On Wednesday, the carrier said it would open the capability to iPhone or iPad users on tiered data plans. The update will be rolled out sometime over the next couple of weeks.
Some AT&T iPhone customers with older unlimited data plans report that they have access to FaceTime over cellular. This would be yet another step in the evolution of its stance, since the service was supposed to be available only to shared and tiered plan customers.
Skype 3.0 for Android is here, boasting improved audio quality thanks to Skype’s own SILK codec. After testing the new client on both Android phones and tablets, I can hear a bit of a difference, but some key flaws remain for video calls.
A preview version of Skype for Windows Phone 8 is available for those with new Microsoft-powered handsets. Although the app isn’t finalized, it offers a solid set of features such as People hub integration, calls in the background and presence in the contact list.
Isn’t it time for Apple to make good on its promise to make FaceTime an open standard? After all, the video service arrived in June of 2010 and we haven’t heard a peep on any effort to open up FaceTime for use on other platforms.
AT&T had come under fire this summer when it said only customers who subscribed to a new Mobile Share plan could use FaceTime over cellular networks. Several open internet groups threatened to file complaints with the FCC, saying it violated net neutrality.
That amount may be a drop in the bucket for cash-rich Apple, but a loss is a loss: Apple was ordered by a Texas district court to pay for infringing the patents of a Nevada company that provides secure communication over VPN networks.
Open Internet groups plans to complain to the FCC about AT&T’s decision to limit Apple’s FaceTime video calling application to its cellular network for certain customers. The groups view the limits as a violation of the network neutrality rules the FCC implemented in 2010.
In blocking Apple’s FaceTime application from its cellular network for certain customers, AT&T is trying to drive customers to new plans and change the debate when it comes to network neutrality. If Ma Bell succeeds it looks like consumers and maybe app developers could lose.
AT&T says it’s not blocking any apps and that users can still use FaceTime over Wi-Fi as before. The carrier also says there’s a place for “reasonable restrictions” on preloaded apps on the iPhone — but the definition of “preloaded” can be a bit tricky.