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Inside iPhone 4: FaceTime video calling - Page 2

post #41 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by CU10 View Post



Also, iPod touch update with video chat would be welcome.

I was thinking about that too, but they called FIRST, and then they started facetime. Any thoughts on that?

That's why I don't see them putting it on the Mac either, unless you have a phone in the app, and then switch to facetime.

Another question is whether the phone connection is maintained or not during the process?
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post #42 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by jodyfanning View Post

Of course there is the minor matter that every other 3g phone on the planet already does video calling. It is another standard part of the 3GPP specs that Apple fails to implement.

It's worth considering how video calling via UMTS works before panning Apple. I also think it's worth including some of these details in the main article to (possibly) explain why Apple hasn't chosen to implement the UMTS 'standard' for video calling.

First, a little background. Back in 2003 I worked as an architect for one of the large UK network operators. At this time, the initial roll out of UMTS had been completed, and some 3G handsets were coming on to the market. One of my projects was to assure the solution for provisioning and delivering video calling. I have since left that industry, and it's entirely possible that video calling has advanced since then. Having said that, seeing standard UMTS video calling, I doubt it.

Firstly, current IP networks just do not support video calling very well. Unlike streaming audio or video that can be buffered on the client side, voice calling cannot -- you'd end up with the classic 'satellite delay' issue. See Clive James circa late 80s early 90s for reference! Secondly, you really need a synchronous connection -- the same amount of video is going in both directions, uplink and downlink. Most DSL and high speed packet access wireless networks are asynchronous (with a much faster downlink than uplink). So, taking both these into account, the wireless industry took the seemingly unusual step of deciding to deliver UMTS video calling over a synchronous circuit switched data (CSD) network.

CSD? Sounds a bit 20th Century. Well, it is. But it does get rid of the delay problem of IP4 networks. Sadly, CSD over UMTS cannot support very high data rates. If I recall correctly, we provisioned video calling on the network with a quality of service (QoS) that resulted in 64kbs synchronous. Very very low bandwidth, in other words. On top of this, a highly compressed video codec was chosen (H.263 simple profile). All this is wrapped up in the 3G-324M protocol.

The CSD nature of the bearer means that it's very difficult to interoperate UMTS video calling with IP based systems such as Skype or iChat. This either needs some serious kit on the network operator or IP video calling suppliers end. Frankly not worth it.

This weird hybrid low bandwidth data connection results in the very poor quality of UMTS video calls, and partly explains why it hasn't taken off (I remember my recommendation at the time -- despite using a very low res screen on a cheap Samsung phone for testing -- was that VC wasn't ready for production).

While some IP based video calling applications are available for smartphones, they generally just use the standard data bearer provided by your network. and suffer the same QoS issues that don't matter so much for email and web browsing. This is why these are currently crap.

So, I can understand why Apple didn't want to follow either of the above routes. FaceTime seems to have the following goals:
  • Interoperate (eventually) with Internet VC (e.g. iChat, AIM, possibly Skype)
  • Provide a higher bandwidth than is possible via CSD UMTS video calling (thus higher resolution, faster frame-rates, and better colour than 3G-324M)
  • Provide specific QoS commensurate with the needs of VC (which is what I guess Apple is working with AT&T on)
If others have more up to date information on VC on mobile, I'm happy to be corrected. But, before people have a go at Apple, or claim they've had VC on their {insert name of crappy Nokia handset here} for years, please try and understand the issues...
post #43 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by shubidua View Post

I was thinking about that too, but they called FIRST, and then they started facetime. Any thoughts on that?

That's why I don't see them putting it on the Mac either, unless you have a phone in the app, and then switch to facetime.

Another question is whether the phone connection is maintained or not during the process?

Yes, that is also my question. If the phone call is used just to start-up the FaceTime over wifi, then this would be awesome for us consumers, since we wouldn't have to maintain expensive voice calls; awesome for Apple, because they would really get us heavy-using their new open standard; awful for the mobile network operators, because we would spend less on calls. They would have to really rush for improving their networks and allowing FaceTime over 3G in order to at least collect data usage from us. That would eventually make them mobile bandwidth providers and en up burying normal voice calling once the connection / NAT issues are resolved with wide implementation of IPv6.

That would be too good to be true, I'm afraid... If the phone call needs to be maintained, and on top of it we can only do it over wifi, then FaceTime is not really an alternative to Skype, and I think the real use of it will be very limited.
post #44 of 95
Oh, they made breathtaking progress since then. It's now 150kbps synchronous.

We mean Apple no harm.

People are lovers, basically. -- Engadget livebloggers at the iPad mini event.

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We mean Apple no harm.

People are lovers, basically. -- Engadget livebloggers at the iPad mini event.

