Slingplayer Mobile for the iPhone
has reached the App Store, or rather, finally been approved for the App Store but --- and here's the rub --- in a somewhat different (and some would say crippled) form than beta.
Beta versions of the app allowed operation under wi-fi, EDGE and 3G (not that anyone would want to use EDGE). The released version was reportedly delayed to allow the removal of EDGE and 3G support.
But AT&T's official response brings up the spectre of all those iPhone 3G issues from last year, when many attributed the connectivity issues on the phone to AT&T's nascent 3G network:
“Slingbox, which would use large amounts of wireless network capacity, could create congestion and potentially prevent other customers from using the network. The application does not run on our 3G wireless network. Applications like this, which redirects a TV signal to a personal computer, are specifically prohibited under our terms of service. We consider smartphones like the iPhone to be personal computers in that they have the same hardware and software attributes as PCs.”
Yes, under their ToS
, in the section labeled "Prohibited and Permissible Uses" it says:
[...] downloading movies using P2P file sharing services, redirecting television signals for viewing on Personal Computers, web broadcasting, and/or for the operation of servers, telemetry devices and/or Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition devices is prohibited.
By labeling the iPhone a smartphone, and thus a personal computer, AT&T can make this statement, but it's more worrisome because in reality what they're saying is that "our network can't handle it, sorry guys."
The SlingPlayer mobile app will enable iPhone users to stream video from a Slingbox device hooked up to a TV. Apple’s requirement to make the application wi-fi makes people go "huh" as other 3G AT&T devices (e.g. BlackBerry Bold) have a 3G-capable SlingPlayer app. So, in addition to "our network can't handle it," they might also be saying "we anticipate more iPhone users will try this than BB, etc. etc., so sorry, but no luck for you."