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I Dream of Integration

October 5th, 2009 . by Andy (TANcast's #1 Ear-Rapist)

Andy’s October of Suckage: Day 5

About two weeks ago, I finally used one of my Google Voice invitations and got an awesome phone number. In short, my feelings can be summed up as:

Free + Awesome = WIN ...

Free + Awesome = WIN ...

… but it could be better.

While I love my iPhone, I’ve been less than thrilled at the App Store rejection, FCC investigation, and useless denials and word-games regarding the Google Voice app. In many ways this is just another reminder that the iPhone lives in Apple’s walled garden (which AT&T loves to prune) and in spite of its power and flexibility it is not a personal computer. Still, I’m a firm believer that I should be able to do whatever I want (within reason) with hardware I buy and services I pay for.

I want to be able to make calls from and access voicemail and text messages sent to my Google Voice number as if my iPhone had two phone numbers. I want push notification of new messages. I want a native Google Voice interface to sit beside my existing iPhone phone/contact/messaging/voicemail applications. In short, I want Google Voice to be a first-class citizen.

This will probably be a pipe dream until either Apple has an aneurysm and suddenly forgets it can dictate the rules or the FCC makes Apple open the garden gate a little wider. Corporate beneficence or pro-consumer government action: guess which one I’ll be holding my breath for. (Hint: “Neither.” is an acceptable guess.)

A more reasonable hope might be the integration I mentioned on the latest TANcast: combining Google Voice and Gmail. They already use the same contacts list, they both have the same concept of inbound and outbound communication and keeping and ordering messages, and they even talk to each other (Google Voice puts an email in your inbox when you have a message). Imagine having one interface where all your emails, chats, SMS, AND voicemails regarding your job hunt, a specific project, or to/from your family all get grouped together (labeled) and searched at once. Google has already done this for chat, why not voice?

Some people say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one

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