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post #45 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by RichyS View Post

It's worth considering how video calling via UMTS works before panning Apple. I also think it's worth including some of these details in the main article to (possibly) explain why Apple hasn't chosen to implement the UMTS 'standard' for video calling.

First, a little background. Back in 2003 I worked as an architect for one of the large UK network operators. At this time, the initial roll out of UMTS had been completed, and some 3G handsets were coming on to the market. One of my projects was to assure the solution for provisioning and delivering video calling. I have since left that industry, and it's entirely possible that video calling has advanced since then. Having said that, seeing standard UMTS video calling, I doubt it.

Firstly, current IP networks just do not support video calling very well. Unlike streaming audio or video that can be buffered on the client side, voice calling cannot -- you'd end up with the classic 'satellite delay' issue. See Clive James circa late 80s early 90s for reference! Secondly, you really need a synchronous connection -- the same amount of video is going in both directions, uplink and downlink. Most DSL and high speed packet access wireless networks are asynchronous (with a much faster downlink than uplink). So, taking both these into account, the wireless industry took the seemingly unusual step of deciding to deliver UMTS video calling over a synchronous circuit switched data (CSD) network.

CSD? Sounds a bit 20th Century. Well, it is. But it does get rid of the delay problem of IP4 networks. Sadly, CSD over UMTS cannot support very high data rates. If I recall correctly, we provisioned video calling on the network with a quality of service (QoS) that resulted in 64kbs synchronous. Very very low bandwidth, in other words. On top of this, a highly compressed video codec was chosen (H.263 simple profile). All this is wrapped up in the 3G-324M protocol.

The CSD nature of the bearer means that it's very difficult to interoperate UMTS video calling with IP based systems such as Skype or iChat. This either needs some serious kit on the network operator or IP video calling suppliers end. Frankly not worth it.

This weird hybrid low bandwidth data connection results in the very poor quality of UMTS video calls, and partly explains why it hasn't taken off (I remember my recommendation at the time -- despite using a very low res screen on a cheap Samsung phone for testing -- was that VC wasn't ready for production).

While some IP based video calling applications are available for smartphones, they generally just use the standard data bearer provided by your network. and suffer the same QoS issues that don't matter so much for email and web browsing. This is why these are currently crap.

So, I can understand why Apple didn't want to follow either of the above routes. FaceTime seems to have the following goals:
  • Interoperate (eventually) with Internet VC (e.g. iChat, AIM, possibly Skype)
  • Provide a higher bandwidth than is possible via CSD UMTS video calling (thus higher resolution, faster frame-rates, and better colour than 3G-324M)
  • Provide specific QoS commensurate with the needs of VC (which is what I guess Apple is working with AT&T on)
If others have more up to date information on VC on mobile, I'm happy to be corrected. But, before people have a go at Apple, or claim they've had VC on their {insert name of crappy Nokia handset here} for years, please try and understand the issues...

I guess they can use HSPA for vcalling, and not CS?! That's IP afterall, gives a good enough uplink bandwidth for a video session, so it shall work... I guess.
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post #46 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by Avidfcp View Post

I still think apple is missing the midrange desktop with pci cards or at least express skots for the prosumer audio/ editor types. 4-8 cores. I7. Non ECC Ram. Headless. Look how many music software apps and video apps there are. The user base is huge. That said, I would like to see appe start to develop iWeb into a pro product. Work on fcp and logic updates allthe time. Don't let titles die and make motionas string as after effects.

iWeb Pro would be very welcome. Since Adobe took over Macromedia they have racked up their prices beyond belief. Also, I know it's off topic but what happened to iLife 10 and iWork 10? Is Apple going to keep it's annual updates or do we have to wait until 2011 instead?
post #47 of 95
wow RichyS, thanks for the very informative post.

i was sure that apple was going to release iChat along with the new iphone. hopefully they will release it this fall when along with itunes-in-the-cloud and free basic mobile me. fingers crossed!
post #48 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Apple wants to make mobile video chat an open standard for interoperable video chat sessions, so it adopted the neutral FaceTime name rather than calling the service iChat, which is very much an Apple-sounding name.

Great article, but you don't see the relation between QuickTime (very "Apple-sounding") and FaceTime? That was my first association upon hearing that name.
post #49 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Apple similarly pushed Internet email on the iPhone in preference to SMS and MMS mobile standards, which continue to charge archaic per message fees wildly out of proportion to the actual amount of data they deliver.

No they do not.

To get E-Mail to replace SMS/MMS you need to get your E-Mail rigth away.
They have suport for MS Exchange. but most mail servers do not support that (Not an Open Standart)
So they need to support IDLE-IMAP/PUSH-IMAP
And they need to do it on sub folders as well.
(There MS Exchange has the same problem)
If you run mail filters on your mail server, you wont get notic real time, if the mail go to a sub folder.
YOU NEED TO GET REAL TIME NOTICH when you get a E-Mail if it wants to replace SMS/MMS

And then you can customize the sound you when you get a SMS/MMS and you can see it on you lock screen.

