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Google Throws Its Voice at iPhone, Palm Pre

The controversial Google Voice application is now available for Apple's iPhone and the Palm Pre phone. Google made the announcement today in a blog post.

Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) said Voice had been rejected by Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) for distribution via the iPhone App Store back in July, though Apple said it was continuing to evaluate whether to accept the program.

Later, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) began an investigation into the matter. Apple denied reports that it was protecting partner and iPhone carrier AT&T in keeping Google Voice out of the App Store.

Today Google said Voice is available as a Web app for both iPhone and Palm Pre. "Delivering Google services via mobile browsers has worked well for the Gmail team, so we decided to follow the same approach with Google Voice," said Marcus Foster and David Singleton in the blog post. Foster and Singleton are product and engineering managers, respectively

"Today, we're excited to introduce the Google Voice Web app for the iPhone and Palm WebOS devices. This HTML5 application provides you with a fast and versatile mobile experience for Google Voice because it uses the latest advancements in Web technologies. For example, AppCache lets you interact with Web apps without a network connection and local databases allow you to store data locally on the device, so you don't lose data even when you close the browser," the two wrote.

The free Voice application lets users listen to voicemail and read voicemail transcripts as well as send and receive text messages for free. Users can also make calls from the phone that show a Google Voice number as their caller ID, which means return calls come back to your Google Voice number. That number in turn can be forwarded to multiple devices. Google said it also offers low international phone rates to Voice users.

You need to register for a Google Voice account to use the service.

After its initial push as the prime backer of the Android software platform designed for an array of devices from competing vendors, Google itself entered the fray earlier this month with the debut of its own branded smartphone, the Nexus One.

David Needle is the West Coast bureau chief at, the news service of, the network for technology professionals.