3G FaceTime calls incoming, iOS warning hints

iOS devices could be on the cusp of getting FaceTime calls over 3G.

Your iPhone or iPad may be on the cusp on getting FaceTime calling over a 3G connection, an iOS warning pop-up suggests.

The warning message, originally snapped by Romanian site iDevice, apparently pops up when you try to turn off 3G while on a FaceTime call. The missive reads, "Disabling 3G will end FaceTime. Are you sure you want to disable 3G?"

Currently FaceTime only works over a Wi-Fi connection, so there's no reason that switching 3G on or off should affect your video chinwag. But the message -- present in the recently released iOS version 5.1.1 -- has led to speculation that Apple is poised to turn on FaceTime for 3G.

I've tested switching off 3G during a FaceTime call, and can verify the pop-up does make an appearance. Turning off 3G didn't end the FaceTime call though, despite the warning.

There doesn't seem to be any reason why FaceTime wouldn't work over a 3G connection, but the quality of the video calls could take a hit. Apple's not keen on exposing its customers to a potentially less-than-perfect experience, preferring to limit the functions of its gadgets rather than risk something being a bit broken.

If FaceTime over 3G does get switched on, it'll likely make its debut in iOS 6 , which we're expecting to get a glimpse at on 11 June, at Apple's annual summer cotillion  developer conference .

It's fair to say that FaceTime hasn't really taken off yet -- mostly due to the unflattering angles that front-facing cameras lend themselves to. Would Apple's video-calling feature be more popular if it worked over 3G? Let me know in the comments or on our Facebook wall.

About the author

Luke Westaway is a senior editor at CNET and writer/ presenter of Adventures in Tech, a thrilling gadget show produced in our London office. Luke's focus is on keeping you in the loop with a mix of video, features, expert opinion and analysis.


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