The sound for E-Mail, if low, and short, and easy so over hear. And you do not get any info on you lock screen.

So if they want E-Mail to replace SMS/MMS. Then they have to do some work, so it can compeat with it.

Personly I can't see how it can replace SMS. But MMS, would be easy to replase
post #50 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2992 View Post

I guess they can use HSPA for vcalling, and not CS?! That's IP afterall, gives a good enough uplink bandwidth for a video session, so it shall work... I guess.

HSPA (specifically the HSUPA element of it) will help. But, roll out of HSUPA is still patchy, and you still get severe latency issues (compared to WiFi) that cause delay.

It would be interesting to see if someone can get FaceTime to work over and HSPA network, and compare the quality to a 11n WiFi connected call (disclaimer: I've not seen FaceTime in action).
post #51 of 95
I think he decided the last minute to announce Face to Face - as a way to offset the "Nothing we haven't seen or read over the last 2 months (leak photo's and such) dilemma". Which is why it's not yet available or what everyone is hoping it would be when rolled out.

I don't know about you,

- but no OS up-date information at a developers conference?

This could easily to retitled the WIPC (World iPhone Conference)

Ok, so how long before Apple splits the company into 2 or 3 parts.

1) Computer (or maybe they just close this part down)
2) idivision
3) Software and other parts

Get ready for the all new iApple company

Skip
post #52 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shaun, UK View Post

Also, I know it's off topic but what happened to iLife 10 and iWork 10? Is Apple going to keep it's annual updates or do we have to wait until 2011 instead?

I'm expecting an update which makes use of some of the snow leopard goodies (OpenCL, GCD). I don't know if they are still written in Carbon or if they are cocoa. In any case I think they do some major work on them, and it takes time. iWork X and iLife X should be out this year, and IMO they will rock!

P.S. I don't know how they will handle compatibility with Leopard (my guess is PPC and Tiger support will be dropped).
"Put your hand on a hot stove for a minute, and it seems like an hour. Sit with a pretty girl for an hour, and it seems like a minute. THAT'S relativity." - Albert Einstein
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"Put your hand on a hot stove for a minute, and it seems like an hour. Sit with a pretty girl for an hour, and it seems like a minute. THAT'S relativity." - Albert Einstein
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post #53 of 95
So basically because one phone company can't handle network traffic, they've crippled FaceTime to Wi-Fi for the rest of us. That doesn't exactly help spur innovation.

All it does it help save AT&T/Apple from embarrassment. This is just like imposing a trade block or a tariff barrier to prevent local industry from being the best it can be.

The best thing Apple could do it make it 3G and create maximum pressure to get that network right.
post #54 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by shubidua View Post

I'm expecting an update which makes use of some of the snow leopard goodies (OpenCL, GCD). I don't know if they are still written in Carbon or if they are cocoa. In any case I think they do some major work on them, and it takes time. iWork X and iLife X should be out this year, and IMO they will rock!

P.S. I don't know how they will handle compatibility with Leopard (my guess is PPC and Tiger support will be dropped).

It's OT, but what type of specific new functionality is likely to be part of the new iLife?
post #55 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by RichyS View Post

If others have more up to date information on VC on mobile, I'm happy to be corrected. But, before people have a go at Apple, or claim they've had VC on their {insert name of crappy Nokia handset here} for years, please try and understand the issues...

You didn't really cover any issues with video calls on current phones, you just talked about your experiences around the time it originally started, we are currently six years past that, how relevant is what you said to today?

Also, why single out Nokia, just about all UTMS phones have video call functionality, the iPhone was just about the only one excluding this feature.
post #56 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by jfanning View Post

You didn't really cover any issues with video calls on current phones, you just talked about your experiences around the time it originally started, we are currently six years past that, how relevant is what you said to today?

Pretty relevant, I think.

Let's face it, VC hasn't taken off. At all. So, can any operator build a business case around radically improving the service? I doubt it. Aside from a small bump in bandwidth (from 64kbps synchronous to 150kps synch) that someone stated above, UMTS video calling is still basically the same.
post #57 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by benice View Post

It's OT, but what type of specific new functionality is likely to be part of the new iLife?

