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
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.
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
We got a look at the Canopy Sensus Touch Case, and walked away impressed. The Sensus Touch Case gives iPhone users 10-point touch input along the back and sides of the device, which means you can do things like play games by swiping along the back of the iPhone, leaving the display free and clear of your fingers. You can also do things like snap images by tapping the side of the phone, or zoom in and out of objects with a slide of your finger. Expect to see the case launch later this summer, priced somewhere between $59 and $99.
Don't forget to subscribe to Gear Live's YouTube channel!
Read More | YouTube
The Mophie Juice Pack Air for the iPhone 5 is the second iPhone 5 battery case that Mophie has released, with the first being the Juice Pack Helium. The difference is that the Helium offers an additional 80% battery life for the Apple smartphone, while the Juice Pack Air offers a full 100% - doubling your iPhone 5 battery life. We give you a look at the Juice Pack Air for iPhone 5 in this episode, and also compare it to the Juice Pack Helium. You can pick up the Juice Pack Air on Amazon for $99.
Don't forget to subscribe to Gear Live's YouTube channel!
No doubt about it, I'm a LifeProof case fan. So, it's only natural that I use accessories to accompany the Frē Case (see our Lifeproof Fre case review.) In this case, the car mount, which I found to be well designed with great fit and finish, and takes little-to-no effort to assemble and use. In my usage tests, I admired the attention to detail that LifeProof has put in to assure that the car mount is sturdy, yet gentle enough to safely cradle your iPhone in place for hands-free GPS navigation. I prefer using a smartphone for navigation since there's a slew of GPS apps at my disposal. Users will quickly find, as I did, that the car mount can be rotated in pretty much any direction. This is a huge plus, as it makes it easy to find that sweet spot when viewing at a glance while still practicing safe driving habits. The LifeProof Frē Car Mount is $39.99 online at Lifeproof.com or at your local Best Buy.
Also, be sure to check out our LifeProof Fre Belt Clip review.
Read More | LifeProof
I've been using the LifeProof Belt Clip a lot recently with the LifeProof Fre iPhone 5 case (see our LifeProof Fre review.) Yes, you read correctly. Call me old school, but I use a belt clip and I'm proud of it. I keep my pant pockets empty, with the exception of my wallet, which is why I'm counting the days for NFC e-wallet payment to become ubiquitous. LifeProof has made what I like to refer to as the quick draw belt clip. Faster than any gunslinger from those old westerns, I can quickly bust out my iPhone 5, that just moments before was snuggled safely in its holster, and send my favorite emoticon-filled iMessage with speed and accuracy. Simply put, the belt clip is rugged, yet uniquely designed with the Fre's sleek military spec motif. All in all, the LifeProof Fre Belt Clip performed exceedingly well, which is why I give it my seal of approval. The LifeProof Frē Belt Clip is $29.99 online at Lifeproof.com or at your local Best Buy.
Read More | LifeProof Fre Belt Clip
This morning, T-Mobile finally started selling the iPhone 5, the first iPhone available from the company since the Apple smartphone debuted almost six years ago. Reports of modest lines at various T-Mobile locations across the country have been coming in, which is a good sign for T-Mobile, which rarely sees lines for new devices. Coupled with the its new Uncarrier plans, customers are able to pick up a new T-Mobile iPhone 5 for $99 up front. Switchers are able to trade in a used iPhone 4 or 4S to get the iPhone 5 for free up front, with a $120 credit being applied to the monthly bill as well.
Are you going to go with T-Mobile as your iPhone carrier of choice?
Read More | Twitter
T-Mobile USA is set to launch the iPhone 5 this Friday, and in anticipation of the long-awaited event, it's offering current iPhone owners a free iPhone 5 if they switch from another carrier. Here's how it works: you bring in your iPhone 4 or iPhone 4S between April 12 and June 16, and you get a T-Mobile iPhone 5 at no cost up front, and a $120 credit that you can choose to apply towards your bill, extra accessories, or even an outstanding bill. The iPhone 5 would typically cost $100 up front, and an additional $20 per month over 2 years, so you are basically getting it with no up-front cost, and then a six month break on the monthly fee.
Of course, if you are mid-contract elsewhere, you have your early termination fee to worry about, which might put the kibosh on this one for you. However, if you have a spare iPhone 4 laying around, this could be an easy way to try T-Mobile's new smartphone plans out.
Read More | T-Mobile