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Weird #android  issue.  Can you folks with a Galaxy Nexus on AT&T start a video chat while not connected to wifi?  My coworker +Chris Mirabella just got one and can't do it, but my Galaxy Nexus on T-Mobile can.  They're both on 4.0.4, and are on the stock ROM.  Other than the carrier, the phones are identical as far as I can tell.
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fan tai's profile photoBrandon Yang's profile photoZach M's profile photoMark Swan's profile photo
47 comments
 
Can he browse web sites while not connected to wifi? Maybe he disabled packet data?
Don S
 
I think the official ROM has several things like that disabled.  But wait, a Nexus?  Even the Nexus needs a root and rom to be a real Nexus.
 
Why would you need to root and ROM, a Nexus, if it's direct from the Play store?
 
AT&T One X here. When I try to video chat from google talk it says I need wi-fi. 
I'm thinking that it's an AT&T issue. 
Use Google + hangout instead. 
Zach M
 
Mine through StraightTalk on AT&T doesn't allow it. Running CM9.
Don S
 
I don't kid about such things.  Just because it says Nexus doesn't mean that buying it from a carrier means it is still a Nexus.  it ain't.

And +Bernhard Meissner , because what you might get is still not good enough.  My Nexus S needed root and rom since I"m in Canada and G didn't care to fix the bug it shipped with.

root it, rom it, enjoy.
 
Both our phones are rooted, but neither one is ROMed.  Pretty crazy that it seems AT&T somehow managed to dig their grubby little hands into it and interfere.  Maybe I'll switch SIMs with him later and verify that it's a carrier issue, not a phone issue.
 
Have I mentioned how grateful I am to have a GSM phone so I can switch SIM cards in about ten seconds?  ;)
Don S
 
+Melina M I'm not sure if the carrier blocks it that easily, I think it is the system app itself dictated by AT&T.  At least you're unlocked and can try a different SIM.
 
Well, I think it's confirmed.  +Chris Mirabella's phone can initiate video chatting when we put my +T-Mobile SIM card in, but it didn't work with his AT&T SIM.  I'd tell you if mine stops working with his SIM in, but I can't quite position it right (he has the microSIM from an iPhone, so it doesn't quite sit in the slot correctly) so I don't have a connection.

What's the deal, AT&T?!
 
Again though, use G+ hangouts from your phone. It's way better anyway. 
 
Chris apparently has the magic touch and managed to get his AT&T SIM working in my phone.  We have now confirmed that you cannot initiate video chats while connected to AT&T's network (and not connected to wifi).  How is that even possible?
Don S
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That's evil. Bits is bits and you paid for it.
Don S
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Next you'll tell me that tethering costs extra.....
 
+Brandon Yang can you check now?  All you need to do is open a chat with someone and hit the video chat button while not connected to wifi.  If Verizon allows it, you should see a video screen pop up.  If they don't, you'll get some message about needing to be connected to wifi in order to initiate video chatting.
fan tai
 
+Don Vikingisson Schupp Well, verizon has a brand new plan that counts bits as bits.  You can even share it between your family!!  Isn't that nice of them?  Oh yeah, the standard plan just went up from $70 to $90.  But wait!  it comes with unlimited voice and texting!  For free!!!  Isn't that just wonderful of them?
 
+fan tai I can't wait for texting to die.  Why people insist on using such an outdated form of communication when everybody they're talking with is on a smartphone is absolutely beyond me.
fan tai
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I think a lot of people are still on non smartphones. My 13 year old, for example... :)
 
Heh, then you may be the exception to the rule.  Although there's always Google Voice for that, too  ;)
 
Now imagine AT&T decides that google voice texting only works over wi-fi... 
Really, the implications of this are pretty icky. 
 
+Jens Zalzala I'm actually completely shocked that the carriers have that much control.  As long as people pay for the data they use, why shouldn't they be allowed to use it however they like?
Don S
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I complain about how draconian and overpriced the Canadian carriers are but you guys are beat over the head much worse in some ways without being any cheaper.  I've been trying to figure it out and the only reason I can see is due to the few of you with unlimited plans.  What other reason could they have for locking out apps?  Can't run a service (video) over cell data you pay for?  Can't tether over the same data you already paid for unless you pay twice?  Makes no sense at all except for fear of using more data on unlimited than they calculated.

Those family plans are a long time coming but when I look they only make sense for a select few.  Can't win for loosing.