Not expecting any features in particular, but as shown in other major overhauls (like snow leopard, safari and iTunes) the overall performance can increase in important ways. So I'm expecting some under the hood improvements in these applications as well. Currently the whole iLife, iWork suites are rather sluggish on my early 2008 mid-range Macbook.
"Put your hand on a hot stove for a minute, and it seems like an hour. Sit with a pretty girl for an hour, and it seems like a minute. THAT'S relativity." - Albert Einstein
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"Put your hand on a hot stove for a minute, and it seems like an hour. Sit with a pretty girl for an hour, and it seems like a minute. THAT'S relativity." - Albert Einstein
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post #58 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by RichyS View Post

Pretty relevant, I think.

Let's face it, VC hasn't taken off. At all. So, can any operator build a business case around radically improving the service? I doubt it. Aside from a small bump in bandwidth (from 64kbps synchronous to 150kps synch) that someone stated above, UMTS video calling is still basically the same.

Well in saying that, I am at a loss to think why Apple can change this, the user experience will be exactly the same, so if people aren't doing it now, why will they do it when it is limited to one device?
post #59 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by libertyforall View Post

I see no reason the iPhone 3GS should not also have Facetime support, even though it has just one camera...

Because with only one camera, on the back, you can't see the screen and shoot video of yourself at the same time. I suppose someone could make an accessory that consists of a set of mirrors that clips onto your iPhone and allows you to do that, but...
post #60 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by jfanning View Post

Well in saying that, I am at a loss to think why Apple can change this, the user experience will be exactly the same, so if people aren't doing it now, why will they do it when it is limited to one device?

It has to be remembered that Apple do have a significant amount of power with most of the major networks right now. They all want a bit of the Apple 'magic' to rub off on them.

Firstly: I'm not sure why you think the UX will be the same. UMTS VC is rubbish. FaceTime seems to run at a far higher bandwidth (higher res, frame rate and better colour). This UX cannot be delivered using traditional VC.

Secondly: the networks have stuck with a VC solution that was designed in the late 90s because there has been no reason to change. Devices haven't offered a new way of doing VC. Customer take up has been slow. In fact, anecdotally, I'd say there are fewer handsets with front facing cameras now than there were in 2004/5. There simply hasn't been a business case for change. Where other offerings have come along (Skype, etc.), these have been seen as a threat as they use resources (bandwidth) and cannot easily be monetised above and beyond a basic data plan. For this reason, SIP and similar protocols are blocked by most networks.

Thirdly: Apple devices sell sufficiently, to customers with a sufficiently high ARPU, for it to be possible to build a business case around the proposition. This will be particularly so if the networks can charge (either in terms of bundled minutes, or 'add ons' or even per second) for it. Then it becomes a convenience thing (you're not near a WiFi hotspot) and people are willing to pay for that. That's why I bought a 3G iPad (despite not having actually used the 3G aspect yet!). I know I can jailbreak my iPhone to create a wireless Hotspot, but it's less convenient.

Now, I'm not saying any of this will happen. A lot of operators will think it not worth it (not every operator ranging the iPhone offers Visual Voicemail, for instance -- even though that's dead easy, you only need an IMAP email server and a bit of configuration of your SMSC). But Apple have a habit of making things happen with operators. Even ones as recalcitrant as AT&T!
post #61 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleSwitcher View Post

Yes, that is also my question. If the phone call is used just to start-up the FaceTime over wifi, then this would be awesome for us consumers, since we wouldn't have to maintain expensive voice calls; awesome for Apple, because they would really get us heavy-using their new open standard; awful for the mobile network operators, because we would spend less on calls.

I also worry about that. I tried to tell from the demo - it starts as a phone call and switches to Facetime. The video was jumpy but audio was perfect so might have been using the cell network... BUT he barely spoke so not enough to tell. If the phone call was dropped it did it seamlessly, there was no evidence of it dropping. BUT, the Facetime icon was there before the call started even if it wasn't used, and the standards show support of AAC which is the audio component of the video conference.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ncee View Post

Ok, so how long before Apple splits the company into 2 or 3 parts.

1) Computer (or maybe they just close this part down)
2) idivision
3) Software and other parts

Nah, didn't happen 10 years ago, won't happen now. Though I'd kind of like to see Apple spin off a majority-owned "Business Computing" division - MacPros, server stuff, filemaker, and a solutions consultancy. Mainly so that a separate management can focus on that kind of thing - Apple has some good products for that market but not much interest.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shaun, UK View Post

iWeb Pro would be very welcome... Also.. what happened to iLife 10 and iWork 10? Is Apple going to keep it's annual updates or do we have to wait until 2011 instead?

