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Apple announces open standard FaceTime video chat for iPhone 4

post #1 of 86
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Apple Chief Executive Steve Jobs announced his trademark "one more thing" on Monday by making a video call to the company's designer Jony Ive through a service called FaceTime, which Apple aims to make an open industry standard.

Jobs sat down and made a call to Ive through the new iPhone. His own picture showed up in a small box in the corner, while Ive took up the rest of the screen.

FaceTime requires Wi-Fi to operate, and works between iPhone 4 handsets. Jobs said that Apple needs to "work a bit" with the cellular providers.

The company said it plans to make FaceTime an open industry standard, potentially allowing communication with other devices.



No setup is required, and the feature can be enabled while on a call with someone. Either the front or rear camera can be used with FaceTime.









Apple showed a new commercial for the phone, which shows off possibilities with the video chat function. One demonstration had people speaking with one another via sign language.

post #2 of 86
Looks nice, but sort of surprised it doesn't support iPhone to Mac chatting. That seemed like it would a no brainer. Wifi only is disappointing but is understandable when they have to use AT&T as the standard against which to set the bar for network capability.

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post #3 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tulkas View Post

Looks nice, but sort of surprised it doesn't support iPhone to Mac chatting. That seemed like it would a no brainer.

It'll come, it'll come. Probably easier to put Facetime on OS-X rather than iChat Video on iOS 4. Question is, will it happen in 10.6 or 10.7?
post #4 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tulkas View Post

Looks nice, but sort of surprised it doesn't support iPhone to Mac chatting. That seemed like it would a no brainer. Wifi only is disappointing but is understandable when they have to use AT&T as the standard against which to set the bar for network capability.

Unless I missed something during the keynote, what makes you think it won't support iChat? I would think that it would.
post #5 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by sflocal View Post

Unless I missed something during the keynote, what makes you think it won't support iChat? I would think that it would.

They specifically stated it was iPhone 4 to iPhone 4. I see nothing that would prevent them from using the technology in iChat for this, but so far it's not mentioned, which I think means it's just not ready at this point for connecting to PCs. Perhaps they want to do it through MobileMe to utilize Wide-Area Bonjour that is found in Back to My Mac for zero config connections. They might also want it to go live on Windows at the same time.
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post #6 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by sflocal View Post

Unless I missed something during the keynote, what makes you think it won't support iChat? I would think that it would.

You are right they didn't mention it. They did say it would be iPhone 4 to iPhone 4. I hope it will work with iChatAV on the Mac.

At the very least, the open sourced it, so as long as the approve apps that are based on it and the standard they are using is compatible with iChat AV, then I imagine someone will release a third party app to address it...or a Mac app that goes the other way.

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post #7 of 86
Can I call my Polycom and Tandberg equipment? That would be nice...
post #8 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by tundraboy View Post

It'll come, it'll come. Probably easier to put Facetime on OS-X rather than iChat Video on iOS 4. Question is, will it happen in 10.6 or 10.7?

I hope so. One of the things I was looking forward to most was this feature, as I hoped it would allow me to video chat with my kids at home. They are 30 months and 11 months, so they interact much better when it is video than just a phone call.

Other than iAd, the rest of the 8/9 feature were pretty aswesome.

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...sometimes it's both
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post #9 of 86
This feature should usher in a new category of apps... can't wait!
post #10 of 86
And what about FaceTime conference calls? Will you get multiple video images of all involved?
post #11 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tulkas View Post

Looks nice, but sort of surprised it doesn't support iPhone to Mac chatting. That seemed like it would a no brainer. Wifi only is disappointing but is understandable when they have to use AT&T as the standard against which to set the bar for network capability.

You're right--it seems odd. I imagine there will be an update to iChat to bring it in line with this new "standard," FaceTime.

In terms of WiFi only, I imagine it is not just AT&T, but networks around the world thar must be prepared.
I still have my doubts as to the usefullness if this feature, but I imagine the load on the networks as everyone tries it out for the first few months would be enoumous! This way, maybe people can get their yayas out on WiFi and then they will open it up when the load dies down...
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post #12 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tulkas View Post

Looks nice, but sort of surprised it doesn't support iPhone to Mac chatting. That seemed like it would a no brainer. Wifi only is disappointing but is understandable when they have to use AT&T as the standard against which to set the bar for network capability.

