It looks like FaceTime over a 3G cellular data connection might be moving closer to reality. As first noticed by Romanian website iDevice, version 5.1.1 of iOS presents a unique warning message.
When on a FaceTime call while Wi-Fi is active, toggling the Enable 3G button in the Settings menu presents the error message:
“Disabling 3G may end FaceTime. Are you sure you want to disable 3G?”
Even when a user disables 3G, the FaceTime call is unaffected, which is definitely interesting.
The video chat service was first introduced with the rollout of the iPhone 4 in 2010. While FaceTime has grown to the iPad and Macs, it still hasn’t garnered the wide interest Apple has hoped for.
There was some belief that with the introduction of the LTE-enabled iPad that FaceTime would be allowed on the faster data network, but that has yet to happen.
While this is definitely good news for fans of FaceTime, don’t get your hopes up just yet. As seen previously, just because Apple allows a feature doesn’t mean carriers will enable it. Most famously, AT&T didn’t allow tethering on the iPhone for more than a year after Apple introduced the feature with iOS 3.
And currently, on the LTE versions of the iPad, Verizon’s flavor allows tethering while AT&T has yet to enable the feature.
Would you like to use FaceTime over your cellular data connection? In the new era of metered data plans, I can’t really imagine why AT&T or Verizon could object. If someone uses up their monthly data allotment video chatting, it would only lead to more profit for the carriers.