Apple has refused a request from the Department of Justice for real-time iMessage wiretapping, a new report says, apparently suggesting that Apple could do it if it wanted to. A recent security report claimed that while iMessage (or FaceTime) doesn’t have a backdoor for the government, the end-to-end encrypted service is built in such a way that Apple could, if it wanted to, offer real-time access to messages and chats to a third-party – namely a spy agency working with a warrant – belonging to a suspect. More →
When Apple first introduced the front-facing camera on the iPhone, it attempted to do so as elegantly as possible, but one patent hints at a future hardware revision which could hide the camera from view entirely. First noticed by AppleInsider, a patent published on Thursday for an “Electronic Device With Camera Flash Structures” seems to indicate that Apple might place the FaceTime camera inside the speaker port at the top of the phone and add a camera flash. More →
In iOS 7, Apple introduced a feature called FaceTime audio that offers sound quality that is far better than anything we had ever experienced before on the iPhone. It makes people’s voices sound more like, well, people’s voices. FaceTime audio works just like regular FaceTime calling; you can make a call to anyone with an iOS device that’s running iOS 7, and it’s completely free because it uses your data plan or Wi-Fi to make calls. More →
Rejoice, AT&T (T) iPhone subscribers: You no longer need to have a shared data plan or an LTE-capable iPhone 5 to use FaceTime over the company’s cellular network. AT&T announced on Wednesday that customers who own an HSPA+ compatible iPhone and subscribe to any tiered data plan can now use the carrier’s HSPA+ network to use Apple’s (AAPL) popular video chat application. AT&T says that it has “already begun updating our systems and processes and expect to start rolling the update out to customers on an ongoing basis beginning in the next couple of weeks.” The carrier first announced that iPhone 5 users with tiered data plans would be allowed to use FaceTime over its LTE network this past November. We’ve posted AT&T’s full press release below. More →
AT&T (T) has started to appease customers annoyed by its FaceTime policies by announcing that iPhone 5 users will be able to use the video chat application over the carrier’s LTE network even if they don’t have a shared data plan. AT&T isn’t charging customers any extra money to use FaceTime over its LTE network and that company says that it “expects to roll out this functionality to customers over the next eight to ten weeks.” AT&T is still requiring that customers have tiered data plans to use FaceTime over cellular, however, so customers that still have grandfathered unlimited data plans won’t be able to take advantage.
Many have complained about AT&T’s (T) FaceTime policy, but now one man is standing up to do something about it. Business Insider reports that an architect living in San Francisco, who wishes to remain anonymous, has filed a formal complaint with the Federal Communications Commission over AT&T’s decision to limit Apple’s (AAPL) FaceTime video calling application over its cellular network to shared data plan subscribers. The man said he was particularly annoyed because he has been paying AT&T for unlimited data use on his smartphone for years and now he’s angry that AT&T won’t let him use FaceTime over 3G or 4G on his unlimited data plan. More →
Federal Communications Commission chairman Julius Genachowski on Tuesday told The Verge that AT&T’s (T) policy on Apple’s (AAPL) FaceTime application was a matter of contention but wouldn’t say whether or not it violated the FCC’s net neutrality rules. Genachowski said that he couldn’t comment on how he felt about AT&T’s decision to limit FaceTime over its cellular network to shared data plan subscribers because the case might soon wind up being heard by the FCC and he didn’t want to show any prejudice for or against the wireless carrier. Several open-Internet advocacy groups said earlier this month that they planned to file a formal complaint against AT&T over its FaceTime policy as an alleged violation of net neutrality.
AT&T’s (T) decision to limit FaceTime over its cellular network to shared data plan subscribers hasn’t been very popular with many iPhone users, but a new report from GigaOM suggests that government regulators might not like it very much either. According to GigaOM, several open-Internet advocacy groups have told AT&T that they intend to file a complaint with the Federal Communications Commission alleging that the carrier’s FaceTime policies violate the network neutrality restrictions passed by the FCC back in 2010. More →