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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > iPhone, iPad & iPod > Get ready for Video chat over Wifi ONLY on the next iPhone

View Poll Results: Will video chat on the next iPhone be over Wifi only?
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Yes 8 votes (80.00%)
No 2 votes (20.00%)
Voters: 10. You may not vote on this poll
Get ready for Video chat over Wifi ONLY on the next iPhone
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analogue SPRINKLES
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Apr 29, 2010, 02:13 PM
 
I have a really strong feeling that video chat in any form on the next iPhone is going to be over wifi only.

There is no way in Hell with AT&T who just allowed VOIP and TV over 3G but still doesn't allow tethering is looking to add millions of video calls to the strained network.

Even if skype allows video calling over 3G it still has to go though Apple approval which will force this limit.

I'm not terribly disappointed as I don't think I will use it in any form much but I am just prepping those who will care.
     
jokell82
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Apr 29, 2010, 03:09 PM
 
I'm not so sure. I definitely wouldn't be surprised if you were right, but I think there is a chance that it'll be allowed.

If it does, I'd bet it'll be pretty crappy quality over 3G though.

All glory to the hypnotoad.
     
The Final Dakar
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Apr 29, 2010, 03:14 PM
 
Watch it be WiFi only in the US. The rest of the world...
     
jokell82
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Apr 29, 2010, 03:22 PM
 

All glory to the hypnotoad.
     
::maroma::
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Apr 29, 2010, 03:54 PM
 
My predictions:

I think AT&T's first priority in the US is to get tethering available for iPhones. There is a real demand for that, and its a big part of being productive on the road. Business people want it, some are even holding off getting an iPhone until they allow tethering (I know a few personally).

Video chat, on the other hand, will be a novelty in the beginning. It will most likely be low on AT&T's priority list.

And I agree with Dakar that it will be wifi in the US only, the rest of the world will get it on their cell network.

God I hate AT&T.
     
analogue SPRINKLES  (op)
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Apr 29, 2010, 04:14 PM
 
People are going to argue that there are plenty of phones on the market for years that AT&T allows to work anywhere. Same issue with tethering.

Problem is those "others" must be 2% of their base and not "every damn iPhone in US of A" which would kill them.

I even have my doubts for other countries getting it right away.
     
analogue SPRINKLES  (op)
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Apr 29, 2010, 04:16 PM
 
Oh ya that seems like a pretty big clue. Why would you ever get the error if it could seamlessly switch on its own to 3G?

"IMAVCHAT_COULD_NOT_CONNECT_NO_REMOTE_WIFI = "The video call could not connect because a remote Wi-Fi connection could not be established.";

IMAVCHAT_DISCONNECTED_NO_LOCAL_WIFI = "The video call disconnected because the local Wi-Fi connection was lost.";"
     
::maroma::
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Apr 29, 2010, 04:17 PM
 
So is that SDK only for iPhones? Could those error messages be for the iPod touch?
     
analogue SPRINKLES  (op)
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Apr 29, 2010, 04:22 PM
 
Originally Posted by ::maroma:: View Post
So is that SDK only for iPhones? Could those error messages be for the iPod touch?
True but I feel the next iPod Touch will have a camera on the back at best not both.

Or perhaps they just have one on the front to act as both normal camera and video chat in which case the error would make sense.
     
::maroma::
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Apr 29, 2010, 04:28 PM
 
Ah, good points. I guess we shall see come WWDC. Woop!
     
Simon
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Apr 29, 2010, 06:01 PM
 
Have you guys ever tried Skype over 3G? In my experience on a usually excellent 3G network it sucks. Latency on 3G is just way to high for VOIP to work really well. And with video it will only make things worse. Hate to say, but if Apple's worried about the user experience they'll actually block video chat over 3G on purpose.
     
analogue SPRINKLES  (op)
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Apr 29, 2010, 06:15 PM
 
Originally Posted by Simon View Post
Have you guys ever tried Skype over 3G?
It doesn't work over 3G.
     
cybergoober
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Apr 29, 2010, 06:25 PM
 
Really? Because Verizon is pushing Skype Mobile pretty hard recently. Or were you referring to it doesn't work over 3G on the iPhone?
     
analogue SPRINKLES  (op)
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Apr 29, 2010, 06:26 PM
 
Originally Posted by cybergoober View Post
Really? Because Verizon is pushing Skype Mobile pretty hard recently. Or were you referring to it doesn't work over 3G on the iPhone?
iPhone. It isn't fair to compare it on another phone and network.
     
