The Slingplayer iPhone app, once the poster child for everything wrong with AT&T’s 3G service, will now be allowed to run free of constraints.
AT&T announced this morning that it’ll no longer prohibit the Slingplayer iPhone app from running over 3G. Used in conjunction with Slingbox hardware, Slingplayer lets users watch an online feed of their home cable service remotely.
Previously, the iPhone app was limited to Wi-Fi connections, while the same app for Blackberry, Symbian and Windows Mobile phones have always worked over 3G. AT&T’s rationale was that the Singplayer iPhone app would put too much strain on the carrier’s 3G network, and that its terms of service clearly allowed for a restriction.
Why? For starters, there are the network improvements AT&T is touting. As for the Slingplayer itself, the New York Times reports that the app now dynamically adjusts quality based on network conditions. Competition is another factor: Verizon Wireless bulked up its smartphone line with the Droid, Droid Eris and Palm Pre Plus, and T-Mobile now has the Nexus One. For AT&T, selling the iPhone is no longer enough.