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
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.
"Skype for iPad is beautifully designed and optimized for the iPad. It offers the best of both worlds for users who want a larger Skype experience, on-the-go," Skype said in a blog post. "The large iPad screen is perfect for bringing Skype video calls to life, in either landscape or portrait view, and because it is on the iPad, Skype video calls can be made at the beach, in a car or even lying on a couch."
Skype promised several iPad-optimized features, including two-way video calling for those with an iPad 2. Connect with other Skype users on PCs, Macs, or iPhones and Android phones with front-facing cameras.
This morning Facebook announced its new video calling feature, powered by Skype. We've been getting a bunch of reader questions asking just how the heck they enable it, so we figured we'd give you a quick how to. It's simple, but for some reason Facebook hasn't made it super clear. All you need to do is go to the Facebook Video Calling page and hit the green button to turn it on. You can then initiate a video chat session with any of your available friends. If they haven't already enabled the feature themselves, they'll get a prompt to install a plug-in, and you'll be chatting in no time.
Facebook is right in the middle of announcing three new changes that are happening today. The first is multi-person group chat, which has been one of the most requested features. Second, a redesign of chat that makes it easier to get to the people you chat with most, better see the avatars of yours friends, etc. Lastly, and this is the big one, instant video chat through a partnership with Skype. Just choose a friend and initiate a video call, and if they don't have the plugin installed, it takes 10 seconds to download, and you are chatting. No need for a Skype username, or Skype software, it all happens through Facebook. Hit the link below now to see the announcement happening live, with demos.
Read More | Facebook Live
Google+, the presumptive Facebook killer, shows tremendous potential. As someone who warms up to any social network with the alacrity of a Galápagos tortoise, this, for me, is saying something.
Yes, I'm one of the lucky ones who got a pre-over-capacity invite. I've tried to share a couple, but new Google+ users are only gaining entrance at a halting pace.
The service, which initially stuck me as a blatant Facebook rip-off, actually has many of its own charms, not the least of which is the useful, somewhat addictive Circles. I know this topic divides Google+ users. Some people do not like to spend time organizing their social contacts. I'm not sure I do either, but the method that Circles employs for discovery and organization (dragging and dropping people into actual circle graphics, for instance) is addictive and easily blows away anything Facebook ever developed.
Comcast is working to bring Skype video chat to their set-top boxes through the Xfinity service, and they've put together a video that gives the inside scoop on what it took to build the look and feel for Skype on your television. We've got the video for you above. No pricing or launch date has been announced yet, but we're curious what you'd be willing to pay for something like this from your cable TV provider. Hit us in the comments!
Apple just announced that the iPhone 4 will include a new video chatting feature called FaceTime. FaceTime allows you to chat with other iPhone 4 owners on video, using the front-facing camera on the device. In order to initiate, you must first make a phone call to the person you want to chat with. Once you are connected, you can then go into a video call. Both parties must be connected to Wi-Fi in order for it to work. Very cool.
Tired of using emoticons to express what only your face can truly convey? So are Google‘s Gmail software engineers, hence, Tuesday’s introduction of Gmail Voice and Video Chat. In order to enjoy the new video/voice experience you need to first download and install the voice and video plugin. Once you’ve installed the plugin, to start a video chat, just click on the “Video & more” menu at the bottom of your Gmail chat window, and choose “Start video chat.” You’ll have a few seconds to make sure you look presentable while it’s ringing, and then you’ll see and hear your friend live, right from within Gmail. You can click the “pop-out” icon to make the video larger, or click the fullscreen icon in the upper left-hand corner for a more lifelike experience. “But what if I don’t have a webcam?” Well, Google knows the right people and is offering a few discounted models through November 30th. Check out the video (up top) for a demonstration.
What’s next? Video chat on your iPhone? We can only hope…
Read More | Gmail Blog
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