Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+ and Galaxy Note 5 owners, your time has finally arrived.
This past week T-Mobile announced it has introduced native video calling capabilities to the S6 Edge+ and the Note 5, eliminating the need to use third-party apps to make video calls.
The drawback? CNET reported yesterday that the video calls can only be made between T-Mobile customers “who can accept video callers.”
Users will know who can and cannot accept the video calls by the color of the video call icon: gray means the recipient does not support video.
Calls made through native video will count against customers’ minutes.
Though the new native video capability is a nice perk, mobile companies like T-Mobile and Verizon are still trying to catch up to the popularity of third-party apps like WhatsApp, Viber, Facebook, Skype and Snapchat.
Compared to this troupe of app providers, mobile carriers have made “few advances,” T-Mobile spokeswoman Stephenie Hanschka admitted during an interview with CNET.
While tech companies … have been rolling out cool new communications features and functions, US wireless operators have made few advances in the native messaging and calling technology that comes built-in to most phones.
A Tech Crunch article said the move is also intended to give Android users a native app that will “better compete with things like Apple’s FaceTime.”
The native video feature will work on both LTE and wireless networks, and, when it senses a slow connection, will automatically switch to a voice call.
While the video call feature will only be available as an update on two phones, the company plans to put the feature on seven phones by the “end of the year.”
T-Mobile’s plan is to roll out support for more devices quickly, it says. By year’s end, it will have seven total devices that offer video calling.
The new feature will be rolled out this weekend on the S6 Edge+ and the Note 5, while the S6 and the S6 Edge will get the update next week.