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Were it not for a legal dispute involving patents, FaceTime could be an open platform

During the presentation of the iOS 12 at the Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) 2018, it was announced that FaceTime now has group calls, enabling up to 32 people to connect. The novelty shed light on a promise made by Steve Jobs when he first announced the feature, saying it would become an open platform for everyone.

Let's recap exactly eight years in history: on June 7, 2010, during WWDC that year, Steve Jobs was introducing big news to the Apple ecosystem. Among these, the launch of the iPhone 4, the change of the mobile operating system code from ?iPhone OS? to ?iOS? and the creation of FaceTime as a video calling feature.

During the same conference, Jobs reported that FaceTime was based on several open standards, such as H.264 for video compression and AAC for audio.

THE CNET highlighted the exact words uttered by Jobs, when saying that Apple would maintain these standards to allow FaceTime to be made available to everyone whether it be a user of Apple devices or not.

FaceTime is based on several open standards like the H.264 video format, AAC audio and a stew of alphabet acronyms and we will take them to the end. We will use these standards starting tomorrow and make FaceTime an open industry standard.

We are in 2018 and, to this day, both FaceTime and the iMessage messaging service remain restricted to the Apple ecosystem. This makes us question what went wrong along the way, as we know that Ma is not a company that creates promises not to keep them.

Among the reasons the Cupertino giant did not open FaceTime is the imbroglio with VirnetX, a patent troll (companies that acquire patents for the purpose of denouncing those who infringe them). VirnetX claims that Apple has infringed several network security patents, that is, features used in FaceTime, iMessage and VPN.

To keep FaceTime and iMessage working, Apple added ?relay servers? to help phones connect instead of allowing phones to communicate directly with each other. Therefore, someone would have to pay for these servers or find a way to allow connection to servers from Google, Microsoft or other third-party platforms if FaceTime were open to everyone.

While FaceTime develops within the iOS system, what remains for us to wait and know what the future holds for video communication services. In Brazil, for now, other messengers have solved this problem between different platforms and operating systems.

VirnetX wants $ 1 billion in damages

Two months after claiming $ 502.6 million in damages from Apple, a report from the website Law360 reported that VirnetX last Monday (on the same day that the FaceTime news was presented) to a judge in the Eastern District of Texas that the compensation be doubled to $ 1 billion. According to the technology and communication "company", Apple's behavior "shocks conscience" after the Cupertino giant asks that the entire compensation award be discarded.

We will see how far (or even when) this judicial dispute, which has been going on for seven years, will reach.

via 9to5Mac, Apple World Today