The new client brings most of Google Voice’s features to the iPhone, including free text messaging, voicemail transcription, and cheap international calls. In addition, the app sports push notifications that can alert you when you have a new text message or voicemail. And because you log in to your Google Voice account, all of your contacts are already at your fingertips, in an interface reminiscent of the iPhone’s own Phone application.
All you need to use the free app is an iPhone—sorry, there’s apparently no support for iPod touches or iPads at present, even for the non-phone features—running iOS 3.1 or later and a free Google Voice account; currently, the app is available only to U.S. residents. Keep in mind that Google Voice is not a Voice over IP service—it still uses your actual phone, and thus your minutes, to make calls. Think of it as a service to juice up your existing phone capabilities, not replace them.
Since then, the two tech firms have been locked in a strange relationship that vacillates between veiled hostility and cooperation, with the Google Voice rejection taking the role of the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand in the two companies’ burgeoning conflict. Not long after the Google Voice fiasco, Google CEO Eric Schmidt stepped down from his position on Apple’s board, with Apple CEO Steve Jobs citing increased areas of competition between the two companies as an explanation.