gDial Pro developer pulls app over issues with Google Voice API | webOS Nation
 
 

gDial Pro developer pulls app over issues with Google Voice API 74

by Derek Kessler Thu, 18 Feb 2010 7:12 pm EST

gDial Pro withdrawn from App Catalog

Citing concerns over reliability due to new API requirements from Google, the developer of gDial Pro has decided to pull his app from the App Catalog. Here’s the message posted on gDial Pro’s Facebook page:

“Due to circumstances beyond our control, we are not going to be able to provide a reliable service as users have come to expect. We have decided we would rather pull the plug now than have users continue to experience disruptions due to various changes outside of our control. All subscribed users should already see a refund in their Paypal account. It was a crazy ride, but for now it’s over.”

Those circumstances are the new Google Voice APIs we discussed earlier in the week, and how the updated requirements for Google Voice are incompatible with the current restrictions of webOS and the Mojo SDK. While the door was very clearly left open for the return of gDial, we can’t see that happening until Google Voice APIs and webOS capabilities are on the same page.

While we are saddened to see a great application like gDial Pro disappear and frustrated that there is a disconnect in the access needed for powerful services like Google Voice and the access provided by webOS, we do have to applaud Nathan’s (gDial Pro’s developer) do-it-right-or-go-home attitude. A half-baked and unreliable user experience is not in the best interests of any user nor any serious developer. All that said, we do look forward to the day when the stars will align and gDial Pro can come back and get Google Voice action again going on webOS.

Thanks to amateurhack, Alben, and hparsons for the tip!

74 Comments

I guess I'm first :) Can we get some love from google over here on WebOS?

G Dial Pro R.I.P. !!! We will miss you as a stop gap solution/app/conduit that enabled me and others to access Google Voice. But Google answered with an official solution that works pretty darn well via HTML5 m.google.voice that I and others use including our iDont rivals on a regular basis. Boys and Girls no work around works forever. Its just a matter of time before it breaks or they start charging for it. See: Netzero.net and Napster for reference...

I think you need to point to Palm, not Google. Google changed the API to provide more capabilities down the road, and WebOS is too limited (by Palm policy, not technology) to support those functions.

Palm's gotta get off their butts and give us a powerful, open development environment.

To bad the app was pulled but I have to commend him on his integrity. I loved that app and will use it again if/when the issue is resolved.

I agree. Huge thanks fo the developer and his integrity! Not only did he develop and support a great app but stands by it and does what's right in this situation.

Thank you!

I don't personally use this, but damn thered gotta be a lot of unhappy folks out there because of this.

That being said, i don't really see Google doing anything about it until webOS market share increases.

This isn't about Google not supporting WebOS, this is about Google making sure that not Google Voice client will work but their own. This is what I worried about when Google has a horse in the mobile race. Anti-competitive BS.

Where oh where is the Do No Evil Google?

I don't agree. I think you are reading too much into this. Google is a great company and has a great working relationship with Palm. It is quite likely that Google will come out with the same service for webOS.

Google is interested in supporting the millions of customers Palm is attracting to webOS so that Palm will continue to make Google Search available on webOS.

well they dont have a great working relationship with Palm, but I understand what your saying. The real reason is that Google is supporting OS that have alot of devices out there first via their android, BB, WM, then will implement these type of programs for WEB OS. Since there still isnt alot of Web Os devices out there yet, its no rush to create these programs asap. Hence the ebay program just made for android (and they had one already) as well as buzz. We just need to be patient its only been what 7 months since its been out. Sometimes people are impatient, and expect miracles too fast.

Nonsense.

As much as I really love my Pre, Palm is kind of jerking us around by not making available some pretty basic features. Microphone access being the big one here. Forget "smart" voice dialing (non-training - "reads" your contacts and figures it out. My first POS Sprint phone did that in 2001). We can't even do super basic and simple things like a voice memo. I can't say I've ever actually used it, but that's pretty basic stuff that this phone I'm typing this on can't do.

It's not about Google. The Google Voice apps are just work-arounds for Palm's failings.


M.

Market share is not always the consideration, though webOS market share is now rapidly increasing with the new Verizon distribution. The most popular tech site has an App for webOS and no App for Google's devices. Google has its hands full trying to support the various versions of its operating system. So my point is we don't really know what is affecting Google's schedule in this area.