Yes I was hoping for that. Guess they know they need to add iAds into iWeb, and integrate the two iMovies

Quote:
Originally Posted by benice View Post

It's OT, but what type of specific new functionality is likely to be part of the new iLife?

iPhoto: remove slideshows - instead create a 'movie' in iMovie, from photos, with exactly the same easy steps (no need to separate those!). Make "Photo iBooks" as well as printable books

iMovie: slideshows (as above). Show the length of the clip visually like the iPhone version does! Same picture enhancements as iPhoto. Enhance audio quality. Automatic beat finding. Not a lot really.
... Perhaps FinalCutExpress should become a natural inbetween from Pro to iMovie? Oh, it'd be nice if they fixed HD exports to current AppleTV (I have to manually specify 720p25) but that won't rate as important.
... perhaps exporting of low quality video for off-line (on-iPad) editing, that's later mastered on the Mac?

iWeb -newer standards of course. Otherwise I think mainly an integration with the other apps. Options to show latest updates of photos (auto updates, like it does on MobileMe), lists of recently purchased music, most listened to songs?, recent movies, favourite youtube, iCal calendars etc.

iDVD.. hard to describe
1) like now, but create a HD/720p menu that can be shared onto iPads, AppleTVs etc (your own or via the web). ie: Instead of just publishing a Quicktime movie to friends, publish a whole DVD structure including the movies.
....maybe it should merge with iWeb?
2) burn HD 720p with menus onto a REGULAR DVD using h264 files (bluray compatible)
3) bluray?

That's about it.
(in iWork, pages could make ePub iBooks!)
post #62 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by shubidua View Post

I'm expecting an update which makes use of some of the snow leopard goodies (OpenCL, GCD). I don't know if they are still written in Carbon or if they are cocoa. In any case I think they do some major work on them, and it takes time. iWork X and iLife X should be out this year, and IMO they will rock!

P.S. I don't know how they will handle compatibility with Leopard (my guess is PPC and Tiger support will be dropped).

Don't know anything for sure, but I'm rather certain that the iWork suite is too new to have been started in Carbon.
Next version will most probably require Snow Leopard due to all the under-the-hood changes and will only come out with the next full release of OS X. SL was an interim release that no-one really way required to get because there are no (not so many) user features. It is there so Apple can, with the next full OS X version, make use of all the great new under-the-hood features and still claim they do support both the latest and the previous OS version.

I hope they'll get the next full version of iTunes (iTunes X) right, too. It's a mess of a program right now. And again, it won't run on Leopard any more.
post #63 of 95
The article was a good read because it covered only the obvious but didn't go into the details. From what it says, I can't even tell what's the difference between Facetime video chat and iChat video chat. And the article's reference to old UMTS video chat as provided on the early UMTS phones 5 years ago (at least here in Europe) is misleading:
  • Apparently, Facetime uses the ordinary phone line connection (2G or 3G) for voice and the internet only for video. That's a HUGE barrier to ever join iChat and Facetime.
  • UMTS video chat has never taken off because it was standard phone calls with video slapped on it. Carriers (here in Germany) made the video part free to lure peope in for a while, but then charged huge surcharges. That's not today's world any more.
  • I doubt that video chat over 3G would be a bandwith issue for carriers here in Europe. Apparently, Europe (in this rare case) is ahead of the US. WiFi video chat is almost useless here because there are (in Germany) almost no WiFi hotspots around and even if you have WiFi at work (rarely; usually it's just LAN) then video calling would almost certainly be blocked. So why use video chat with the iPhone 4 at home if I could also use iChat, MSN, Skype, Google Talk or whatever on my computer all of which don't require two (!!) latest-generation iPhones to work?
  • Not allowing video chat over 3G for bandwith reasons is totally inconsistent with allowing apps download, Youtube video, Pandora and all other streaming services. I know those aren't plagued by latency issues, but most latency comes from the IP connection over the internet anyway and not from the carrier-side 3G connection and therefore applies to WiFi VC, too (as evidenced in Steve's demo).
post #64 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by shubidua View Post

Not expecting any features in particular, but as shown in other major overhauls (like snow leopard, safari and iTunes) the overall performance can increase in important ways. So I'm expecting some under the hood improvements in these applications as well. Currently the whole iLife, iWork suites are rather sluggish on my early 2008 mid-range Macbook.

Thanks. Got to say it's the same here on a Macbook Pro. Spinning beachball is pretty common everytime I use iPhoto for instance, despite 2GB of ram. Not sure if all the latest machines with 4GB fixes it, but I'm still inclined to think that it's lazy code that is making it sluggish.
post #65 of 95
When 3 launced there 3G network in Denmark. You could get free video chat between 3's phones. (They were the only ones that had 3G network that time so not a problem)

But it did not realy catch on.

1) You have no privacy if using it in public.
You are holding you phone a arms length in front of you, and if the all that you are saying, and the one you are talking to is loud enough to everyone around to hear it.
That gives you no privacy, and is irretating people around you.

2) People are getting headset becouse they don't want to hold a phone up to there ear and want to use the hands to something else.
Now you want people to hold a phone in arms length doing the conversation.
People will get tired in there arm, and will set it on a desk, og get a holder for it.


