Yesterday at Google I/O, Google announced the new Hangouts. This was a service that replaces Google Talk and the old Hangouts, combining standard chat and video chat into one. It has many new features, like chat history and many more. However, there seems to be a new problem that has nothing to do with Google itself: AT&T is blocking video chatting on their cellular network.
It seems that they are the only carrier to do so, too. The rest don’t currently block video chatting on their cellular networks. But it’s not like this is anything new: AT&T has blocked FaceTime on 3G before for iPhone users. But strangely, iOS users can use Hangouts video chat just fine. When asked about this, here is what they have to say:
All AT&T Mobility customers can use any video chat app over cellular that is not pre-loaded on their device, but which they download from the Internet. For video chat apps that come pre-loaded on devices, we offer all OS and device makers the ability for those apps to work over cellular for our customers who are on Mobile Share, Tiered and soon Unlimited plan customers who have LTE devices. It’s up to each OS and device makers to enable their systems to allow pre-loaded video chat apps to work over cellular for our customers on those plans.
It seems that AT&T likes shifting the blame. While I can understand why they would want to block it, it’s still ridiculous. They shouldn’t be blocking anything that uses data when we’re paying for it. But we guess Google would have to deal with it, if we don’t make a big fuss about it. Which we should, for the record. So, how angry are you?