Google Voice apps return to App Store

It’s been a long, thorny road for Google Voice apps in the App Store. When Google initially launched the service, an iPhone app was on many a user’s wishlist. It wasn’t long before developers answered the call, most notably Sean Kovacs with his GV Mobile app. Shortly thereafter, however, Apple inexplicably pulled all Google Voice apps with no notice. Google itself had submitted an official one that has infamously been ‘in review’ for over a year now.

Even after an FCC inquiry into the absence of Google Voice on the iPhone, Apple provided little useful information stating it was still ‘pondering’ the matter. Speculation as to why Google Voice was banned from the iPhone included Apple’s anti-competitive stance towards Google, finger pointing at AT&T, and the App Store guideline that states that submitted apps shall not duplicate existing functionality.

Recently, however, Apple seems to have had a change of heart. Just this month, a controversial ban on third-party developer tools has been lifted and App Store review guidelines are freely available in all their candor. With guidelines in the hands of developers, Sean Kovacs sent an inquiry regarding GV Mobile. He was greeted with a favorable response to resubmit his app for approval. In the meantime, another Google Voice app GV Connect by developer Andreas Amann — in review for over 200 days — has recently been accepted and is available in the App Store for $2.99.

As of this evening, GV Mobile + has been accepted as well and will also retail for $2.99 when it hits Apple’s servers.

One more thing from Sean Kovacs: “I’ll be blowing away some promo codes via Twitter (@seankovacs) once I get them AND if #gvmobile trends on Twitter, I’ll set that bad boy to free for the night.” Thanks, Sean!

Sources: Andreas Amann, Sean Kovacs via TechCrunch, intomobile