“At WWDC, Apple revealed that it will finally make it possible to do FaceTime group calls for up to 32 people,” Luke Dormehl writes for Cult of Mac. “That’s great news — provided that all your friends, family and co-workers use Apple devices.”

MacDailyNews Take: Friends don’t let friends suffer with Windows or Android.

“But it didn’t have to be like this. Back in 2010, when Steve Jobs introduced FaceTime, he made a big point about how it was set to become an open industry standard that could be used by Apple’s competitors, as well as Apple,” Dormehl writes. “In 2010, Steve Jobs said the following: ‘Now, FaceTime is based on a lot of open standards — H.264 video, AAC audio, and a bunch of alphabet soup acronyms — and we’re going to take it all the way. We’re going to the standards bodies starting tomorrow, and we’re going to make FaceTime an open industry standard.'”

“Nearly a decade on, that still hasn’t happened. And now a theory has emerged as to why,” Dormehl writes. “According to an interesting concept put forward by CNET writer Sean Hollister, the reason could relate to an ongoing lawsuit which made Apple change how FaceTime works to avoid infringing on patents held by VirnetX.”

Read more in the full article here.

“Apple was forced to majorly change how FaceTime works to avoid infringing on the patents of a company called VirnetX,” Sean Hollister writes for CNET. “Instead of letting phones communicate directly with each other, Apple added ‘relay servers’ to help the phones connect.”

“Presumably,” Hollister writes, “someone would have to pay for those servers, and/or figure out a way for them to talk to Google or Microsoft or other third-party servers if FaceTime were going to be truly open.”

“But that doesn’t make a broken promise less frustrating. Particularly now that Apple could potentially fix annoying business video calls as well,” Hollister writes. “A Skype-killing video chat service that worked on Mac, iOS *and* Windows, Android and the open web? That’s something I bet companies would be happy to pay for, too.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Someday this VirnetX saga will be resolved and, if that’s the issue, perhaps Steve Jobs’ promise will be fulfilled.

Of course, if Apple really cared about making FaceTime an open industry standard, couldn’t they have simply settled with VirnetX for some exorbitant number, licensing or purchasing the disputed patents in order to fulfill Jobs’ promise?

Federal jury rules Apple must pay $502.6 million to VirnetX – April 10, 2018
Apple, slapped with a $440 million judgement, to appeal VirnetX patent case – October 16, 2017
Apple loses patent retrial to VirnetX, owes $302.4 million – October 1, 2016
Judge voids VirnetX’s $625.6 million Apple verdict; VirnetX shares plunge – August 1, 2016
Patent troll VirnetX wants judge to block Apple’s FaceTime, iMessage services – May 26, 2016
Apple hit with $626 million damages in VirnetX patent case – February 3, 2016
VirnetX’s $368 million jury award against Apple tossed by appeals court – September 16, 2014
Apple to make changes to VPN behavior in iOS 6.1 as result of VirnetX judgement – April 5, 2013
Judge upholds $368 million patent suit verdict for VirnetX against Apple – February 27, 2013
Jury slaps Apple with $368.2 million fine over VirnetX patents – November 7, 2012
VirnetX awarded new security patent files new complaint against Apple – November 1, 2011