So if you only uses the video chat when you are alone, and maybe with a stand/set on a desk etc.
Then you can just as well use a computer.
That way you will also get a bigger screen.
post #66 of 95
Informative article. Well written

As soon as I saw the keynote I thought, "Apple will have freshman Jimmy FaceTime calling his nanna who's using an iPad in her nursing home".

I think iPad 2.0 will really kick off the FaceTime calling, rather than the iPhone.
post #67 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by noshjewman View Post

I am all in favour of 'facetime' once it can work with desktop clients, and ideally also with non iPhones.
I just want to point out that the argument above is, (SMS at least), untrue in all but a few situations.
I know that US SMS fees can be ridiculous, but for the most part texting (Europe, Asia) is essentially free. Most iPhone tariffs here in the UK - and most mobile phone contract tariffs - include a vast number of texts. On the other hand, e-mails are not an immediate form of communication to most people. My mum doesn't get e-mails on her phone, my dad gets so many he is liable to ignore them. SMS have a different purpose, and Apple was wrong.

With FaceTime I hope that they are right: or rather, I hope that they get past the teething problems so that we can integrate with iChat/Skype/Fring/whatever. I know that many people will not use it, but many of us (busy parents or people with international friends and relatives) will.

here in the US SMS/MMS are fee'd even though they utilize cell network overhead networking and not the main voice/data switching networks. Most carriers offer free texting to try and pull in new subscribers - and can do so because the texting protocols don't offer much in the way of traffic on the overhead - it's an easy win. So it is true here in the US almost universally - and since the author is US-based the bias is understandable. And frankly it doesn't really matter which communication system you use - if it is annoying or bothersome - it gets ignored.
post #68 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by vrkiran View Post

I have many questions, no answers:

1. If Apple is really trying to open up the standard, why not enable FaceTime to iChat conversation, with both video and audio? Why limit it to iPhone 4 <=> iPhone 4?

Why does Apple limit anything out of the gate? They generally always keep the first iteration of a service or feature as basic and easy to use as possible, to help the average user get used to using it - first gen iPhone, cut/copy/paste, multitasking - see the pattern here? As Jobs alluded to in the keynote, they also have limited resources to use to develop with and solve issues - so they will always start simple and add features and complexity once they have the concept well-based and functioning the way they want.

Quote:
2. Why not allow iPhone 3GS to iPhone 4 conversation? Remember that iPhone 3GS has the rear camera, that could be enough for many situations? I will not buy the argument that iPhone 3GS CPU is not capable enough. Just last year, it was the *screaming fast* processor, remember?

Again as Jobs mentioned in the keynote, the API was built around the iPhone 4 hardware, not the 3GS hardware, the API may recognize the 3GS camera, but it probably looks for the required front-facing cam to determine suitability for use - which the 3GS does not have. Makes sense to me. It looks pretty silly to be flipping the 3GS back and forth as you try to cam yourself and then see the other person on the screen.

Quote:
3. Why there is no mention about third party apps? Can they use the cameras to do a FaceTime like app? For instance, can Skype make use of the cameras?

Given that it was just introduced and the API just released, it seems a bit premature to me to be running it out to the other apps - a bit of patience on your part may yield the suitable engagement by third party devs for it.

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4. Why no mention about any overlapped *text* communication? Many times its easier to copy_paste some text rather than spell it out during a audio/video conversation?

This one I don't even understand. If you want to do that why not just SMS the info while you are Facetiming? Remember you have multitasking coming to iOS 4, so its pretty much a given.

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I love Apple, but let's face it, it's not playing the "open" standards game for world peace.

I was first tempted to throw a "DUH!" at this comment, but then I wondered why would this even be important - at what point did Apple ever say it was going to be an open and free savior to the whole world? Apple from the beginning - and I think Jobs has mentioned this several times in his keynotes - has made no bones about being in business to make the best product they can for the average consumer to use - in other words for profit and not altruistic. So if using open source means that they can offer a desireable feature AND drive wide acceptance of the underlying services via open source - why not? They AND others benefit, but mostly it's about what they want to offer, as a designer and manufacturer of consumer electronic products. Simply like a win-win situation.

post #69 of 95
I'm convinced, as some have mentioned here, that FaceTime will always be for phone to phone conversations. As Steve said, "no buddy lists"-- that has been the barrier to entry for lots of people. I set up my mother on Skype and she never uses it because she can't even remember that it is called "Skype", find and launch the app for it, her skype name and password, my skype name, etc etc.

A phone number solves all that. Grandma knows your phone number but will never be able to use Skype (yes, many do, but I'll bet it took several tries and patience on your part to set her up). Whether Grandma has wifi is another matter-- but in a few years FaceTime will work on the cellular networks and everyone will have phones that support the protocol, if this pans out the way Apple is expecting.

