While Google Hangouts has a few flaws, there are countless things it does right. Besides group messaging, video calling is probably one of the most compelling features of Google’s new messaging app. We’ve taken video calls out for a spin a few times and it’s worked flawlessly in nearly every situation. The only time the service did not work was when we tried a video call with a friend who owns an iPhone on AT&T. We could take a jab at Apple, but the issue lies with AT&T’s policies regarding video calling on its 3G and 4G network.
As of now, Apple, Samsung and Blackberry are the only companies which have approved pre-installed applications which can operate on AT&T’s Mobile Share or Tiered plans. But things are about to change. Starting in mid-June, those same applications will also be able to make video calls on unlimited LTE plans with all pre-loaded video chat apps gaining access to AT&T’s network by the end of this year.
It’s nice to see AT&T change its stance on video calling, but we’re sure you’d agree that they’re a little late to the game.Show Press Release
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.