The first wave of reviews of the new iPad are in, and they’ve discovered something borderline scandalous. It’s impossible to perform a FaceTime video call over the iPad’s 4G LTE connection, The Vergereports. While eyes quickly turned to the carriers for the omission, it’s Apple that decided not to include the feature.
Responding to a query from Mashable, an Apple spokesperson said FaceTime has always been Wi-Fi only and that the company had no new announcements about the service.
We also contacted Verizon and AT&T. AT&T had no comment. Neither did Verizon, apart from confirming that the decision was Apple’s, not theirs.
When Steve Jobs first unveiled FaceTime on the iPhone 4, he had grand ambitions for the Apple-made video-chatting service. At the unveiling, he said that while FaceTime would be limited to Wi-Fi networks in 2010, though he strongly implied Apple was working with carriers to bring the service to 3G networks. So far that hasn’t happened.
The emergence of 4G LTE seemingly brought some hope that FaceTime would be extended to carrier networks. After all, one of the goals of 4G technologies such as LTE was to make make it possible for high-bandwidth services like video chatting to become commonplace without clogging networks.
It’s worth noting that the iPad can be used as a Wi-Fi hotspot, with a user theoretically connecting to the iPad from a separate iPhone or iPad, using FaceTime that way. The iPhone has this capability, too (though obviously over slower networks).
Do you think the iPad’s inability to use FaceTime over LTE is a problem? How big? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.
A Tour of the Key Features on Apple’s New iPad
1. Retina Display
The most touted feature of the new iPad is its ultra-high-resolution "retina" display, which clocks in at 2,048 x 1,536 pixels -- a million more pixels than a 1080p HDTV. Thanks to the extra pixels and the iPad's new graphics processor, the screen has 44% better color saturation. The screen's pixels are so small, Apple says it had to change the design of the LCD itself to elevate the pixels above the circuitry to prevent distortion. Apple calls it the best display ever made for a mobile device, and -- from the specs -- it's hard to disagree.