On Christmas Eve 2014, a driver distracted by using FaceTime on his iPhone crashed into another vehicle on I-35 in Texas, killing the 5-year-old girl in the back seat. The child’s parents and her older sister — all also injured in the collision — are now suing Apple, alleging that the company was negligent in not deploying safeguards that would restrict the use of FaceTime while driving. [More]
If you’ve got an Android phone, you might have noticed that your pre-loaded Google Talk app has recently been updated and is now “Hangouts,” the name of Google’s video chat service. But if you’re an AT&T customer, you might have to wait a while before you’re allowed to use that app over the carrier’s wireless network. [More]
Facing criticism — and consumer complaints to the FCC — over its decision to limit the non-WiFi use of Apple’s FaceTime video chat app to customers who have shared data plans, AT&T announced yesterday that it will allow folks with the iPhone 5 (but without unlimited data plans) to use the app over its network. [More]
AT&T customers who want to use the iPhone’s FaceTime video chat over a cellular connection need to switch over to one of the Death Star’s shared data plans. Unfortunately, since AT&T is the company that convinced the Supreme Court that forced arbitration clauses are an acceptable way to avoid class-action lawsuits, angry customers with unlimited data plans can’t get together to sue the company. But what they can do is file a complaint with the FCC.
Last month, AT&T confirmed that iPhone customers who want to use the iPhone’s FaceTime video chat app over a cellular connection would need to belong to one of the company’s new shared data plans. At the time, several advocates raised concerns about whether or not this requirement violated the FCC’s Open Internet rules, and now these same groups have moved to file an actual complaint with regulators.
Late last week, AT&T confirmed that while iPhone users will be able to use the FaceTime video chat app over its 3G and 4G networks, customers would have to subscribe to one of the company’s new Mobile Share plans. This has obviously not been sitting well with critics who say its a violation of FCC Open Internet rules, and AT&T has attempted to explain its position on the matter. But the Death Star’s explanation only gives us more cause for concern.
Some folks who are currently monkeying around with a beta version of the next iOS operating system for iPhones say they are getting a message from AT&T that seems to imply that the Death Star will be charging more — or at least separately — for subscribers who want to use the iPhone’s FaceTime chat over a cellular connection.