T-Mobile has launched a new video calling feature for users of Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+ and Note 5 smartphones that will let them make video calls without having to download or install any apps.
T-Mobile Video Calling was unveiled Sept. 3 in a post by T-Mobile CTO Neville Ray on the company's blog.
"Place and receive calls as you normally would—simply choose either the video call button or voice call button," wrote Ray. "Really. It's that easy."
Incorporating video calling into the phones without the need for a separate app simplifies such calls for users and makes the process seamless by allowing users to make calls using their smartphone's normal keypad, he wrote. "T-Mobile Video Calling represents a huge step forward in how Americans make mobile phone calls."
When using T-Mobile Video Calling, small camera icons appear next to the names of contacts who are using devices that are able to receive video calls, he wrote. "If the person you're calling can't take video calls, the video call icon is greyed out. We're working with others so you can eventually enjoy built-in video calling across wireless networks," Ray said.
The video calls can be made to and from capable devices on any available LTE connection and will use data from the user's high-speed data allocations and can also be placed over WiFi networks. "Like HD Voice calls, T-Mobile Video Calling moves seamlessly between LTE and Wi-Fi," he wrote. "And, if you move off LTE or Wi-Fi to a slower connection, your video call seamlessly switches over to a voice call. If you move back to LTE or Wi-Fi, switch it back to video with a single tap."
So far, the only smartphones that can use the new service are the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+ and the Galaxy Note 5 after simple software updates are installed, wrote Ray. Video calling capabilities will be ready next week for users of Samsung Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge smartphones through similar updates. "By the end of the year, you'll be able to make video calls on three more of our Video Calling-enabled devices, for a total of seven," he said.
The new service is one of several that T-Mobile has been making in recent months. In August, T-Mobile added advanced messaging, which upgraded its regular SMS services with real-time chat and the ability to share photos and videos up to 10MB. "And today, T-Mobile Video Calling marks the next stage in the evolution of our IP technology and Data Strong network," wrote Ray.
In December 2014, T-Mobile unveiled its "data stash" program, which lets customers keep any unused data in their monthly data plans and roll it over for future use, giving customers more control and fuller potential use of the data allocations that they pay for each month.