The iPhone 4 was officially released yesterday, and one of its highly touted new features is the front-facing camera and the inclusion of Apple FaceTime. The only serious drawback to the new FaceTime feature is that both parties must be connected to a WiFi network. Is this an Apple imposed limitation, or is this an AT&T limitation? Being a mobile technology junkie, I had to find out for myself if the AT&T network was capable of handling a high-quality FaceTime call.
Being the MacGyver of mobile computing that I am, here’s what I did to test it out. I took my Google Nexus One running Android 2.2 FroYo on the AT&T network and enabled the WiFi HotSpot feature as seen below:
Next up on the agenda was to configure the iPhone 4 to connect to the new WiFi network called “NexusOne” as seen below:
My next decision was who do I call on FaceTime to test this out? I know, why don’t a call Apple themselves? As of today, Apple has released a phone number for anyone with an iPhone 4 who wants to test out this feature. You first place a voice phone call to 1-888-FaceTime from your iPhone 4. An Apple representative will answer the line. They run you through a couple of checks to make sure that you have FaceTime enabled on your phone and that you are connected to a WiFi network. Once you’ve passed all of their tests, the Apple rep then places a FaceTime call to your iPhone 4. Seamlessly, the conversation switches from voice only to video and voice over FaceTime. Hello friendly Apple Rep.
I must say that the gentleman who assisted me was quite helpful. He managed to show me a few tips and tricks I would have eventually found myself. He was very polished in his delivery and seemed like he was well-prepped for any questions even the most tech savvy consumers could throw his way. One thing that he emphasized during the call was that I could multitask (another new iOS 4 feature) during a FaceTime call. Since he brought it up, I had to test it out by browsing to MobileJaw.
I guess the main question to ask now is who is to blame for this new feature being crippled to WiFi only at the moment. Apple or AT&T?