You might remember VoiceCentral. This was one of the several third party iPhone apps that was caught up in the tussle between Apple and Google when the former banned Google Voice applications from the App Store.
It has been quite a while since then and there has been absolutely no news about whether Google Voice apps will make a comeback or not.
But VoiceCentral is not waiting for any of that as Riverturn, the developers of the iPhone app have relaunched their whole service as a web application. Starting 2010, iPhone users may access Google Voice on their iPhones browser using VoiceCentral.
The VoiceCentral web application retains the look and feel of the iPhone app and lets users call, check out voicemails as well as send free text messages via Google Voice. Though the website version of the service could be slower than a mobile application, it still looks pretty impressive. The browser-based version of VoiceCentral is called the Black Swan edition.
However, being a browser-based app, the service does hold some drawbacks. One of the biggest issue is in accessing the native contacts list on your iPhone, which is not possible for web applications. As a result users will have to export their contacts list to Google Voice before accessing them. That will also mean the need to periodically update your Google Voice contacts database. Another problem apparently is with the way audio is played. Unlike a native iPhone app, the browser-based version of the service cannot play the audio through your earpiece. Instead it plays through the speaker which can be uncomfortable for some users.
Black Swan is currently in private beta and is expected to be live to the public by "early 2010". It is not clear if Riverturn, the makers of Black Swan would charge for the service though that seems very likely. Here is a cool promo of Black Swan:
If you are interested in the service, you can register yourself for the private beta by clicking here. Do let us know what you think of the new service.