The Google Voice app – listed in the "Productivity" category on iTunes – is free to download, and requires a phone with Apple iOS 3.0 or higher. Once registered with Google, you can use Google Voice to send and receive voicemails, send text messages, and make cheap international calls.
Googe Voice was first removed from iTunes in 2009. The initial explanation for that rejection notice: Google Voice "duplicated" features already available on the iPhone. (Read more about the back-and-forth here.) Later, Apple claimed it had not actually rejected Google Voice; instead, the company said it was in the process of examining the application.
The Google Voice app is part of a wider effort on the part of Google to expand its Internet calling services. In August, for instance, Google added a voice calling option to the Gmail platform. The add-on was simple to use – once downloaded, a "call phone" icon pops right up on your Gmail buddy list – and almost instantly popular.
According to Google, a million users made calls via Gmail within the first 24 hours the service was available – a "ringing" success for Google, no matter which way you slice it. The Gmail program is free to install, and calls to US and Canadian phone lines are free. International calls start at 2 cents a minute.