GV Mobile + 3

I’m pleased to announce the availability of GV Mobile + 3 on the App Store.

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GV Mobile + 3 was built from the ground up to offer a more streamlined interface, elegant design, and includes features users want the most.

VoIP Calling
We now include data based (VoIP) calling using your existing Google Voice number. So whether you are on an unlimited data plan or always on WiFi, you can take advantage of this new calling method without sacrificing your cellular minutes. We still offer call methods for those that have a lite data plan with an abundant amount of cellular minutes.

Notifications
We listened. Notifications we’re a pain to setup and the benefit only existed when the app was closed. Notifications in GV Mobile + 3 are extremely simple to setup, as they should be. We provide an automatic setup process for those that rather not endure the pain of doing the steps manually and for those adventurous types, step by step pictorial guides.

Not only is the process much easier, but you’ll receive notification when the app is closed or opened, so you’ll never miss an interaction.

Gestures
An app is only as good as your experience while using it. One way we improved on user experience is the use of gestures. For example, if you are in the SMS chat screen, you can simply swipe right to get back to the main screen. If you want to quickly dial or text someone, you’ll simply pull on the right edge of the main screen to reveal your favorites, and off you go. Similarly, you can quickly switch between all your Google Voice folders by pulling right on the main screen. We have smart gestures throughout the app to make your experience within the app as enjoyable as possible.

There are so many more hidden gems for you to discover! Enjoy.

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Apple’s App “we play by no rules” Review

Let’s be honest, Apple and I have a rocky relationship. They set the rules we have to follow and we do just that. Sometimes even their own rules are not enough, which is when they start venturing off the beaten path and reject/remove apps by over-extending the meaning of existing rules. They can do that; it’s their store.

My problem is the consistency at which they follow their own rules. GV Mobile + 3 is nearing launch, and with that, more headaches by the Review team; 2009 all over again. It all revolves around 11.13, “Apps that link to external mechanisms for purchases or subscriptions to be used in the App, such as a “buy” button that goes to a web site to purchase a digital book, will be rejected”. This was a hot topic a couple years ago when Amazon had to remove links from their iOS app that linked to their site to buy books without going through Apple. Fair enough – Apple wants to keep 30% of revenue generated through apps on its Store.

I’ll admit, I goofed up and had a link within GV Mobile + 3 to “top off” your Google Voice credits (buy more). So I understood the first rejection…almost. Here is where the consistency (and even the over-extending of rules) comes into play. Like in many apps (so, so many), and even version 2 of GV Mobile +, I have a textual link for those that don’t have a Google Account. You click the link in the app and it takes you to the Google Account creation website. Harmless enough? Wrong. I’m apparently in violation of 11.13. Apple says that with that link, one could also go on to purchase things (using Google Wallet to buy things). I’m curious how many extra steps are required to actually purchase something after initially creating a Google account…I’m betting it’s many. After the app got rejected a second time for the same “create account” link (first time I thought they were confused, naturally), I got in contact with Apple.

The solution, according to Apple, is to either A) remove the damn link or B) use words to describe the action to be taken, with no link (i.e “If you need an account, go to X website” where X is not a URL). I chose option B just to appease them, but the battle is not over. You see, there are too many high profile apps out there (and thousand little guys, me included) that include this “problem” account creation link. To name a few, the Google + app has the link right when you start it (new user), every app that uses Google’s OAuth login (i.e G+, Hangouts, Gmail, Google Search, etc.), every app that allows you to share stuff on Google+ (Tech Crunch app, etc). I really don’t expect Apple to catch some of the unapparent ones – some can be inadvertently hidden (i.e Google + sharing in Tech Crunch). It’s the ones that are in your face, like how I had it in GV Mobile + 3, like in the Google + and Google Hangout apps…these are the ones that have me worried.

G+Hangouts

How can Apple miss these? I can understand if these came through as an update, but they didn’t. And of all people, you would figure Google would be scrutinized the most.

So, Apple, what IS going on here? Apparently my name dropping has spurred an investigation in said apps (including GV Mobile + v2). I’ll be keeping a close eye on the apps mentioned and the fate of their offending links.

With that said, I will say developing for iOS is very rewarding, even though their rules and how they enforce them are sketchy at best.

Shoemaker, you are the man. Make this right.

GV Mobile + v3

I started GV Mobile back in 2009 when the iPhone and my knowledge of the language was in its infancy. It was the first full-fledged Google Voice client on the App Store (2nd dialer next to GrandDialer).

Fast forward past the Google/Apple/AT&T drama and the year in Cydia, I launched GV Mobile + (aka v2.0). This was the first version to bring native Push Notifications, first to bring picture messaging, and the first and only to do SMS grouping.

I recently announced GV Mobile + v3.0 will launch this summer. In tow, an amazing new interface, hardened feature set, and more importantly, VoIP calling. This will be the only full-fledged Google Voice client that brings all these amazing features into one app; the most powerful and visually appealing Google Voice app to date. I will need an army of testers who truly care about the final product to ensure the app is the absolute best it can be. If you’re interested in helping out, please click the link below to submit your information.

Invalid response from Google (Level 3).

There seems to be a server related issue isolated in the north east part of the country. I’m trying to get in contact with Google to get some resolution. The good news is the app isn’t necessarily broken… In the meantime please use the official Google Voice app. I will join you in misery of using it.
I appreciate your patience!

 

Update: And it’s propagating elsewhere.

Update 2: A recent change to the Google Voice API that GV Mobile + uses is currently causing the app to not function properly. Within hours of feedback from our loyal customers, an update was submitted to Apple for resolution. We appreciate your patience while we resolve this. In the time being, please feel free to use Google’s own application.

Update 3: The madness never ends. Google made some API endpoint changes today, which started effecting users around 6PM EST, but it appears they have reverted them, hopefully for good. So crisis adverted – the app should work now. I have no clue if this will happen again. Sorry folks.

Update 4: Google reverted changes last time because of an error. They have fixed said error and applied the changes that created this mess a couple weeks ago. An update was submitted to Apple to resolve the issues. Sorry for the downtime.

GV Mobile v2.6 out

This update should resolve instability.
There is a slight chance you’ll get a crash upon first start – you’ll need to reboot your phone and/or delete the app and re-install from the App Store.

GV Mobile v3.0 is on track with a fresh look, added features (voip calling via gmail/google voice), etc. It’s a couple months away.

GV Mobile v2.5.8 out

This update brings iPhone 5 support and better iOS6 compatibility.

 

UPDATE: Pretty crappy release to be honest. An update should hit today (10/2) which should fix the following:

  • Crash on startup for iOS6 users (work around is to enable GV Mobile + access to your Contacts via iOS Settings>Privacy)
  • Inability to use the app on iOS5 or below – app opens, but nothing really works