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Although El Gato’s EyeTV app has been able to stream content over AT&T’s (s att) seemingly fragile 3G network since last month, it wasn’t until this past weekend that people were talking about it. That talk, at Gizmodo, was followed by swift and decisive action by Apple (s aapl). EyeTV is no more at the App Store.
For those who don’t know, the EyeTV app accesses content from an EyeTV, the company’s television recording device, attached to a Mac, and sends it to an iPhone. As the pictured warning from the app clearly states, a Wi-Fi connection is required. However, tapping the warning text instead of the “OK” button enables streaming over a cellular connection.
Unfortunately, that’s a violation of AT&T’s terms of service in the U.S. and Apple’s policy everywhere else. Just last month, another video streaming app, SlingPlayer, was released in Europe, still shackled to Wi-Fi only. Sad, but those are the rules, which makes you wonder why El Gato broke them. According to Julio Ojeda-Zapata of Your Tech Blog, El Gato says “test code” was “accidentally left in the EyeTV app.” El Gato has already resubmitted a version of the EyeTV app without the offending code.
Personally, I applaud El Gato for its user-friendly sloppiness. The real error here is allowing telecommunication companies to regulate content on any network.