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
AT&T has just announced it is making good on its promise to allow devices like the iPhone 4S, as long as it's on a tiered or data share plan, the ability to utilize Apple's FaceTime video calling service on its cellular network. The rollout is slated to take several months and will be applied automatically by AT&T for eligible customers. Still, those out there like myself who have a kung-fu grip on their unlimited plans are left out in the cold. AT&T did state in their blog recently that they would assess FaceTime impact for unlimited users on its network. So, hopefully, the AT&T network isn't as fragile as they are alluding to and can hold up enough so that their most loyal customers, like myself, won't be out of the loop for too long. Fingers crossed.
When FaceTime over Cellular launched in September 2012, we explained that we wanted to roll it out gradually to ensure the service had minimal impact on the mobile experience for all of our customers.
As a result of ongoing testing, we’re announcing AT&T will enable FaceTime over Cellular at no extra charge for customers with any tiered data plan using a compatible iOS device.
This means iPhone 4S customers with tiered plans will be able to make FaceTime calls over the AT&T cellular network. AT&T previously made FaceTime over Cellular available to customers with a Mobile Share plan and those with an LTE device on tiered plans.
Of course, FaceTime over Wi-Fi remains available for all customers who have a compatible iPhone or iPad.
We have already begun updating our systems and processes and expect to start rolling the update out to customers on an ongoing basis beginning in the next couple of weeks. Customers do not need to do anything—the update will be applied automatically over the next few months.
Only AT&T offers benefits like the ability to talk and surf at the same time, the fastest download speeds using AT&T 4G LTE, and a variety of flexible plan options to meet customers’ needs. - AT&T
Read More | AT&T
AT&T has announced on its public policy blog that FaceTime over cellular will be available to iPhone and iPad users with several caveats. Users must have LTE versions of iPads and iPhones and must be on a tiered plan. Previously FaceTime on AT&T was only available for customers on mobile shared plans. However, the rollout is not immediate. AT&T expects it to take 8-10 weeks, which is unusually slow. The decision has come after much pressure from customers, public advocacy groups, and the media.
Still, AT&T's policy change is a half-hearted attempt as it doesn't fully cave in to demands. It omits a larger group of customer that are not on LTE from using FaceTime over cellular on 3G and "4G." Also, it continues its hostility toward customers of grandfathered unlimited data plans on any cellular mode. The FCC has warned that discriminatory practices on citizen owned spectrums will not be tolerated in accordance with net neutrality regulations. AT&T is cherry picking customers based on monetary gains and not necessarily reasons of management of network congestion.
Read More | AT&T
Apple's focused on the iPod touch as being the "funnest iPod ever" for a while now, but the introduction of the fifth generation model put it over the top. You've got the new 4-inch Retina display, FaceTime HD video chat, 5 megapixel rear camera with 1080p video recording, and built-in gyroscope all packed into the thinnest iPod touch ever--and now it's available in a bunch of colors - silver, pink, green, blue, black red, and yellow. Of course, you need great software running on hardware like this, and the App Store fits the bill with over 700,000 apps available. A great gift for teens who don't need an iPhone, or anyone who wants a mobile iOS device that isn't a phone. Prices start at $299 (or $295 on Amazon) for the new 5th generation model, and $199 (or $195 on Amazon) for the older 4th generation version:
Be sure to check out the rest of the stuff in our 2012 Holiday Gift Guide, we're adding new suggestions every day!
Apple unveiled the iPhone 5 to the world on September 12th, and just 9 days later, the smartphone launched. Pre-sales hit over 2 million in the first 24 hours alone, showing that there was massive demand for the newly redesigned iPhone. According to Apple, it's the best iPhone it's ever made, but does it live up to the hype? More importantly, os it worth your hard-earned cash? We've had a few days to use the iPhone 5 (as well as its built-in operating system, iOS 6,) and we’re ready to break it all down in our iPhone 5 review.