Also this removed one of the 'suspected' reasons for AT&T to drop the Unlimited 3G (it never was 'really' unlimited according to the fine print) so ... AT&T what exactly are the reasons to:

- Drop the unlimited iPad plans
- Drop the unlimited iPhone plans

I realize that with any service that has a HARD/FIXED quantity, the more people use it the worse off it will be.. Splitting a 2LTR bottle of water between 8 people is fine but spit it between 80 is all but impossible.

So, AT&T (and others) claim that a very large majority of its data using subscribers are well under the 2GB cap then what impact could their changes actually have over the data being used and what is their cost justification of $20 per month for tethering when it offers you ZERO GB of 'extra' tethering data usage? That move would be not unlike the cable companies charging you and added fee when house guests are viewing their cable tv stations. Something I wouldn't put past em and expect future cable boxes to have front facing cameras so they can really pull it off. (kidding.... well sorta)
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post #13 of 86
engadget has a video of it
http://www.engadget.com/2010/06/07/i...irst-hands-on/
looks awesome

Oh yeah, also they show some pictures of the screen, and Jobs was right, it looks great.
post #14 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by Postulant View Post

This feature should usher in a new category of apps... can't wait!

Yes new apps, and a new masturbatorial aid.
post #15 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by YodaMac View Post

And what about FaceTime conference calls? Will you get multiple video images of all involved?

that would be cool. They could make it so each person has equal screen space, or you could "minimize" everyone and focus on a single person (like if someone was giving a presentation to a group at work.)

IT'S THE FUTURE, MAN
post #16 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by chronster View Post

Yes new apps, and a new masturbatorial aid.


Bahaahahaah.

Steve-o know's not what he has brought forth. Or maybe he does?!

Bahaahahaah.
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post #17 of 86
The fact you need two iPhone 4.0 kind of kills the buzz pretty quick.

The whole event was kind of a let down. We knew most everything from leaks. In fact so many rumors did not come true it had a double negative effect of having knowing so much from leaks and so many rumors being squashed.

Safari 5?
Verizon?
iPad Printing?
Free MobileME?
Mac Pro update?
Mini Update?
Anything Mac/OS X update?
new Apple TV update?

Fizzle...........
post #18 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveGee View Post

Also this removed one of the 'suspected' reasons for AT&T to drop the Unlimited 3G (it never was 'really' unlimited according to the fine print) so ... AT&T what exactly are the reasons to:

- Drop the unlimited iPad plans
- Drop the unlimited iPhone plans

I realize that with any service that has a HARD/FIXED quantity, the more people use it the worse off it will be.. Splitting a 2LTR bottle of water between 8 people is fine but spit it between 80 is all but impossible.

So, AT&T (and others) claim that a very large majority of its data using subscribers are well under the 2GB cap then what impact could their changes actually have over the data being used and what is their cost justification of $20 per month for tethering when it offers you ZERO GB of 'extra' tethering data usage? That move would be not unlike the cable companies charging you and added fee when house guests are viewing their cable tv stations. Something I wouldn't put past em and expect future cable boxes to have front facing cameras so they can really pull it off. (kidding.... well sorta)

I would not be surprised to see AT&T roll out new plans some day that limited your 'included' MBs to certain times of time, identically to their daytime/evening minutes for voice and charging you more for 'daytime' data. They could use the identical justification they have used for tethering. What wouldn't surprise me are the people that would accept their explanation as reasonable.

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...sometimes it's both
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...sometimes it's both
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post #19 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by bettieblue View Post

The fact you need two iPhone 4.0 kind of kills the buzz pretty quick.

The whole event was kind of a let down. We knew most everything from leaks. In fact so many rumors did not come true it had a double negative effect of having knowing so much from leaks and so many rumors being squashed.

Safari 5?
Verizon?
iPad Printing?
Free MobileME?
Mac Pro update?
Mini Update?
Anything Mac/OS X update?
new Apple TV update?

Fizzle...........

We still have a week don't we?
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post #20 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by bettieblue View Post

The fact you need two iPhone 4.0 kind of kills the buzz pretty quick.

They aren't trying to hog it up as a proprietary "iphone only" feature. They're making it an "open standard." I think Apple knew that for this to catch on, it's gotta be compatible with phones other than the iphone.

