Google is taking an extremely aggressive stance towards Windows Phone. None of Google’s services are currently officially available for Microsoft’s mobile operating system, and Google has been very vocal about not developing for the platform. Recently Google forced Microsoft to remove a nice and functional Youtube app from their Phone Store and replace it with a lame browser based version. Now Google has set their sights on 3rd party Google Voice apps.
As their Hangouts app looks like it’ll become the single backbone service for all of Google’s text, audio, and video communication they’ve issued a notice that all GV apps must be shut down by May 1st of 2014. Google Plus Product Manager Nikhyl Singhal had this to say:
– Finally, we want to make Google Voice as secure as possible. There are a few third-party applications that provide calling and SMS services by making unauthorized use of Google Voice. These apps violate our Terms of Service and pose a threat to your security, so we’re notifying these app developers that they must stop making unauthorized use of Google Voice to run their services and transition users by May 15, 2014.
This kinda burns. I know quite a few Windows Phone users who appreciated the ability to link up their Windows Phones with Google Voice, myself included. It’s unknown whether Google will eventually support Windows Phone like they do iOS, but we can only hope this means that some form of the Hangouts app might eventually land on WP8. It might not be a bad idea for Google to get on board soon as Windows Phone is currently the fastest growing mobile OS, and will probably start rivaling Android in a few markets next year.
The developers of MetroTalk (my favorite GV app for WP8) replied this morning:
We are sad to announce that after a request by Google, MetroTalk will be removed from the Windows Phone store on May 1, 2014. We apologize to all our users for this but the decision is beyond our control, and in fact affects all third-party Google Voice apps. The good news is that the app will remain available and fully functional for 6 more months, and you can expect bug fix updates during that time. A huge thank you to all of our users for making us one of the top downloaded and highest rated apps of the Windows Phone store. Once again, we truly apologize to everyone affected by this.
And now we wait. I’m not sure I’ll continue using Google Voice if I can’t have it on all three major smartphone platforms…