Remember when Apple first introduced the FaceTime video calling service in 2010, causing quite a big stir? Video calling on a mobile device wasn’t anything new or revolutionary, after all, one of the core services when networks started pushing out UMTS connectivity was the ability to make device-to-device video calls. As usual, Apple somehow managed to make this feature seem exclusive to iOS devices and was made even more palatable to users due to the fact that it was free over a wireless connection.
Whenever the Cupertino-based fruit company push out a new update to iOS, keen eyed users and researchers always sift through the build to see if they can find anything new or noteworthy. The release of iOS 5.1.1 is no different, with Gizmodo reporting that the said version of iOS returns some curious behavior and error messages when the ‘Enable 3G’ mode is toggled on and off during a FaceTime call.
To put this into context, in iOS 5.1.1 whenever a FaceTime call is in place over a Wi-Fi connection, disabling the ‘Enable 3G’ option through the device’s settings brings up a standard iOS action sheet containing an error message that states if 3G is disabled, the current FacrTime call may be terminated and prompting the user to accept whether or not they wish to continue with the action. A certain set of people believe that due to the fact the call remains active when the user proceeds with the action means that Apple are planning to implement 3G-based FaceTime calls in the very near future.
On the flip side of the coin, if the user decides to enable the 3G connection, a similar error message is presented that also threatens to end the current video call, but as you might have guessed, proceeding with the action has no effect. With Apple’s FaceTime service now being available on the iPhone, iPod touch, iPad and all of the Mac lineup, it seems as though we could soon be seeing consumers making those calls regardless of whether they have an active Wi-Fi connection or not.
I personally hope that we do soon get the ability to make those FaceTime calls over a cellular connection. Jailbroken users have been using extensions such as FaceBreak and 3G Unrestrictor for some time to enable 3G video calling without any issue at all.