I doubt webos market share is expanding. Sales are expanding, but we have no reason to believe that webos is seeing anything more than second tier success at VZ. At best, market share might hold at 4% if things go well, but something earthshaking will have to happen to get webos back to 6%. The rest of the other O/S's are selling much faster every day.

Like my wife, a therapist who has several suicidal patients. I convinced her to switch her number over to her Google Voice number when the app hit the catalogue.

So, this could literally cost someone their life.

Nice job, Google.

I think therapy-wise this is called blame shifting. It didn't cost anyone their life.

Even though gDial Pro is gone, google voice still works. When someone calls your google voice number it still rings to your phone without the app.

Your wife can also just go to the website (http://www.google.com/voice/m) and she'd be able to dial through there.

So let's not be SO dramatic.

Is he also pulling Visual Voicemail? That still seems to work for me. Perhaps the voicemail aspect is not what was broken with the API change?

So it's a problem between the current webos and the google voice APIs? Could this be re written in C/C++ and used via the PDK?

The developer explains it well here. Google is doing stupid changes that lock people out for no reason. http://gdialpro.com/index.php?option=com_newsfeeds&view=newsfeed&id=16&I...

Hmm, Derek painted it up like the webOS SDK was at fault.

It the fault of both Google and the Mojo SDK. Google imposed new requirements, but the restrictions of the SDK mean that those requirements can't be met.

I suppose that message was made murkier by this line in the app author's post:

"No matter how much authorization you provide a 3rd party app to access your Google Voice data, they don't want you to be able to dial out using the access number methodology like they have in Android and Google Voice Mobile."

I took that to mean that no authorization method would function, and the backend method he was pursuing was futile. But that isn't correct?

What was the URL to the new iphone/webos web version Google released recently again?

I tried the interface. Using the website on the phone does not call your phone and connects you to the outgoing call, but makes the call through google and charges you. A real bummer.

Ahh this is so sad. I love this app. Hopefully Google settles down and someone makes something very soon WebOS wise. This is my savior for dating!

the best thing about GDial for me was the ability to draw from any of my contacts on me pre, no matter which account that contact was associated with. Google's web app will only work with my gmail contacts (and only the gmail account associated with my gv number, nevermind the other two gmail accounts that I use for my various businesses). GDial will be sorely missed by this user. I hope that for now the basic functionality (the parts that aren't affected by the api problems, like the phone dial feature) will continue to work.

I don't know if you want to merge the contact lists from your various google accounts, but check out Soocial.com, works like a charm.

I would really like not to. That was the appeal of the pre to me in the beginning: keeping my information "siloed" so that it wouldn't migrate across my different accounts. My day job uses exchange, and they have a strictly enforced no personal use policy. I have gmail accounts for personal use, as well as for different business ventures that I am involved with. I really don't want those things all tied up together. I hate searching through hundreds of personal contacts to find a business contact, or vise-versa, or not knowing whether that email that came in 3 hours ago was a client or my boss. Keeping all of that straight was the appeal of webos and synergy.

It is sad to see this have to happen. Is this for both versions?

Google Voice did post some new videos about the service recently. This link explains that there are apps for iPhone, Android and Blackberry. No mention of WebOS.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YSk9szCUDqA

Sad day for me. This was my #1 app. However, I commend the developer. Big time bummer is all I can say....

I'm probably gonna get killed here, and maybe another post addressed it, but what is the appeal of this program? It's gotta be good, but why not just use the phone?

Google delibrately make Nathan's life a living hell to keep google voice in android. Androidcentral posting solidifies that:

http://www.androidcentral.com/google-explains-google-voice-series-videos

Just bloody fail for google being a bich about this. Their becomming more like apple every day.

What a stupid comment. If Google wanted to restrict it to Android, why would they have gone to the trouble of building an iPhone version, and then building a web version when Apple kept it out of the app store?

Google gives away the OS. They make money what people use their products and get exposed to advertisers. They have no incentive to deliberately restrict platforms. But they also have no incentive to limit the tool to the least capable OS.

I have depended on GD Pro since the beginning because I publish my GVoice number as my primary number.. Granted, the new Google mobile site is quite functional,, Nathans app was my primary phone UI..

Yes, I did experience the some inconsitancies in GD Pro, but I used it never the less..

Nathan, I understand why you're stopping support and I certainly respect it.. Good for you!

That said, I will use my current version along side the GVoice site until you come back..

