AT&T will finally be lifting its almost 3-year ban on FaceTime (and other pre-installed video chat services like Google Hangouts on ANdroid) for its customers on grandfathered unlimited data plans. Over time, AT&T has made stock video chat apps available on its cellular network only to customers on tiered data plans, or its newer Mobile Share plans, while unlimited users looked on in disappointment. That all changes starting next month, when customers with LTE devices get access to pre-installed video chat services:
For video chat apps that come pre-loaded on devices, we currently give all OS and device makers the ability for those apps to work over cellular for our customers who are on Mobile Share or Tiered plans. Apple, Samsung and BlackBerry have chosen to enable this for their pre-loaded video chat apps. And by mid-June, we’ll have enabled those apps over cellular for our unlimited plan customers who have LTE devices from those three manufacturers.
So if you've got an iPhone 5, you're in luck. If you are on an older iPhone 4S or iPhone 4, you have a bit more of a wait ahead of you. In fact, it appears that even if you have a current LTE device that isn't made by Apple, BlackBerry, or Samsung, you've got a wait ahead of you. Recent buyer of the awesome HTC One? Sorry:
Throughout the second half of this year, we plan to enable pre-loaded video chat apps over cellular for all our customers, regardless of data plan or device; that work is expected to be complete by year end.
We've been getting reports that some AT&T customers with unlimited plans and LTE devices are already seeing FaceTime over Cellular enabled.
Read More | The Verge
It's becoming customary within the Apple community to conceptualize ideas of future Apple products and software. In this case, Sam Beckett conceptualizes what the mythical Apple TV set, or iTV, display may look like and how it might behave. Interactions, mostly done by way of an iOS device, in this case are done with an iPad mini. This, of course, is opposed to using the often confusing button-riddled TV remote. Interacting and navigating is user-friendly and intuitive while using DVR functions, swiping between channels using gestures, using Siri and Genius content recommendations, etc. In addition, apps are served up as channels, and the user would have the ability to tie into their cable provider of choice if they aren't ready to cut the cord. I don't know about you, but we're digging this much. Watch the video after the snappy break.
Apple's iTunes multimedia application has been updated to version 11.0.3, the highlight of which is a redesigned and improved MiniPlayer that now includes rich album artwork and a progress bar. Songs view also brings album artwork into the fold, and now multi-disc albums appear as a single album rather than taking up multiple entries in your library. Here's the rundown list of what's included in the update.
This version of iTunes comes with several new features and improvements, including:
- New MiniPlayer. MiniPlayer now includes a beautiful new view that showcases your album artwork In addition, a progress bar is now built right into MiniPlayer.
- Improved Songs View. You can now enjoy your album artwork while in Songs view.
- Multi-Disc Albums. Albums with multiple discs now appear as a single album.
This update also provides performance improvements when searching and sorting large iTunes libraries.
Read More | Apple
Following up on the Juice Pack Helium ($71) and Juice Pack Air ($92), Mophie has announced the Juice Pack Plus for iPhone 5. This is the highest-capacity iPhone 5 battery case offered by Mophie, the company that made these accessories a common purchase for Apple smartphones. On the inside of the Juice Pack Plus you'll find a 2100mAh battery that the company says will add a whopping 120% of extra battery life to your iPhone 5, which is good enough for 10 additional hours of talk time, 12 hours of Wi-Fi Internet usage, and 12 hours of video playback.
The Mophie Juice Pack Plus is available in black right now, with white and Product (RED) versions shipping within the next two weeks. All models cost $120.
The new Google Hangouts has arrived, bringing together Google's Talk, Hangouts, Voice, and Google+ Messenger under one app and umbrella. Google Hangouts offers unified, synchronized chat that retains history across all devices, allowing you to dig into your history wherever you are, delete messages, and check out files, photos, etc. Hangouts naturally includes the previous Google Hangouts video chat features, which allows multiple people to video chat with each other, again, from a smartphone, tablet, or computer.
Hangouts it now available on iOS, Android, Chrome, and within the Gmail web client. Get a look at the video promo after the break.
Google has just announced Google Play Music All Access at its Google I/O 2013 developer conference, the company's new subscription music service. Aside from givng you access to the millions of songs in Google's new streaming catalog, it will also incorporate tracks that you have stored in your Google Play Music account. The service launches today, and will cost $9.99 per month. Google offers a 30-day trial--sign up for the free trial by June 30th, you'll lock in a $7.99 per month rate, making it 20% cheaper than competing services like Rdio and Spotify.
It is expected that Apple will announce it's own streaming music service, possibly at WWDC 2013 in June, but rumors point to it being more akin to a Pandora Internet radio competitor than a full on streaming service where you can pick and choose individual tracks and albums that you want to listen to.
Microsoft co-founder, former CEO and current Chairman, Bill Gates, described his last conversation with the late Steve Jobs (among other topics) during an interview with Charlie Rose on 60 minutes. Watch the video after the break:
Read More | 60 Minutes
The rumor mill has been buzzing with regards to significant changes that will be coming to AppleCare, Apple's popular standard and extended warranty program. Interestingly, it appears that AppleCare support for iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad is about to become much more of a pain for customers. This marks a significant change where Apple will seemingly make a decision to make the customer service experience worse rather than better, all in the name of saving a ton of money.
1Password is one of our favorite apps here at Gear Live, and today version 4.2 for iOS was released with a slew of new features. Let's talk about some of our favorites.
On the iPad, you get a newly-optimized browser (called 1Browser) that now includes the Strong Password Generator. You can also autofill your logins if you prefer, and the browser even recognizes a URL that you have waiting in your clipboard and offers to take you there. The iPad also picks up the Go & Fill bookmark feature, that let's you bookmark your favorite sites, and when you visit, 1Password will automatically log you in.
Search has been expanded, now allowing users to search across all 1Password data fields, and you can even share password items using Messages and email--1Password offers to let you share either in plain text, or in an encrypted format.
We've got the full changelog for you after the break. You can download 1Password 4.2 now.
Despite being the last major carrier to pick up the iPhone, T-Mobile is still seeing massive success thanks to the Apple smartphone. In fact, the company revealed that it has sold over 500,000 iPhone 5 units since the device went on sale on April 12th, less than a month ago. On that day, T-Mobile locations had lines out the door, which is almost unheard of for the carrier. Technically, the iPhone 5 went on sale after the end of the first quarter, so those 500,000 sales weren't accounted for. We will have to wait until next quarter to see how the iPhone is affecting T-Mobile revenue.
Read More | T-Mobile
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