Should be interesting to see how Android developers pick this up.
post #21 of 86
There are many reasons to be excited about iPhone 4 but FaceTime is NOT one of them. I doubt I'll ever use it. Besides we have had access to video chat at home for a decade and it still hasn't taken off. Why will iPhone 4 make a difference?

I think it's a fine feature to create buzz but it's not something people seem to really want - just to brag that it can do.
post #22 of 86
Facetime = Web Cam Chat WTF is so ground breaking here, oh I know we will change the name of "Web Cam Chat" and trademark the name Facetime. Cracking.....Well done lads heres a bonus....
post #23 of 86
I notice AI cleverly chose their screen capture from the sign language portion of the ad to subtly allude to the most obvious unmentioned use of this feature.
post #24 of 86
I really want to be able to "call in" to web cameras and devices that aren't necessarily another iPhone 4.0 (or a person for that matter). Would be a great way to check traffic cameras, the line at a restaurant, or even make real time news accessible to anyone by just "calling in" to a breaking news story.
post #25 of 86
Here is a list of the protocols it's using. It looks like it's not using any Back to My Mac protocols, like Wide-Area Bonjour.
H.264
AAC
SIP
STUN
TURN
ICE
RTP
SRTP

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post #26 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tulkas View Post

Looks nice, but sort of surprised it doesn't support iPhone to Mac chatting. That seemed like it would a no brainer. Wifi only is disappointing but is understandable when they have to use AT&T as the standard against which to set the bar for network capability.

Hey, they're trying to sell hardware here! Give it 6 months or so...

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post #27 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by jamiec View Post

I notice AI cleverly chose their screen capture from the sign language portion of the ad to subtly allude to the most obvious unmentioned use of this feature.

What?! Sign language to video chat with people on a computing device? I have to give FaceTime a FacePalm if you think that is going to be common use.
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post #28 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by YodaMac View Post

And what about FaceTime conference calls? Will you get multiple video images of all involved?

Probably not initially.

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post #29 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

Here is a list of the protocols it's using. It looks like it's not using any Back to My Mac protocols, like Wide-Area Bonjour.

H.264
AAC
SIP
STUN
TURN
ICE
RTP
SRTP

[IMG-]


Interesting, I never considered it would need to use something like Back to My Mac does to find the other people online.

This is prolly why they did not just make iChat, they don't want contacts and closed buddy list systems. Just to have it work.
post #30 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tulkas View Post

Looks nice, but sort of surprised it doesn't support iPhone to Mac chatting. That seemed like it would a no brainer. Wifi only is disappointing but is understandable when they have to use AT&T as the standard against which to set the bar for network capability.

AT&T has the fastest cell phone network in the US. Verizon has a wider area of coverage for high speed, but their high speed is much slower.
post #31 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by OwlBoy View Post

Interesting, I never considered it would need to use something like Back to My Mac does to find the other people online.

This is prolly why they did not just make iChat, they don't want contacts and closed buddy list systems. Just to have it work.

I'm curious how they will know which calls you are on are using the new FaceTime API.
Possible solution?: Once you connect a voice call and you are connected via WiFi your device running the FaceTime API will send a message to a FaceTime server that will check your phone number against the number you have dialed. If that other phone also has the FaceTime API, is connected via WiFi it will have done the same.

If both numbers are paired on the server it will send a response back to each device which will allow for the FaceTime icon to be active on the display and include direct-connect IP info gathered from each caller by the FaceTime server.

If the FaceTime item is activated, it will send request to the other device directly, bypassing the server. If accepted by the receiving party, it will finish the handshake and initiate the video over WiFi while still maintaining audio over cellular.
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post #32 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by bettieblue View Post

The fact you need two iPhone 4.0 kind of kills the buzz pretty quick.

The whole event was kind of a let down. We knew most everything from leaks. In fact so many rumors did not come true it had a double negative effect of having knowing so much from leaks and so many rumors being squashed.

Safari 5?
Verizon?
iPad Printing?
Free MobileME?
Mac Pro update?
Mini Update?
Anything Mac/OS X update?
new Apple TV update?

Fizzle...........

So you are saying because Apple din't do what the rumor mill projected, its a fizzle. I wonder what company are you thinking of that runs their business based on rumors around the internet? I'll go with Apple's approach and applaud them for delivering features and products that they are certain will work properly.

