Videocalling has been a sci-fi staple for decades. From 2001 to Back to the Future people chatting face-to-face from great distances was a way of saying "Hey, look, it's the future!" So does Facetime mean we're in the future?
FaceTime is Apple's stab at making videocalling a reality. They're certainly not the first: European and Asian phones have been able to do this for years, and the HTC Evo can do it quite handily. But Apple is pushing it hard at the mainstream with the iPhone 4.
Making a call on FaceTime is very cool, at first. You see who you're talking to! You talk about what you are doing, that being using a videocalling system built right into a phone. How cool! You can do neat things like flick the little thumbnail of yourself from corner to corner and flip between the front and back cameras. It's just neat.
But then, once you have fiddled with it and both acknowledged how neat it is, once you have showed off your surroundings, once you move onto a conversation about something other than FaceTime, things get a little weird.
Because what are you supposed to be looking at? What should you be showing? You're used to talking on a phone and pacing around, skimming an email, doing something else at the same time. But with this, you can't. You just hold your phone out in front of you, awkwardly, and look at the other person looking back at you, also awkwardly. And you wonder, why are we doing this?
So really, FaceTime is great if you actually have something you want to show someone, like a new outfit or your new house or your kid. But if you're just calling to shoot the breeze? It's...awkward.
Which is why it's so annoying that it's a Wi-Fi-only feature—chances are much better that I'll want to show someone something when I'm away from home and my Wi-Fi network. I can't call my girlfriend and get her to approve a shirt I'm trying on at a store. I can't call my buddies and show off a gigantic cheeseburger I'm about to eat at a restaurant. I can't call my parents and show them the landmark I'm standing in front of on vacation.
So it leaves me wondering when I'll ever use it, after today, when it's fun to just call other people who are new iPhone 4 owners to marvel at our collective new trick. Really, if FaceTime is from the future, it's from a pretty insignificant part of it. Bring on the hovercars!
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Most europeans phones don't use wi-fi at all to video calling. Usually european phones they use 3g and 4g network so you can use it ewerywhere. But the not so exiting side of it is the amasing big phone bill you will get. And not everyone have phones to resive it. This are some very good reasons that it's not much used.
375 for a Pot Pie! Man that'll take forever to be ready! Valid points, but as with all new functions, it may take time for people to adapt. I use iChat to keep up with my family when I'm on the road and just being able to see them makes the distance between us not seem that far. So, we start off slow with WiFi only and move on from there. Of course, it's probably all a plot from the Mother Ship (AT&T, reach out and crush someone) to get you use to the function until they figure out a way to charge you for it.
Just wait till 3-D facetime comes out on the iPhone 5. You know they are gonna go there. The technology is already in the works. Check it out.
Was talking with a old co worker of mine from before. He said it brings in a whole new level of getting yelled at by the orge of a boss.
The main thing Face Time is going to used for is sex. People are going to be Face Timing naked and spearheading the tech.
Businesses are going to help too because you can place video calls from the comfort of a hotel room.
Stores and shopping centers that do offer WiFi will also push the tech with people doing exactly what the author states is the main reason for the tech.
Close a 1 million new video phones will be in people's hands at the end of the day. That's a big deal.
The tech will only expand too. the WiFi only thing is only temporary...
Most europeans phones don't use wi-fi at all to video calling. Usually european phones they use 3g and 4g network so you can use it ewerywhere.http://www.bagonhand.com/ But the not so exiting side of it is the amasing big phone bill you will get. And not everyone have phones to resive it. This are some very good reasons that it's not much used.http://www.bagonhand.com/
Skype has the same problem. You're still doing WiFi or a data plan, and generally with a much more inconvenient device....
I think the danger of this is that being able to stare at someone in the eye could be perceived as a challenge or a threat.
I agree with vega_obscura. Think what this will do for sexting? Now instead of sending pictures of your junk you can send and receive real time interactive video. This could be really useful for the 900 number people. LOL! Seriously though, it would be nice if you could show the knot head technicians on a customer service line exactly what your dealing with. And vice versa, you could see the guy in India who says he's not Indian or in India.
Think Star Trek. Even in the original series, communicators were audio only. The screens were only used at stationary locales like a bridge, a star base, or a command post, etc. Even the shuttle typically used audio only. (Ref: "The Doomsday Machine", "The Galileo Seven", "The Immunity Syndrome")
Okay, Star Trek. As much as you may think it accurately depicts our future, it is science fiction written in the 1960's before even Cell Phones existed. I'm sure it was easier (less expensive to produce) to not have to depict video communicators in the TV show. What does that have to do with video-calls? How about Dick Tracy and his wrist radio watch with video?
