iOS warning messages hint at 3G support for Apple's FaceTime

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
Warnings contained in the latest version of iOS suggest that Apple plans to bring support for 3G wireless data connections to its FaceTime video chat feature.

When a FaceTime call is active over Wi-Fi on an iPhone running iOS 5.1.1, and a user turns off the "Enable 3G" option in the Settings application, the operating system presents users with a warning message: "Disabling 3G may end FaceTime. Are you sure you want to disable 3G?"

The warning was first noticed by Romanian Apple website iDevice, and publicized on Friday by Gizmodo. Despite the warning, FaceTime video calls will continue over Wi-Fi uninterrupted, even after 3G has been turned off or on, which has suggested to some that Apple is planning to bring 3G support to FaceTime.

AppleInsider was able to confirm that the warning message does, in fact, display when the iPhone's 3G is disabled during a FaceTime call. In addition, iOS also displays another message when a user attempts to turn 3G back on: "Enabling 3G will end your phone call. Are you sure you want to enable 3G?" Neither enabling or disabling 3G interrupted any FaceTime calls.

Apple first introduced FaceTime video chat in 2010 with the launch of the iPhone 4. Since then, it has been brought to the Mac, and the addition of forward-facing cameras to the iPod touch and iPad have also allowed FaceTime with those iOS-based devices.

FaceTime


But since its launch, FaceTime has only been available to use over Wi-Fi. Users who attempt to connect a FaceTime call over 3G are met with an error message telling them the service is not available.

When he introduced FaceTime in 2010, Apple co-founder Steve Jobs explained that the video chat feature was not available over wireless cellular networks at the request of mobile carriers. Jobs said that Apple needed to "work a little bit with the cellular providers" in hopes of offering FaceTime over 3G.

If Apple does enable FaceTime over 3G, it's possible that some carriers could opt to block or restrict the functionality on their own networks. For example, though tethering was enabled on the iPhone with iOS 3.0, U.S. carrier AT&T blocked the feature until a year later, with the release of iOS 4.0.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 31
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member


    Uh, it's already enabled in other countries… It's just turned off in the US because our telecoms are whores.

  • Reply 2 of 31
    christophbchristophb Posts: 1,461member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


    Uh, it's already enabled in other countries… It's just turned off in the US because our telecoms are whores.



     


    Will be interesting to see if AT&T enables it on their "3G" network.  HSPA+ should eat it up.  Will the domestic competition [be able to] follow?

  • Reply 3 of 31
    tylerk36tylerk36 Posts: 1,037member


    They don't make a condom large enough for the Telecom Cell Towers.  The telecoms in this country act like they are gonna go bankrupt because of us mean ole customers want to utilize our paid unlimited data plans and AT&T has to prove that we are taking them down into bankruptcy.

  • Reply 4 of 31
    mrstepmrstep Posts: 446member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


    Uh, it's already enabled in other countries… It's just turned off in the US because our telecoms are whores.



     


    That's not really fair since I'm sure most whores provides better service.


     


    The entire way the telecoms are handling data is a joke anyway, running nice ads with people watching movies at home, getting into a cab and watching on... Hey, cool, did they mention that movie is going to cost you $50 to watch once you run into overages? What a crock. Great that the government auctions off the airwaves to these monopolistic (duopolistic?) crooks too.


     


    Grumble.

  • Reply 5 of 31
    myapplelovemyapplelove Posts: 1,515member


    in other news...


     


    Quote:





    A Russian company called ElcomSoft says it’s figured out a way to access a user’s online backups stored in Apple’s iCloud service.






    Just a heads up nothing more.


     


    http://tabtimes.com/news/ittech-security-privacy/2012/05/17/elcomsofts-ios-forensic-toolkit-cracks-icloud-backups

  • Reply 6 of 31
    jason98jason98 Posts: 764member


    That would awesome if it is true. I will not have to run Skype 24/7 which drains too much power.

  • Reply 7 of 31
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member


    Has anyone actually used FaceTime more than a few times. I've had video on Skype for years and seldom use it even if the other person is sending video. I have never used FaceTime. Seams like it would be pretty shaky and awkward trying to hold the phone in that way.

  • Reply 8 of 31
    chabigchabig Posts: 627member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by mstone View Post


    Has anyone actually used FaceTime more than a few times?



