FCC investigation be damned, Google has finally managed to bypass the App Store and release Google Voice to the iPhone (and webOS, too) the same way it pulled off Latitude, i.e. via a HTML5-based web app. According to Senior Product Manager Vincent Paquet, it should work with any HTML5-compliant device, although the formatting at this point has been tailored to Apple and Palm's platforms. So here's how it works: much like with its mobile Gmail site, the app caches your contacts list in a browser page. All the usual GV functionality is there, writing SMS messages, checking your inbox, and even listening to voicemails (although that latter functionality wasn't working for us yet in our trials). Placing phone calls is an interesting trick: as pictured above, after you choose the recipient, the app prompts you to call one of Google's local numbers via the native dialer -- even for international calls, hence the lower rates by paying through Google. The recipient will see your proper GV digits, and upside with this method is you'll still be able to utilize call waiting and background usage. The catch, of course, is a call history littered with random numbers. It's not a perfect solution by any means -- if anything, take solace in an assortment of home screen icons for each section of the app -- but it's probably the best we're gonna get for the time being. The page should be up and running later today, so if you're anxious, direct your mobile browser to voice.google.com and just keep hitting refresh.
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Google Voice web app on iPhone and webOS