Now, it is also the consumer's fault for not thinking out of the box.  The only way you can approach fairness is to never buy a contract device.  Who cares what device is sold by which carrier?  bleh, just buy a device and then buy a plan and the two don't have to be the same company.  I know that hardly any carrier in N.A. will give you a break for bringing your own device but you certainly have more freedom to pick a plan that best suits.  Maybe you don't need texting, minimal voice, but more data, and none of those stupid addons.  Or maybe like me you don't need voice at all, get a data only plan.

Put it this way, I'll pay for texts on the rare time I need to.  I'll never ever make a long distance call over their voice service.  etc.  I use a "stick" data SIM, $30 with 6GB of data.  period.  Paying $500 for the device turns out to be a lot cheaper over the long run.  I'll tether whenever I want, VoIP anywhere on the planet without a thought about cost, and never worry about carrier lockdowns and nonsense.

My style isn't for everyone but there are better ways than what we normally do.  
Don S
 
But aren't you free to pick any plan?  With a contract phone you have a more narrow choice right?
Don S
 
But I don't know what plan options there are down there.  Maybe our dizzy array of options here is a benefit for someone like me.
 
+Don Vikingisson Schupp I've had five Android phones, only one of them on contract (and the plan I got it with is the one I'm still using, because it's cheap and has unlimited data).  +T-Mobile used to give you a break if you brought your own phone and stayed off contract, but now I think they only give you a break if you buy a full price phone and then sign a contract with them.  But I've decided that unless something drastically changes with the carriers, I will just keep buying full-priced or used phones (check out swappa.com if you aren't familiar with it) and keep the plan I'm happy with.  I'm one of the few people who doesn't feel like they're getting screwed by the carriers at this point, I think.
fan tai
 
Sort of - a lot of the smaller companies are offering no contract options, virgin and another is offering $30/month for 2G+ unlimited voice if you bring your own phone.

if the coverage is good for you, it's a great deal
Don S
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excellent +Melina M , that's what I do, buy used and then no contract.  Once I hit the sale I jumped from a 1G to 6G plan for the same money I stuck with it.  There are some unlimited plans here but the coverage isn't suitable for me.  6GB is enough for me even when tethering the kid's devices out of town.

Paying >$80 per month for each device is just crazy.  I don't know how a family does that.  On the other hand I don't have cable tv, sat, landline, or anything beyond simple internet at home.  I do have an antenna, my own cloud, my own PBX, etc.  I'm old school that way.  In fact I didn't have a cell phone at all until the 2nd generation Android since I was already doing all of it years before including google voice type voice.
 
Currently for the vast majority of people in the US signing a two year contract is cheaper because the only difference in price between contract and non contract is you get a subsidized phone for staying with the carrier for 2 years, which most people do any way.
 
I'm actually one of the few people that has no compunction about getting a phone on contract because I'm grandfathered in to an amazing plan ($106/mo after taxes for three lines with unlimited data and a texting plan for me) and have no plans to switch in the next few years. But for the average consumer, it would probably be smart to buy unsubsidized phones and shop around prepaid plans or T-Mobile's reduced cost plan they offer if you bring your own device. It's too bad most people don't look past the initial cost to determine the long-term savings.
 
I spent a good amount of time looking at prepaid plans before ending up on an at&t contract. Tmobile was a decent option but their coverage is terrible here. At&T doesn't have any good options for data users (their best plan gives 300 mb), and that's pretty much it for gsm options. The other plans require a 2 year plan, even if you don't buy a phone.
Don S
 
You can't buy a plan without buying their device and/or a contract?  I'd say no thanks and walk away.  If no company offers a reasonable plan then I'd go without and would let them know why.    That alters my mantra, Canada is the 2nd worst country for communications.  I feel a little better now.
 
Except for the part where I really like having a cellphone...
Don S
 
Not my problem but go right ahead and let them have their way with you.
Kiss me.  What?  Kiss me.  What do you mean by that?  I like to be kissed when I'm being fucked .
---Dog Day Afternoon
Zach M
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+Melina M and anyone else that's interested, I found that it is carrier DNS that blocks certain features through the web. Anything that was being blocked like Google Talk video now works. SetDNS from the Play Store takes care of any carrier DNS blocking issues. For rooted phones only I think.  

Edit: Just rechecked video on talk and it's not working again, but everything else that was being blocked is still working. :/
fan tai
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Hmm... I wonder what will happen if you set up VPN to a server under your control.

<-- has a ssh/mail/nntp/web server at home since 1990s :)
Don S
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DNS is almost trivial to bypass so if that's their game....  Speaking of VPNs, oh yeah, that's almost a required feature for things like coffee shop connections and other reasons.  It becomes simpler to just encrypt everything and have control over routing and DNS.
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