AT&T Mobility is blocking video chat features integrated into Google's new Hangouts messaging service for Android.
Google at its I/O developer's conference said it will release a new, standalone Hangouts app that will be available to Android, iOS and Web users. The app will collect text, image and video conversations into one service and essentially represents Google's response to the growth of messaging apps like WhatsApp, Viber and BlackBerry's BBM. Hangouts will replace Google Talk and G+ Messenger.
AT&T's decision to open up FaceTime for no additional charge to subscribers with older Apple iOS devices on tiered data plans is a sidebar to the real news, which is that innovative over-the-top offers from brands for which consumers hold great affinity are going to quickly populate the mobile environment.
AT&T Mobility announced it will expand access to Apple's FaceTime over cellular to customers on tiered data plans at no additional cost. Previously, the videochatting service was limited to AT&T's iOS users with an AT&T Mobile Share plan or LTE-capable devices.
Interest group Public Knowledge is rallying against AT&T Mobility's femtocell terms of service, arguing the carrier's approach to tallying users' data consumption runs against the FCC's net neutrality provisions.
Former Apple CEO Steve Jobs famously promised in 2010 that the company would make its FaceTime video calling feature an open standard. But it never came to pass. What happened to the FaceTime standard? Special report
These were Steve Jobs' exact words, spoken almost three years ago at Apple's 2010 Worldwide Developer Conference in San Francisco: "We're going to the standards bodies, starting tomorrow, and we're going to make FaceTime an open industry standard."
These were Steve Jobs' exact words, spoken almost three years ago at Apple's 2010 Worldwide Developer Conference in San Francisco: "We're going to the standards bodies, starting tomorrow, and we're going to make FaceTime an open industry standard." Although a lot has happened since then--Jobs' passing, a number of new iPads, iPhones and iOS updates--it is a promise that seems unlikely to be fulfilled anytime soon.
AT&T Mobility said it will offer Apple's FaceTime video calling feature over cellular at no extra charge to customers using LTE devices. For example, iPhone 5 customers without Mobile Share data plans will soon be able to use the service without an additional fee.
AT&T's decision to offer Apple's FaceTime video calling feature over cellular at no extra charge only to its Mobile Share data plan customers has led one consumer to file a formal complaint with the FCC.