AT&T Blocking Andoid Users Video Chats in Google Hangouts

Posted by at 12:14 pm on May 16, 2013

AT&T customers who install the new Google Hangouts application on their Android devices cannot use one of the main features: video chats.

When they attempt to start a video chat, a message appears prompting them to connect to a Wi-Fi network; the feature won’t work on AT&T’s cellular network. When reached for comment, AT&T explained that AT&T customers are free to download any third-party video chat app they wish and they’ll work fine.

Apps that come preloaded, however, must be enabled by the developer for use over AT&T’s cellular network. AT&T did not address Google Hangouts directly, but it implied that 1. Google Hangouts qualifies as a “preloaded” app because it replaces the Google Talk app on Android handsets, and 2. Google did not follow the proper protocols required by AT&T in order for the app to function over its cellular network.

Google Hangouts for iOS, which qualifies as a third-party download on the iPhone, functions properly over AT&T’s cellular network. Google Hangouts for Android works fine on the cellular networks of other carriers.

Google has not yet offered a clarification on the matter

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