Seeing Google Voice repeatedly bash its forehead against the gates of the App Store gave competitor Ribbit an idea: why not just cut the features Apple and/or AT&T are scared of, like calling and texting? And so they did.


Ribbit proper is a direct Google Voice competitor, which means it offers number consolidation, calls, contacts management and, well, pretty much everything you need to become your own personal phone carrier. Ribbit for iPhone, though, is a little more bare: calling, texting and address book functions have been replace with the iPhone native functions, leaving only the company's voicemail service intact. But for a lot of people, this is actually pretty great: you get to keep you number, your voicemail gets replaced with transcribed, unlimited, web-stored recordings, and at least for now, it's all free. [iTunes via ReadWriteWeb via Lifehacker]