This is a sad day for those of us who depend on the GVoice/GD Pro collaberation..

gDial Pro was the reason I went with the Pre over the Hero, as GV became the root of my mobile experience. Without an application that will popup/notify me of new texts, it feels like I've suddenly lost phone functionality.

Dude, you'll still get notified of new texts. If you set up Google Voice to forward to your cell phone, the texts come in to your regular messaging app. When you reply, it comes from your Google Voice number. I know, I've tested it.

lame (not on the devs part)

Another black mark against palm's API support. No enhanced google maps, no google voice, the lost battle with itunes...

Revolutionary mobile OS? Sure.

Competetive in this market? Absolutely not.

OS/2 was cool for about 5 minutes too. Too bad nobody programmed for it.

I'm starting to feel like I own an HD-DVD player all over again.

Too Bad. Loved GDial Pro!

This is too bad for a hard-working developer. I've never seen an app updated so many times!

I have not been a user of Gdial Pro but would like to take this opportunity to give high praise to the developer of this app!!!!!! The highlight of this article was to read about the author refunding monies to those who had purchased this application. (The lowlight being that google had broken this good persons work). Many many many thanks to an honest person trying to put out good work for the benefit of us web os users. My only hope is that the situation will be rectified between google and Palm so that this person can re-make gdial pro for those that need and use it. I hope that the developer does NOT get discouraged and give up on Palm because of this experience and that maybe, until things get fixed, he/she will take time to develop other great apps for web os

Thanks for the efforts!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Cool picture Derek. Did you come up with that one yourself?

I'd say I make custom graphics for 4/5 of my articles, though that does include times when I reuse graphics. In this case, yes, I did.

Damn......... Another reason to add to my list of why I should have put my money into a winner with Android and the HTC Hero

Is there any way to actually listen to your GV voicemails on the new web version they recently released for iphone/webos browser? I only see a way to view the horrible transcription version of them with no play option.

YouView will soon support your Google Voice voicemails.

I understand some ppl need gdial pro but switching to a hero for that reason is beyond me. I bought the hero and the pre and right now I haven't found a good reason to go back to the hero_ it's collecting dust in case I lose this one.

I think it's less about this one program and more about seeing this as a sign of things to come. WebOS simply does not have the programming infrastructure to support next-gen, hell even current generation, smartphone software services.

I think you might feel differently about that Hero you've got collecting dust when every new smartphone software-based service release ignores WebOS simply because there is no API support for the developers to work with.

It's a shame too. I love my Pre. Killer form factor, great concept, and aside from the sluggish OS, great usability. But if it's limited to built-in software and limited functionality Mojo-based software, well...how's your laserdisc player doing these days?

UHG use gDial weekly!! Its kinda irritating how people can be naive about the reasoning behind issues like this. With soooo much development happening with OS's on the mobile platform there is NO WAY to keep everyone in sync! Although I have had my share of broken web applications thanks to google changing their API's, More than likely the app will be able to be developed further in consideration of the new API requirements. But people should also consider that in some cases it MAY be in a companies best interest to 'beak' compatibility with a third party development who's competition may benefit from! Im sure thats NOT the case here but it is ALWAYS possible! Google very well could be being a biatch, and for good reason!!! But Get really tired of seeing people discourage others opinions here when NOONE knows what the circumstances my be! YES opinions are like A-holes but we're all still entitled to them!!!

Kudos to Nathan for developing an awesome app for all of us!

This really F****N S*cks. This was an incredible app.

Great Job on this app, I will really miss it!

usual bitchathathon

I understand some ppl need gdial pro but switching to a hero for that reason is beyond me. I bought the hero and the pre and right now I haven't found a good reason to go back to the hero_ it's collecting dust in case I lose this one.

so is that reason google voice does not work period i try to *74and the number but my pre doesnt forward the number it it always forwared to my sprint mailbox but not google voice period

And i quote Derek:
"A half-baked and unreliable user experience is not in the best interests of any user ........."

NOW can't the same be said of webOS?
There's too much competition out there for people to give a blank about Palm's shortcomings.

I also used Nathan's gDialPro, and he deserves every compliment he receives. He took the high road and did the right thing. Not many people do that anymore.
Nice guys always finish last.
- Good luck, Nathan.

gDialPro was the only app that I really loved. It was essential for my business and the ONLY reason I used the Google Voice option. Now without gDialPro, Google Voice is just a pain in the A..!@

I am very sorry to see it go. It was a WONDERFUL app.!

well i have to use visualvoicemail app then thats ok

FML, I just bout a used Pre, was totally looking forward to this app. Atleast Google came out with an HTML5 app for google voice for webos and the iphone.

