updated 11:28 pm EDT, Fri May 18, 2012
iOS warning messages hint at service
Apple may be preparing to enable its FaceTime video-chat service to be used over 3G networks. The company has yet to confirm such plans, however Romanian Apple website iDevice has reportedly observed new warnings in iOS 5.1.1 that appear to be geared for FaceTime calls placed over 3G networks rather than Wi-Fi.
As noted by Gizmodo and confirmed by AppleInsider, users running iOS 5.1.1 on an iPhone will be notified that "Disabling 3G may end FaceTime" if they attempt to disable 3G connectivity while participating in a FaceTime call over a Wi-Fi connection.
iPhones are said to maintain FaceTime calls even if the 3G connection is enabled or disabled, fueling speculation that the warnings may be an inadvertent confirmation that Apple finally may be willing to lift existing restrictions that prevent users from placing video calls over 3G cellular networks.
Even if Apple is willing to provide additional flexibility, it remains unclear if carriers will embrace the capabilities. FaceTime essentially works in the same manner as VoIP services such as Skype, bypassing voice-minute caps by transferring the communication onto a data plan.