Strangely, FaceTime could be the thing that finally makes me buy an iPhone. I don't want the 2 year expensive contract so have tried to survive on prepaid phones + iPod Touch or iPad. But the iPod Touch and iPad cannot be reached by calling a phone number. As long as one's phone number is the only way Grandma can contact you, you'll be at the carrier's mercy. Of course, someday Grandmas will be a little more tech savvy, but still, the simplicity of the phone call cannot be underestimated.
post #70 of 95
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Originally Posted by jodyfanning View Post

Of course there is the minor matter that every other 3g phone on the planet already does video calling. It is another standard part of the 3GPP specs that Apple fails to implement.

...just sayin'.

Really - I have yet to see anyone using 3GPP vid calling with anything approaching satisfaction - just because you have the capability to do it doesn't mean that it is widely used or popular - right? It remains to be seen if Apple can shake out the sillies and get the average consumer to use this via Facetime as a "better" solution. Let's keep in mind that other companies were making tablets before Apple introduced the iPad, other comapnies were making touch screens before the iPhone/iPod Touch, other companies were making mp3 players before the iPod. What continuing theme can you detect here?
post #71 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by apfel View Post

Jabber (XMPP) + VoIP + Video + ...

Jingle is an extension to the Extensible Messaging and Presence Protocol (XMPP). It implements peer-to-peer (P2P) session control (signaling) for multimedia interactions such as in Voice over Internet Protocol or videoconferencing communications. It was designed by Google and the XMPP Standards Foundation. The multimedia streams are delivered using the Real-time Transport Protocol (RTP). If needed, NAT traversal is assisted using Interactive Connectivity Establishment (ICE).
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jingle_(protocol)


Unlike most instant messaging protocols, XMPP is an open standard. Like e-mail, it is an open system where anyone who has a domain name and a suitable Internet connection can run their own XMPP server and talk to users on other servers. The standard server implementations and many clients are also free and open source software.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Extensi...sence_Protocol

What Apple is really bringing is video, current xmpp opensource video solutions are just absolutely pathetic. You either have to pay tons of money for a proprietary corporate solution, get stuck in a web browser with google (still proprietary), or use flash based red5 solutions.

I am really hoping this takes off, it's about time someone gave video conferencing a kick in the consumer direction & out of the proprietary world of corporation only solutions. Hopefully this actually gets implemented into SIP standards for phone systems.
post #72 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by maccherry View Post

Video calling is crap anyway!

Troll!
post #73 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by masternav View Post

...just sayin'.

Really - I have yet to see anyone using 3GPP vid calling with anything approaching satisfaction - just because you have the capability to do it doesn't mean that it is widely used or popular - right? It remains to be seen if Apple can shake out the sillies and get the average consumer to use this via Facetime as a "better" solution. Let's keep in mind that other companies were making tablets before Apple introduced the iPad, other comapnies were making touch screens before the iPhone/iPod Touch, other companies were making mp3 players before the iPod. What continuing theme can you detect here?

Agreed, FaceTime has the wow factor, something no other video chat solution I've seen so far has had. It's the chatter this will create in the consumer market that will push it through. I predict FaceTime will be a huge success with or without industry support. Apple has enough clout & consumer approval now that FaceTime could easily be a resounding success even without industry adoption and the only losers in such a situation would be the businesses that don't jump at the chance to bring this feature to their own system.
post #74 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

..... Jobs presented an "alphabet soup" of technologies that were involved in making FaceTime work, many of which are shared with iChat AV, including:

H.264 and AAC, its ISO/MPEG video and audio codecs (just like iChat).
SIP (Session Initiation Protocol), the open IETF signaling protocol for VoIP used by iChat AV.
STUN (Session Traversal Utilities for NAT), an IETF standard for dealing with lots of different kinds of NAT.
TURN (Traversal Using Relay NAT), an IETF standard for allowing a client behind NAT to receive incoming requests like a server.
ICE (Interactive Connectivity Establishment) an IETF standard which helps set up connections through NAT firewalls.
RTP (Real-time Transport Protocol), an iETF standard for delivering media streams in VoIP.
SRTP (Secure RTP) an IETF standard designed to provide encryption, message authentication and integrity for the data streams.

........ iPhone VoIP apps, such as Fring, support both Skype's proprietary protocol and can support alternative open network protocols such as SIP. That makes it likely that Fring or other companies could actually create multiple-network VoIP apps that support both Skype and the standards-based FaceTime.


