According to a report posted by website Apple-wd.com [Google Translation], the iOS 5 beta seeded to developers earlier this week doesn’t come with the FaceTime restrictions in Middle East countries we first covered back in October. Soon after Apple started removing graphics and mentions of FaceTime from its Saudi Arabia eight months ago, the company released an official document detailing the carriers that were not supporting FaceTime video calls on iOS — the document is still available here and shows Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates having FaceTime unavailable on certain carriers.
Other reports also confirmed FaceTime for Mac wasn’t showing Middle East countries as supported ones in the app’s preferences, which left us wondering why would the Mac version go under the same “rules” if a carrier wasn’t needed at all. Well, according to Apple-wd the iOS 5 beta has FaceTime working between iPhones in Saudi Arabia from STC and Mobily, as seen in the screenshot above.
Apple-wd speculates this might be a good indication of iOS 5 finally easing carrier restrictions on FaceTime which, as spotted at the WWDC keynote slides, is getting improvements for video call quality and may even work on 3G come the final release. However, it’s also possible that carriers will update their configuration files when iOS 5 is released publicly to block FaceTime again.
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