Think outside of the box, this will be used for things (good or bad) that many people can't even conceive of right now. Especially as it gets into more peoples' hands and connects with more devices.
well if star trek was accurate, we'd have sleeper-ships going all over the solar system, the fusion engine would make them obsolete in 8 years, and we'd have colonies on the moon & mars with light speed travel coming in 53 years; its not, nobody can predict the future in any manner of accuracy. Think of the primitive computers they use in almost every scifi movie or show. We'll probably have reached singularity level of technology by which point technology levels will double every week before we have FTL travel. That said, the title would better have said "really THE future" rather than from the future. Mobile videoconferencing is impractical imho, because you have to stop walking or driving and hold the screen out from your face as opposed to just being able to focus on the road. Think of what this would do for car crashes. I'm sure there'd be some niche filled by this but it wouldn't take over normal phones.
You do realize that people do make phone calls when they aren't walking or driving, don't you? And many people should pull over and stop driving when they are making a phone call anyway. Think outside of your little box and you may find a lot of uses...
Of course they're setting up for 4G. Who will go to their local McDonald's just to call their friend? Think iPhone 5 with 4G Verizon coming out June 2011. It will happen. People will drive 500 miles and pay thousands of $$$ just to get their hands on one. If Apple makes something, it WIlL be the future.
This will ruin prank calling.
HTC EVO 4G FTW... no need for WiFi to video call. iPhone video calling is like inventing the toaster oven after the microwave..
How often you will use this Feature of FaceTime?
Hats off to Apple - and by that I mean their marketing department. iPhone has very little new, and still they are able to steal all this free advertising in the news. Talk about "wow!"
Facetime is pretty much like putting Skype on your phone. I would find this feature quite useful because there are many times where I just want to see someone and talk to them but I'm not at home, in my room, to Skype. So what would I do? Just pick up my phone and video call them. Viola. Also, this could make breaking up so much easier-- No more jerk moves of breaking up over a text message. Just video call them up instead and say it to their face.
When Apple announced the new Siri software for the <a href="http://cellocean.com/iphone-4s-specifications-2210.html">iphone 4s</a> it was easy to just dismiss it as another company trying to get on board with the voice recognition gimmick we've seen companies trying to make work for years. But there are a couple of things to remember here: firstly, this is Apple, a brand that will always make something seem cool and work pretty well. And secondly, it's not a technology that it's had to develop fully in house, with the company buying voice recognition development app-maker Siri. We've played with some pretty advanced voice recognition software on the likes of the Samsung Galaxy S2, so we've also taken a look to see how the same command is registered on both phones. Long pressing the home button will result in the Siri voic icon popping up - or alternatively, you can set the iPhone 4S to activate the service when you hold the phone up to your ear in standby mode, so you don't look as ridiculous when talking to your handset. From there, you've got quite a range of things you can achieve with speech alone, be it sending a message, playing a song (or even a playlist), setting the alarm, creating a reminder... we were very impressed with the range of options on offer. And the system is quick too - where with many other phones you have to open up the voice recognition function (often in a long winded way) and then wait for the beep to speak, Siri opens up in around a couple of seconds from anywhere in the phone. The voice recognition is pretty darn good too - we were straight away impressed with how many phrases it managed to get right on the first go, including some pretty obscure bits and pieces of speech. You do have to pronounce your words a little more clinically than you might do normally, but even garbled speech comes through pretty well. To put a number on it: we went through the list of functions Siri offers, and found that around one in three or four attempts went awry, which is miles better than the one in two we encounter on most other phones. However, before we get into the comparison, we should say this about Siri in the UK - the full range of services aren't available, and that's a real shame. This means you can't ask where the nearest McDonald's or petrol station is, a feature that's been talked up in the US. We do have high hopes that the same features will eventually be enabled in the UK, as it's just a matter of licensing the information and incorporating it into the system, but it will be annoying for a number of users to see that Siri comes back with 'I cannot do that' time and time again for cool functionality. But what it does do well is work out the context of what you're saying, something that most other voice recognition software fails to do. So if you say 'Tell Andy his hair looks amazing today' it will work out that you'll want to tell him by message, rather than asking what method you'd prefer to speak to him. Messaging isn't as straightforward as we'd like though, as using the 'Send message' command to a person in your address book will result in you being asked whether you'd like to do it using the phone number or email address - and there's no way to set a personalized choice.