Alongside the release of iOS 6, Apple has just released OS X Mountain Lion 10.8.2. As we reported previously, this is a pretty substantial update. Sure, there will be the typical bug fixes and optimizations, but you will also find the long-awaited Facebook single sign on functionality, bringing sharing to (and notifications from) the social network built right in to OS X. The update also brings the Power Nap feature to Late 2010 MacBook Air notebooks, phone number support to Messages, shared Reminders lists, the ability to add cards to iOS Passbook from your Mac, and plenty more. We've got the full list of 10.8.2 changes here. You can download Mountain Lion from the Mac App Store.
Apple is set to release OS X Mountain Lion 10.8.2 soon, and it's shaping up to be a pretty substantial update. Sure, there will be the typical bug fixes and optimizations, but we can also expect the long-awaited Facebook single sign on functionality, bringing sharing to (and notifications from) the social network built right in to OS X. The update will also bring the Power Nap feature to Late 2010 MacBook Air notebooks, phone number support to Messages, shared Reminders lists, the ability to add cards to iOS Passbook from your Mac, and plenty more. We've got the list right here:
- Single sign on for Facebook
- Facebook as an option when sharing links and photos
- Facebook friends' contact information and profile pictures in Contacts
- Facebook notifications in Notification Center
There's plenty more, so hit the jump for the rest of the updates!
Disclaimer: this is pure speculation based on rumors, track record, and wishful thinking. So, no hurt feelings if it doesn't come to pass.
The way we see it, Apple methodically has been updating its entire Mac lineup with HD front facing cameras. The first to receive it was the iMac in mid-2011, quickly followed by last year's Macbook Pro lineup and subsequently the newly refreshed generation of MacBook Pros and Macbook Air; the lineup includes the 11-, 13-, and 15-inch as well as the flagship Macbook Pro with Retina display. The result is 720p high-definition video chat. The missing ingredient is the inclusion of HD FaceTime chat for iOS devices. Sure, the back of an iPhone 4/4S, iPad 2, and new iPad are technically HD cameras, and one could switch to that camera with a quick toggle, but it's still not ideal for most video chat interactions. I'm postulating that Apple could potentially introduce its first HD front-facing camera for iOS devices with the iPhone 5.
The fine folks over at FreePress are asking the public to take action in an attempt to convince AT&T to reconsiders its position on blocking iOS 6 feature FaceTime over Cellular for all customers unless they switch to a Mobile Share plan. It's an obvious money-grab, a way to encourage its unlimited data users to leave those plans behind, and it shows preferential treatment on how users can use their own data plans. We're signing, and we encourage you to do the same. According to Public Knowledge:
“By blocking FaceTime for many of its customers, AT&T is violating the FCC’s Open Internet rules. These rules state that mobile providers shall not ‘block applications that compete with the provider’s voice or video telephony services.’ Although carriers are permitted to engage in ‘reasonable network management,’ there is no technical reason why one data plan should be able to access FaceTime, and another not. ‘Over-the-top’ communications services like FaceTime are a threat to carriers’ revenue, but they should respond by competing with these services and not by engaging in discriminatory behavior.”
Read More | FreePress
The other day we talked about how AT&T charging for FaceTime over Cellular is consumer robbery, and today we've gotten word from Sprint that it agrees, and therefore will not be charging customers extra to use the new iOS 6 feature. When iOS 6 goes public this fall, owners of the iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, the next-generation iPhone, iPad 2, and the new iPad will all have access to FaceTime when on 3G and LTE connections. According to Sprint, it's "committed to our unlimited data, and that means not charging for data consumption based on the application." Good on them for that. Now we're just waiting on Verizon to make the same move.
© Gear Live Inc. – User-posted content, unless source is quoted, is licensed under a Creative Commons Public Domain License. Gear Live graphics, logos, designs, page headers, button icons, videos, articles, blogs, forums, scripts and other service names are the trademarks of Gear Live Inc.