AT&T plans to start opening up mobile video chat to all customers

by: Andrew GrushMay 20, 2013


There’s a lot to love about the new cross-platform Hangouts app. Unfortunately, it isn’t all sunshine and rainbows for AT&T users, though.

For whatever reason, AT&T users are greeted with a message that tells them they “must be connected to a Wi-Fi network to join a video call”. AT&T previously laid the blame on Google, stating that the company needed to officially enable Hangouts with AT&T in order for it to work. Luckily, they are preparing to change stance on the way video chat programs work.

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.

What does this mean for you? In a nutshell, AT&T currently only lets pre-loaded apps (which Google Hangouts is considered to be) work with Tiered and Mobile Shared plans. In the near future, all video apps will work just fine with any data plan, pre-loaded or otherwise.

While it was arguably a douche move to limit pre-installed apps from working with video chat to begin with, at least AT&T seems ready to make a change.

  • mikkej2k

    It is a douche move , it’s AT&T Mobility.

  • Yeah, Google could duplicate (if not already has) most of the functionality outside of the Kinect motion gestures, which honestly I consider to be a novelty for anything but gaming… I think Google needs to put more powerful hardware forward though… More memory with a decent hardware accelerated user-interface is what I’d like to see… Everything needs to run like silk from web-browsing to app-switching… Maybe Jellybean with Project Butter on the current models will help deliver some of that performance boost? Apps are still a problem though… On the XBOX and Apple TV (when Apple releases the app store) the UI’s are most likely going to be unified making them easier to use… But on Google TV, they’re all over the place and that’s going to confuse people in comparison…