Apple’s FaceTime is now fully working for the first time across the United Arab Emirates — but it isn’t immediately clear what has changed. Until now, FaceTime usage in the region had been very much blocked, for the most part, by officials.
Now, that doesn’t seem to be the case.
The change was first noticed by the Associated Press, with journalists saying that everything is working with the long-standing restrictions no longer in place.
There was no official announcement on the matter. The UAE’s Telecommunications and Digital Government Regulatory Authority did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Apple also did not respond to a request for comment. Associated Press journalists could make FaceTime voice and video calls with good sound quality to people inside and outside the country.
It isn’t immediately obvious whether this is a situation that will stay in place, or if something is actually wrong here. As the AP points out, “The block appeared to remain Sunday on calls via Skype, Facebook-owned WhatsApp and other similar internet programs.”
There have been periods in the past where services have become available for a limited period of time before they were blocked again — something that seems to be a possibility in this instance, too.
Update x1: Many users are reporting that FaceTime is still not working properly in the Emirates region, with calls getting disconnected after initially getting connected. We will update the story as we learn more about this.
It would be great to check this with those of us in the UAE. It works for a few minutes and then cuts out!
— EMKWAN (@emkwan) October 12, 2021
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