AT&T Clarifies Position On Video Chats Over Cellular
AT&T today provided a new statement regarding the use of pre-installed apps and third-party apps to conduct video chats. The statement serves to update its position after it was discovered last week that the new Google Hangouts application cannot conduct two-way video chats over AT&T's cellular network. "For video chat apps that come pre-loaded on devices," explained AT&T, "we currently give all OS and device makers the ability for those apps to work over cellular for our customers who are on Mobile Share or Tiered plans. Apple, Samsung and Blackberry have chosen to enable this for their pre-loaded video chat apps." This includes FaceTime, ChatOn, and BlackBerry Messenger. Google Hangouts, which replaces Google Talk, technically qualifies as a pre-loaded app and Google has not sought to enable Hangouts over cellular with AT&T. "Throughout the second half of this year," continued AT&T, "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." Customers are still able to download third-party apps such as Skype, Viber, Kik, and others, to conduct video chats over cellular.
Hangouts for Android Adds Video Messages, Improves Invites
Google updated its Hangouts app for Android devices this week with a handful of new features. First and foremost, the app now allows Android owners to record and share video messages — a feature that's been in the iOS version of Hangouts for two years.
Snapchat Adds Group Chats for Up to 16 People
Snapchat updated its mobile app today with a new feature. Users can now video chat with up to 16 of their friends at one time.
Facebook Messenger Gains Group Video Chats
Facebook today launched group video chats within Messenger. The tool will allow up to six participants to view one another in a live video call.
Google Revamps Gmail, Drive, Hangouts with Businesses in Mind
Google this week made significant change to its core productivity suite, including its email, online storage, and messaging tools. Gmail gains support for add-ons from the G Suite Marketplace, which will let third-party companies create small apps that can hook into an enhance Gmail.
Honestly, they just keep getting worse, and worse, and worse.