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 →
AT&T (T) is wasting no time hitting back at critics of its decision to limit the use of popular video chat app FaceTime over its cellular network to users who sign up for its shared data plans. In a post on the company’s official public policy blog on Wednesday, AT&T chief privacy officer Bob Quinn sneered at criticisms that restricting FaceTime over cellular to shared data plans violates the Federal Communications Commission’s network neutrality rules for wireless networks. More →
Apple’s upcoming high-definition television is real, and it will reportedly feature an aluminum construction, Siri, FaceTime video calling and more. An anonymous source speaking with Cult of Mac claims to have seen a prototype of Apple’s upcoming “iTV” in action, and a number of details have been reinforced as a result. “It resembled an Apple monitor, only much larger,” the unnamed source told the site, referring to the aluminum LED Cinema Displays Apple currently sells alongside its Mac computers. Cult of Mac, which has revealed accurate details surrounding unannounced Apple products in the past, also reports that the HDTV will feature Siri, Apple’s sophisticated voice recognition software, and an iSight camera for FaceTime video calling. Many expect Apple to launch its debut television later this year, though a recent report suggests that it may not hit the market until 2014. More →
A recent report from The Verge has confirmed that Apple’s new iPad does not support FaceTime video calling over LTE networks. When trying to initiate a FaceTime call over 4G, the user is prompted to first connect to a Wi-Fi network. The news comes as little surprise since FaceTime on Apple’s iPhone is also limited to Wi-Fi. Verizon and AT&T’s 4G LTE networks are faster than some Wi-Fi connections however, and it is disappointing to say the least that the service isn’t supported. Oddly enough, the iPad does support a mobile hotspot feature, at least on Verizon, and users can successfully make a FaceTime call from an iPhone while tethered to the iPad. At this time it is unclear whether FaceTime’s Wi-Fi limitation is Apple’s decision or a move requested by wireless carriers. Verizon and AT&T did not immediately respond to a request for comment. More →
One of our Apple sources has just let us know that Apple’s iOS 4.3.2, due within the next week or so, will fix the issues we’ve been hearing about with some Verizon iPad 2 models. Additionally, the new update is said to contain a fix for FaceTime in addition to security fixes for things like WebKit vulnerabilities and other minor changes. We’ve loaded up iOS 4.3.2 on our iPhone, and we’ll let you know if we notice any other changes.
Apple may be expanding its portfolio beyond just Apple TV to an actual “Smart TV,” according to Morgan Stanley analyst Katy Huberty. “Checks in Asia suggest Apple is working on a Smart TV prototype,” Huberty said in a note to investors on Friday. She also suggested that such a TV could help create a whole new Smart TV category. While there are already connected TVs that some manufacturer’s advertise as being “smart,” Huberty thinks Apple’s could include “TV/Video content, gaming, DVR as well as other features like apps and FaceTime.” By 2013, such a device could earn Apple roughly $4 billion for every 1% of the TV market it grabs, Huberty said. We think a cooler option might be for Apple to take the ATRIX 4G path and create a TV dock that would allow your phone to power services — and render them properly — on your home TV. It would certainly be a cheaper option. Either way, Infinity Blade rendered on the big screen? Count us in.
Apple has released OS X 10.6.7 for Mac computers, and it includes some stability, performance, and security enhancements. It also fixes display issues that have been plaguing early 2011 MacBook Pro models. The update should make the Back to My Mac software more reliable, resolves some issues that occurred while transferring files to SMB servers, addresses bugs related to FaceTime performance and the Mac App Store, and improves graphics stability and display compatibility when using your MacBook Pro with an external monitor. The entire update should be roughly 390MB in size and can be downloaded through Snow Leopard’s software update utility.