Will video Hangouts launch when you're on AT&T's 3G network? Can you FaceTime with a friend over LTE? The carrier's current video chat support is confusing at best. Following Google's Hangouts app launch last week, we attempted to try out the Android version over AT&T's HSPA network. After hitting connect, a message popped up instructing us to hop over to WiFi in order to complete the call. The carrier followed up by suggesting that Google was to blame -- as the software was a replacement for a native Android app, it was up to Mountain View to flip the switch. Now, by the end of this year, AT&T has pledged to support all video chat apps, regardless of which device you own, what you pay in fees or whether or not you downloaded the app yourself. This is good news, no doubt. You can catch AT&T's statement just below.
For video chat apps that come pre-loaded on devices, we currently give all OS and device makers the ability for those apps to work over cellular for our customers who are on Mobile Share or Tiered plans. Apple, Samsung and Blackberry have chosen to enable this for their pre-loaded video chat apps. And by mid-June, we'll have enabled those apps over cellular for our unlimited plan customers who have LTE devices from those three manufacturers.
Throughout the second half of this year, we plan to enable pre-loaded video chat apps over cellular for all our customers, regardless of data plan or device; that work is expected to be complete by yearend.
Today, all of our customers can use any mobile video chat app that they download from the Internet, such as Skype.