Daniel, thanks again for an illuminating article. There is one thing however that you didn't explain and I am curious about:

SIP is part of the Soup of Protocols that FaceTime uses for video calls. The I stands for "initiation", it is something you use to START a VOIP call. What I am curious about and fascinated by is the fact that you are already in a mobile phone call over a 3G phone network, but that the video goes over a WiFi network.

This means that, during a mobile phone call, your phones must be doing some communicating on their own. They must discover that they are both iPhone 4's and each has access to a WiFi network. Then they must exchange information about their network's routing protocols, IP addresses etc., until they decide they have the capability of doing video. At that point they must "initiate" the video connection by asking the caller or recipient to start or accept the video call, and then the two phones are connected both over the 3g mobile network and the internet via WiFi.

Some comments suggest that the voice remains over the3g mobile network while the video goes over the internet via WiFi. I haven't seen proof of this, so an alternative possibility is that both video and audio transition from mobile 3G to internet WiFi.

Either way, making use of these two completely separate data paths, and if it works as advertised, making the transition seamless, is surely a major achievement. Is Apple the first company ever to do this?

I use Skype for both audio and video calls, and before we got iPhones my wife and I used our NTT DoCoMo Motorola RAZR's to have "video chat" calls, sometimes around the world. In both cases audio often exhibits delays and echos and video is very blurred unless you learn to keep still and move very slowly. Remembering all the controls you had to use to make and receive calls was a real pain resulting in lost calls, so by the time I got an iPhone, losing that video capability wasn't much of a loss.

If Apple can make the whole thing work as seamlessly and at the quality implied by their movies, and if enough people use it, they will surely succeed in making this ubiquitous.

Oh, and one more thing. Did Apple just create the FIRST EVER PHONE FOR THE DEAF? Even Apple may not have realised that "Face Time" video calling is what may have previously seemed impossible (let alone "magical" or "revolutionary").

Talk about ACCESSIBILITY!!!
post #75 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tardis View Post

What I am curious about and fascinated by is the fact that you are already in a mobile phone call over a 3G phone network, but that the video goes over a WiFi network.

2G (or even 3G) + WiFi + encoding/decoding H264 continuously + the screen is on = HUGE battery drain.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tardis View Post

Oh, and one more thing. Did Apple just create the FIRST EVER PHONE FOR THE DEAF?

No.
post #76 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post

...Turning around the iPhone 3Gs for video conferencing? Are you serious?

Well, one could stand in front of a mirror . I'm only half-joking.

In actuality, a small prismatic attachment would enable the 3Gs camera to see the caller. It could be built into a case, or made as an attachment to a case.
post #77 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by Naboozle View Post

Well, one could stand in front of a mirror . I'm only half-joking.

In actuality, a small prismatic attachment would enable the 3Gs camera to see the caller. It could be built into a case, or made as an attachment to a case.

Absolutely...I was talking about this with my wife over the weekend.

Where the heck are all those iPhone peripheral manufacturers w/ this thing...plug it into the headphone jack to mount a reverse periscopic viewer for the camera, hell put a led-backlight in there to boost the image if you have to.

Or, hell, add a camera via a top mount likewise, just as they added a microphone to the iPod (i.e.: http://www.ilounge.com/index.php/rev...-adapter-ipod/ ) Why NOT is more the question...?!! The right company/designer could make it ergonomic/sexy as well as functional. Looks like Griffin just needs to take their existing product a couple of steps further... http://www.griffintechnology.com/products/clarifi

Needlessly disposable tech is criminal imho. 3GS should have at LEAST two more years of full functionality in it--just update the OS or add an app and bang, 'FaceTime'!
post #78 of 95
If you start with a phone call and then add video, does voice and video switch to Wi-fi, or does voice continue over cell and video over wi-fi? Seems like it would be difficult to maintain voice synchronization with the latter approach.

If you are in a builiding without a cell signal, can you not do a video chat? That would be very limiting.
post #79 of 95
So what, Factime supports BOTH front and back cameras! That is NOT a reason for lack of iPhone 3GS compatibility! \


Quote:
Originally Posted by anonymouse View Post

Because with only one camera, on the back, you can't see the screen and shoot video of yourself at the same time. I suppose someone could make an accessory that consists of a set of mirrors that clips onto your iPhone and allows you to do that, but...
post #80 of 95
I believe they are using some OOB (Out Of Band) signaling over cellular to get things configured between points, there was a recent Apple patent on this, as I recall...


Quote:
Originally Posted by Tardis View Post

This means that, during a mobile phone call, your phones must be doing some communicating on their own. They must discover that they are both iPhone 4's and each has access to a WiFi network. Then they must exchange information about their network's routing protocols, IP addresses etc., until they decide they have the capability of doing video. At that point they must "initiate" the video connection by asking the caller or recipient to start or accept the video call, and then the two phones are connected both over the 3g mobile network and the internet via WiFi.
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