The new iPhone has brought many cool features to the table for iPhone fans. The new video phone call feature being called “Facetime” may be the most controversial and one of the most popular. This new 2 way video feature allows iPhone 4 users to make a call to another person and not only talk, but actually see the other party they are communicating with.This is not totally revolutionary because there have been other phones that have had video chat features similar to this in the past. However, much like many of Apple’s most popular product, they are geniuses at “innovating” not “inventing”. It will be interesting to see how the actual owners of these new cell phones take to this service.
Steve Jobs has stated that he is going to make this service a open source project so any developer can tap into the functions and features of the Facetime application. This will allow other cell phones and mobile devices to be compatible with this video call software in the future. For right now you can only make iPhone to iPhone calls and this must be done from WiFi hot spots and cannot be done on the AT&T 3G network at this time. There are some workarounds that will allow you to use the Facetime app from 3G but apps like “My3G” can become costly to those who do not have a unlimited data plan with AT&T.
If you want to see what people are using Facetime for take a look on YouTube, you will find many videos showing how to communicate using this new video call technology. If you are using the Android OS on your cellular device, you can even connect with iPhone 4 users by using the free “Fring” app. This app allows you to use video calls across platforms and this is pretty sweet! No longer do you have to be sitting at a computer to talk and see your friends, family and acquaintances. The Facetime video call program is just as easy to use as the phone itself, just choose video call from your call screen and that’s it.
Now that older phones can also take advantage of the iOS 4 and all that it has to offer, even if you did not jump for the new iPhone 4 you will be able to use some of the new features that were brewed up just for it. Facetime will only function on the newest phone because of it’s physical limitations, you cannot do a video call with out a forward facing video camera. This may be one of the biggest reasons to upgrade to the newest model at this time. In reality video calling may not be practical for most people, if you are hearing impaired though, this may be the break through of the year for you and your friends. There are many uses for Facetime and now that it is out there, we should see it coming to other devices and most likely working seamlessly with desktop apps very soon as well. The future is here and Apple has done it again!