Helmling
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Apr 29, 2010, 06:32 PM
 
Originally Posted by analogue SPRINKLES View Post
iPhone. It isn't fair to compare it on another phone and network.
Why isn't it fair? If another phone and network can do something the iPhone on AT&T can't, then why should anyone give a flying flip whether it's "fair" or not. That's the competitive marketplace.
     
analogue SPRINKLES  (op)
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Apr 29, 2010, 06:39 PM
 
Originally Posted by Helmling View Post
Why isn't it fair? If another phone and network can do something the iPhone on AT&T can't, then why should anyone give a flying flip whether it's "fair" or not. That's the competitive marketplace.
The point was that skype did NOT sound good over 3G on another phone and network.

He was asking if it sounded good to iPhone users over 3G which we currently not test.
     
Simon
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Apr 30, 2010, 03:18 AM
 
Originally Posted by analogue SPRINKLES View Post
It doesn't work over 3G.
Why do you say this? Didn't you read what I wrote? I was talking specifically about using Skype over 3G. It actually works just fine. Try Fring.

Or you tether your Mac to a 3G phone and use Skype over 3G that way. This actually gives it an advantage since Skype on a Mac has a whole lot more horsepower at its disposal than on an iPhone or other smartphone.

Bottom line: it aint pretty.
( Last edited by Simon; Apr 30, 2010 at 03:42 AM. Reason: typo)
     
Simon
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Apr 30, 2010, 03:21 AM
 
Originally Posted by analogue SPRINKLES View Post
He was asking if it sounded good to iPhone users over 3G which we currently not test.
We actually can. I use Skype over 3G on my iPhone on an almost regular basis. And unfortunately it really doens't work well. Even on a top-notch 3G network.

Listen, I'm not trying to enter a pissing contest with you. I'm offering actual hands-on experience and I'm interested in discussing how we should extrapolate from that.
( Last edited by Simon; Apr 30, 2010 at 03:43 AM. Reason: another typo)
     
jokell82
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Apr 30, 2010, 08:07 AM
 
Pretty sure sprinkles was talking about Skype *video*, which would be relevant to the topic.

All glory to the hypnotoad.
     
Simon
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Apr 30, 2010, 08:45 AM
 
Well, voice isn't great so why would video be any better?

Last time I tried a Skype video chat over 3G (tethered my MBP to my iPhone) I was expecting the worst and that's also pretty much what I got. Skype video chat doesn't require a lot of bandwidth, but it can't cope with the large latency you face on 3G networks.
     
analogue SPRINKLES  (op)
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Apr 30, 2010, 12:27 PM
 
Originally Posted by Simon View Post
Why do you say this? Didn't you read what I wrote? I was talking specifically about using Skype over 3G. It actually works just fine. Try Fring.
I know exactly what you are talking about. You are saying that you are using skype over 3g using fring and you say it sucks.

What I am saying is that skype does not currently work over 3G. The reason fring "ain't pretty" is because they are sending your VOIP call through first their servers and then though skype so they are encoding your call TWICE plus adding tons of opportunities for delays. How else do you think VOIP calling worked over 3G when it wasn't allowed yet?

I did tether it to my laptop and make a 3G call using skype (not fring) and it sounded just fine. Perhaps your internet connection in your area just sucks.

Either way until a native 3G calling skype comes out we can't judge it by the workaround apps.
     
imitchellg5
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Apr 30, 2010, 12:33 PM
 
Of course it'll be over WiFi only, at least with AT&T. They've said that they won't do tethering with the iPhone because they're scared of the drain that would have on their network. Let's face it: When it comes to network throughput, AT&T simply can't hold a candle to Sprint and Verizon. Why do you think that AT&T doesn't have its own version of the mifi or overdrive?
     
