cheaper Android tablet and download Apple apps.

If the new mobile platform world order is here, we're all the better for it.

Reach or follow Barbara E. Hernandez on Twitter: @bhern.

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