[Update 3/15/12] An Apple spokesperson told Mashable on Friday that FaceTime has always been Wi-Fi only and that Apple has no new announcements about the service. Mashable probed further by contacting AT&T and Verizon, and they did not provide any information other than confirm that the decision was Apple’s, not theirs.
The Verge just confirmed that the new iPad doesn’t allow you to use FaceTime while connected to LTE. I guess we saw this coming as none of the current devices support FaceTime over cellular connection, although I suppose Apple could insert a code to flip the switch on whenever the you’re on an LTE connection.
Prior to the LTE, it was understandable to a certain extent why Apple/carriers were opposed to the idea of using FaceTime over 3G: the connection was slow and the traffic loads on the cellular data network were loaded as is. LTE, however, is a whole different story. LTE on the new iPad boasts impressive download and upload speeds, sometimes on par with Wi-Fi connections, and there’s absolutely no reason why users shouldn’t be allowed to make video calls whenever they want to with the cellular data plan they purchased.
…it’s doubly frustrating as Verizon’s LTE plans for the new iPad include Wi-Fi hotspot functionality at no extra cost. In other words, you could easily initiate a Wi-Fi hotspot from your new Verizon LTE iPad and use it to successfully make a FaceTime call from an iPhone — likely with little to no degradation in video quality as compared to a Wi-Fi connection, since LTE is so fast.
Sidestepping from the topic for a bit, one feature that I wish Apple implemented into FaceTime is the ability to ‘tell’ the recipient that a FaceTime call has been attempted, instead of simply not letting any FaceTime connection go through. There are many instances where I’m nearby a Wi-Fi connection; however keep the Wi-Fi off to conserve battery. Sure we could probably communicate prior using messenger apps such as iMessage or WhatsApp but it’s simply adding some kind of a ‘missed call’ feature for FaceTime would be appreciated by many.
That said, it looks like we’re back to either jailbreaking the iPad to force it to recognize your internet connection to be Wi-Fi using Cydia tweaks such as My3G, or resorting to Skype and Tango for our video calls.
What are your thoughts about the restriction Apple/carriers imposed on the LTE devices? I could understand the concern over overloaded LTE nodes; however it’s not like we won’t be searching for other means to use video chat to talk to our friends and family, right?
via The Verge
Image Credit: The Verge
- The New iPad Makes Apple’s Tablet Domination Clearer Than Ever (techcrunch.com)
- New iPad data plans: What you need to know (macworld.com)
- Apple running out of some AT&T iPads (news.cnet.com)
- What LTE means for Apple’s new iPad (macworld.com)
- 3rd Generation iPad Reviews: Retina Display “Stunning”, LTE Speeds Impressive (macrumors.com)