If you live your life based on the rumors you listen to on the internet, you will be disappointed every time. How about focusing on what they did deliver. It might make your life a little better.
post #33 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by MeCourious View Post

So you are saying because Apple din't do what the rumor mill projected, its a fizzle. I wonder what company are you thinking of that runs their business based on rumors around the internet? I'll go with Apple's approach and applaud them for delivering features and products that they are certain will work properly.

If you live your life based on the rumors you listen to on the internet, you will be disappointed every time. How about focusing on what they did deliver. It might make your life a little better.

Translation quit reading AppleInsider then?
post #34 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by ernstcs View Post

Can I call my Polycom and Tandberg equipment? That would be nice...

Do they support a video standard that was just announced today? If not, then no.
post #35 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

What?! Sign language to video chat with people on a computing device? I have to give FaceTime a FacePalm if you think that is going to be common use.

Well two things. In 1-2 yrs, FaceTime or similar options will most likely be a standard for new phones coming out.

Secondly, you obviously don't have any deaf family members or observed a deaf person trying to use the phone. This can really advance the ability for deaf individuals to finally communicate with others.
post #36 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by cheops2006 View Post

Facetime = Web Cam Chat WTF is so ground breaking here, oh I know we will change the name of "Web Cam Chat" and trademark the name Facetime. Cracking.....Well done lads heres a bonus....

I love it how everybody has been whining about not having a front-facing camera specifically for video chat, and now that Apple's given it to them, they're all "OMG video chat is teh stoopid." Whatever.
post #37 of 86
I'm not looking forward to the first FaceTime chats that I receive from a bathroom stall >-) or from a moving vehicle. I wonder if you'll be able to record FaceTime calls... or leave video phone messages...
post #38 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppDev View Post

Secondly, you obviously don't have any deaf family members or observed a deaf person trying to use the phone. This can really advance the ability for deaf individuals to finally communicate with others.

Seriously? You can't think of a more useful and efficient way to communicate over computing device when your not in front of something other than a video chat doing sign language? How about this remarkably useful medium called writing. I bet i can write an SMS message to someone much faster and easier than making a phone call, then connecting a video call, then pulling the phone away to do a one-handed sign language to the other party. How can anyone see that as more efficient that writing?
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post #39 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bageljoey View Post

In terms of WiFi only, I imagine it is not just AT&T, but networks around the world thar must be prepared.

The rest of the (GSM-A) world has had video calling for around 7 years. Admittedly at a much lower bitrate but the infrastructure has been there.

Quote:
I still have my doubts as to the usefullness if this feature, but I imagine the load on the networks as everyone tries it out for the first few months would be enoumous! This way, maybe people can get their yayas out on WiFi and then they will open it up when the load dies down...

I've used video calling at it isn't really all that convenient. Holding your phone at the right angle and height is tiresome, plus you need a headset to use it in public. It's never really taken off anywhere in the world.

I'm sure it'll find use but not widely.
post #40 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by bettieblue View Post

The fact you need two iPhone 4.0 kind of kills the buzz pretty quick. The whole event was kind of a let down. We knew most everything from leaks. In fact so many rumors did not come true it had a double negative effect of having knowing so much from leaks and so many rumors being squashed. Fizzle...........

Quote:
Originally Posted by MsNly View Post

We still have a week don't we?

No we don't have all week... This is WWDC it's a developer conference. Period, end of sentence.

The WWDC keynote (the 1st one only) IS the 'publicly' announced news that the world gets from WWDC. That's it. Yes... SOMETIMES it:

- Announces new laptops

- Announces new desktops

- Announces new iPhones

- Announces new iPods (?)

- Announces random non-developer related Apple news.

In seasons past we all but expected news about OS X and we were very surprised when non-developer oriented news was revealed (laptops etc). Over the past few years WWDC has quite clearly morphed into an iPhone and now iOS centric event where 'new iPhones' have usually been revealed. Where in prior WWDCs (pre-iPhone) hardware was almost never 'expected'.

If you were honestly expecting the entire laundry list of 'rumors' to ALL be revealed you clearly never saw a WWDC before... My advice search WWDC 2008, WWDC 2007, WWDC 2006 and see what they are really about. For an even better idea search WWDC 1997, 1998, 1999 or WWDC 2000. Those will show you some idea of what they are like and how every year people just like you post 'major disappointment' posts listing all of the nonsense they were expecting.

Not your fault... you just gotta lean how Apple works.
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