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Newsletter #508 Preview: Now About Apple’s Control Over the User Interface

Despite ongoing reports to the contrary, Apple now claims that it never actually rejected that controversial Google Voice application that’s now a part of an FCC investigation.

In case you’ve tuned in late, Google Voice is a technology being rolled out that, among other things, attempts to simplify your telephone life, particularly if you have separate home, office and mobile numbers. Basically, you dial just one number to reach someone, and the calls are funneled behind the scenes to the correct number. There is also a low-cost international long distance element that no doubt has the wireless carriers freaking.

Let’s consider a personal issue. Today, my son lives on two continents. In the summer, he stays with his parents, and the rest of the year he is living in Madrid, where he works for the government of Spain as an English teacher. It’s a great gig if you get one, particularly at a time where decent employment is well-nigh impossible to find.

In any case, we have our wireless account with AT&T, primarily because of the iPhone. Grayson also wanted one, but he’d have to acquire the product in Spain, for the AT&T version would be horrendously expensive to use there. Although VoIP phone services, such as Skype and Vonage, offer you free or low-cost calling plans in loads of countries, the best alternative I could find for my account, AT&T World Traveler, which carries a $6.99 a month surcharge, gives you the “discounted” rate of 99 cents per minute on roaming calls to and from Spain.

Story continued in this week’s Tech Night Owl Newsletter.