Oisín
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Apr 30, 2010, 12:50 PM
 
Skype video has a tendency to be crappy even on a 20/2 wired landline, so I wouldn’t expect too much from it over 3G.

Actually, that kind of goes for Skype audio, too.
     
subego
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Apr 30, 2010, 01:38 PM
 
Originally Posted by imitchellg5 View Post
Of course it'll be over WiFi only, at least with AT&T. They've said that they won't do tethering with the iPhone because they're scared of the drain that would have on their network. Let's face it: When it comes to network throughput, AT&T simply can't hold a candle to Sprint and Verizon. Why do you think that AT&T doesn't have its own version of the mifi or overdrive?
Femtocells are kind of like overdrive for your house.
     
imitchellg5
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Apr 30, 2010, 01:40 PM
 
Similar yes, but I don't believe those have the same sort of pull on the network.
     
::maroma::
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Apr 30, 2010, 02:36 PM
 
Lets not forget that if Apple does video chat on the iPhone it will be using iChat, not Skype. Just because Skype sucks over 3G or wifi or whatever doesn't mean that the same experience will be had using iChat. Apple may have found a way to optimize the traffic and compression to get optimal performance out of minimal bandwidth.

That being said, I still believe it will be wifi only in the beginning. I could see them waiting until they move to the next gen wireless network (4G?) to open it up.
     
Oisín
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Apr 30, 2010, 03:12 PM
 
Originally Posted by ::maroma:: View Post
Lets not forget that if Apple does video chat on the iPhone it will be using iChat, not Skype. Just because Skype sucks over 3G or wifi or whatever doesn't mean that the same experience will be had using iChat.
This holds on true a computer, so it could well be the same on mobile devices.
     
ort888
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Apr 30, 2010, 03:42 PM
 
The USTREAM Broadcaster works over a 3G network. It looks okay at best and terrible at worst.

I think Apple allowing Verizon and T•Mobile to carry the iPhone would help here, because it would probably remove a lot of traffic from the AT&T network. Not immediately, but after a little time.

My sig is 1 pixel too big.
     
analogue SPRINKLES  (op)
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Apr 30, 2010, 06:47 PM
 
Skype to skype calls sound totally amazing. Better than a normal land line most of the time.
     
Simon
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May 1, 2010, 01:55 AM
 
They do. But that's on a beefy broadband connection. Get on a bus or train, tether to a 3G phone and try it again. You'll notice a huge difference. Add that's audio. Then try video. Things only get worse.

No doubt, Apple would go with something that matches iChat rather than Skype. But you can try out the same there. I suggest you guys try tethering your Mac to a 3G phone. Get on a train or bus and try an iChat video chat over 3G. The experience unfortunately isn't nice as you'll quickly notice.

As I mentioned above, it's not so much bandwidth issues (until you drop from 3G to EDGE). I see that I require roughly 70 kBps for the video chat. I get way more than that on a decent 3G connection. The real issue is the latency (ping) though and that's an inherent problem with the way 3G networks work. It won't be until we switch to 4G LTE that we'll see latency drop significantly on cellular data networks.
     
analogue SPRINKLES  (op)
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May 1, 2010, 01:12 PM
 
Originally Posted by Simon View Post
They do. But that's on a beefy broadband connection. Get on a bus or train, tether to a 3G phone and try it again. You'll notice a huge difference. Add that's audio. Then try video. Things only get worse.
Perhaps because you are fooling the phone into thinking it is on Wifi it uses codecs that are not made for 3G. When you watch youtube videos over 3G and edge they are in a lower bitrate than over wifi.

Skype needs to set a bitrate that would work well over 3G.
     
Simon
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May 1, 2010, 02:39 PM
 
Again, it's not the bandwidth. The main problem is latency. Verizon Skype users complain about the same issues. This is not Skype, AT&T, or iPhone specific.
     
   
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