The new iPad may have lightning fast speeds with its 4G LTE support, but according to The Verge, you’re still not going to be able to use FaceTime without a Wi-Fi connection.
Initiating a FaceTime call when you’re not connected to Wi-Fi gives the message “FaceTime Failed, Connect to a Wi-Fi network to use FaceTime.” This is disappointing, because many thought that the new 4G speed would allow users to access FaceTime chat anywhere, a feature that the iPad 2 was lacking.
There is a way around the restriction. Verizon’s LTE plan happens to include Wi-Fi hotspot functionality as part of its data plans, which you can use to connect an iPhone to make a FaceTime call. Using your iPad as a hotspot eats just as much data as making a FaceTime call right on the device itself.
The restriction doesn’t make a lot of sense because a FaceTime call is estimated to use 3MB per minute in data, or approximately 90MB for 30 minutes. It’s high, but you could still make several of these calls if you use data sparingly in other areas.
Is Apple denying us 4G FaceTime because of video transfer speeds or the data it uses? There’s not a strong case for either excuse, at this point.
When FaceTime was first announced in 2010, former Apple CEO Steve Jobs said “FaceTime’s going to be Wi-Fi only in 2010. We need to work a little bit with the cellular providers to get ready for the future, so we’re Wi-Fi only in 2010.”
Maybe this isn’t an Apple restriction at all. Are AT&T and Verizon restricting 4G FaceTime access? We pay for our data, shouldn’t we be able to use it however we choose?