Hmmmmmm. I just clicked on "Homebrew Gallery" at the top of this page (I'm on the mobile version on my Pr?) and gDial is still there, right at the top of the list. So, wazzup wi'that?

Homebrew Gallery != App Catalog

This is a real shame. The day Palm published gDial Pro in the Catalog was the same day I bought my Pre. I literally got on Craigslist right after reading about it on Engadget. I just thought it was an awesome thing for Palm to do, being the first non-Google company to allow Google Voice through their official channel. I didn't even have a GV account at the time. I hope GDP comes back soon.

For the short time I had this app, it had become my favorite. In the meantime I have just decided to add an icon on my launcher page to go directly to the website instead of using another application.

Right on. It's not as pretty but it works the same as GdialPro. Everybody needs to calm down. This isn't a big deal.

it was fun while it lasted :(
i even made my a gdial icon to go with my theme :(

Hi, I really loved this app. I begged for a GV invite just to put it to good use. Many thanks to the devs for their time and awesome work and I hope to see it come back.

does anyone use dkGoogleVoice by d0lph1nK1ng?

I did in the beginning,, for a minute. But I could never get it to work so I tried GD Pro. It worked, I never looked back..

I may give it another shot now, but can't imagine that it would be able to provide the services Nathan is struggling with (web dial, SMS), but it's worth a shot.

I tried P2GoogleVoice and I have the same problem I have using GdialPro.

So does the homebrew version still work if you pay the $1 a month for the server solution? If so, I think this should be mentioned in the article to highlight the exceptional work of the developer and capabilities of webOS (as opposed to the limited SDK), and to let people know there still are options.

So when will Google calendar syncing break?

This app was the push that got me to buy the Pre. I will continue to use it as long as I can.

Thanks Nathan, I hope you are able to bring it back.

Something tells me webOS 1.4 and its SDK are going to be delayed for a bit.

Go ahead and bitch at Google for changing their standards, go ahead and bitch at Palm for not being able to keep up, but quite frankly, I don't see this being an issue much longer. Palm fought against changes Apple made in iTunes communication--twice--with releases within a few weeks of each other. Just because Google doesn't say they're supporting webOS doesn't mean Palm can't make webOS support Google. They've done it before, albeit by less-than-elegant means, though I believe this case is just a matter of API compliance which Palm can fix easily enough.

Yeah, it sucks that there are people suffering losses from business because of this, but in reality you take risks when you rely heavily on technology, even if it's proven. No technology company is absolutely without fault, but the "good" ones know how to adapt to changes in standards and even create new ones when they cooperate with each other. The end-user (business, casual or otherwise) will ALWAYS suffer when changes are made, that's just the price we pay for putting our faith in that kind of technology. That doesn't mean it's a bad thing, we just need to be aware of the risks and adapt to them when necessary.

Give it time, Palm and Google will sort it out. Probably sooner than you think.

You guys all need to chill the F* out. This is not that big a deal. Calls to your Google Voice (GV) number will still ring to your phone and texts sent to your GV number will still go to your phone and you can still respond to both of those as if GV was your number. The only inconvenience is that now you have to use the web interface to initiate a conversation. OMG the horror!

Talking about switching phones over this is asinine. Are you gonna say you picked the Pre because it had Gdial Pro? That's nonsense. There's a lot of other phones that have GV apps. You picked the Pre because it's the best phone out there.

What did you do before GV existed? GV has been around for what, a year or more? Before that you had to use your phone's phone number and that was no problem. Now all of a sudden you can't use a phone if you actually have to use its built in phone number and dialer app? If a lack of GV renders a phone unusable then is this your first cell phone?

Take it easy people. This kind of thing happens a lot. They'll work out the issues and if they don't, guess what, your life will not be affected by it. Just use the web interface or use your actual phone number. It's not Palm's fault and it doesn't make the Pre and obsolete POS. Get a grip people. I know times are bad but there are far worse things in life to get your panties in a bunch about.

Instead of giving up on Palm, why don't you give up on Google? They're the ones that caused this, not Palm. If GV is making your life so miserable, stop using it. Go back to the old way of actually using your phone as a phone and giving out your actual phone number.

Or,

Add the GV web page to your launcher and it works the same as GdialPro. Problem solved.

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