    Asked that way, I'm sure the answer must be "yes".

  • Reply 9 of 31
    kozchriskozchris Posts: 209member


    I use FaceTime whenever I can. Works great on all my Apple devices: Mac, iPhone, iPad. The iPhone/iPad never caused me any problems with shaking. 


     


    Quote:

    Originally Posted by mstone View Post


    Has anyone actually used FaceTime more than a few times. I've had video on Skype for years and seldom use it even if the other person is sending video. I have never used FaceTime. Seams like it would be pretty shaky and awkward trying to hold the phone in that way.


  • Reply 10 of 31


    This new error message has nothing to do with the policy toward FaceTime being changed in the U.S. - it's referring to how your data connection gets interrupted when you switch between EDGE and 3G. The warning doesn't appear in other contexts because you wouldn't notice the interruption - streaming services like Pandora cache slightly ahead of the audio currently being played. This same warning has always been displayed for phone calls; the only new thing here is the addition of the equivalent warning for FaceTime calls.

  • Reply 11 of 31
    ankleskaterankleskater Posts: 1,287member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


    Uh, it's already enabled in other countries… It's just turned off in the US because our telecoms are whores.



     


    What countries is this enabled?


     


    Thanks

  • Reply 12 of 31
    ankleskaterankleskater Posts: 1,287member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by mstone View Post


    Has anyone actually used FaceTime more than a few times. I've had video on Skype for years and seldom use it even if the other person is sending video. I have never used FaceTime. Seams like it would be pretty shaky and awkward trying to hold the phone in that way.



     


    Quote:

    Originally Posted by kozchris View Post


    I use FaceTime whenever I can. Works great on all my Apple devices: Mac, iPhone, iPad. The iPhone/iPad never caused me any problems with shaking. 


     



     


    I use it all the time on the same devices. No problem whatsoever either.

  • Reply 13 of 31
    jragostajragosta Posts: 10,473member
    Uh, it's already enabled in other countries… It's just turned off in the US because our telecoms are whores.

    Cool. So now we can get 1000 complaints from the Apple haters about how quickly FaceTime uses your data plan and that's Apple's fault.
  • Reply 14 of 31
    jason98jason98 Posts: 764member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by mstone View Post


    Has anyone actually used FaceTime more than a few times. I've had video on Skype for years and seldom use it even if the other person is sending video. I have never used FaceTime. Seams like it would be pretty shaky and awkward trying to hold the phone in that way.



     


    Try video call in FaceTime and compare it to Skype between the same iOS devices under the same conditions/networks.


    You will discover that Facetime video quality and sound synchronization is by far more superior than Skype's.

  • Reply 15 of 31
    jamesmcdjamesmcd Posts: 65member


    I use FT every day to call work colleagues, but we just use it for audio; we hit the home screen button to disable the video.

  • Reply 16 of 31


    I've been using it on AT&T 3G for a while....no issues at all.  It's nice to keep up with the nieces and nephews on their ipods.


    My daughter uses it to get in touch with them from her iPad also.  The kids love it.  Of course you can't do it stock, you need some "workarounds".

  • Reply 17 of 31


    FaceTime works great for me in Europe. Western EU part, Denmark to Malta, and I have tried Germany, France, Swiss, and Italy so just great and the quality is very good.

  • Reply 18 of 31
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member
    jason98 wrote: »
    Try video call in FaceTime and compare it to Skype between the same iOS devices under the same conditions/networks.
    You will discover that Facetime video quality and sound synchronization is by far more superior than Skype's.


    As mentioned I have never used it but how do you initiate a FaceTime call to international contacts. With Skype you can see if someone is online and you can just click on video call to start.
  • Reply 19 of 31
    charlitunacharlituna Posts: 7,215member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by jragosta View Post





    Cool. So now we can get 1000 complaints from the Apple haters about how quickly FaceTime uses your data plan and that's Apple's fault.


     


    I suspect that IF ATT etc ever allow FaceTime over 3g there will be warnings put in that you are in 3g and overages may occur etc. 

  • Reply 20 of 31


    It would be great if Apple got round to enabling FaceTime for more than 2 people. If they did THAT, and ALSO enabled it for use on 3G, iOS users will no longer have the need for the Skypes, Frings, etc of the world. That would ring true to the simplicity ethos.

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