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iOS 4.1 beta supports for mobile-free FaceTime via email iOS 4.1 beta supports for mobile-free...

post #1 of 67
Thread Starter 
New support in the developer beta 3 release of iOS 4.1 allows users to make FaceTime video calls without needing a phone number or mobile service, strengthening the case for FaceTime support on iPod touch, iPad and Macs.

When Apple announced FaceTime as a feature on iPhone 4, chief executive Steve Jobs indicated that it would soon be available on tens of millions of devices and that the standard would be opened up for third parties to implement.

The current FaceTime system on iPhone 4 is tied to the user's phone number, making it easy to initiate video calls without setting up an account. In order to bring the feature to other devices, including the iPod touch, iPad, and Macs, FaceTime needs an alternative way to discover and connect with users.

AppleInsider indicated this would likely happen in conjunction with a MobileMe account, which Apple already uses to enable Mac users to remotely find and connect to shared files and other services on their home systems via the "Back to My Mac" feature.

FaceTime with mobile service

Previous articles noted that FaceTime on iPhone 4 only used the mobile network to discover the remote user, meaning that FaceTime sessions did not use cell minutes.

Additionally, it was later discovered that FaceTime only needs a mobile connection to initially register the user, meaning that subsequent calls to a user could take place even when there was no mobile service available.

Last month, company executives dodged a question about when FaceTime would expand beyond iPhone 4 to reach other mobile devices and or Windows and Mac desktop systems. However, a report by BGR noted that the initial 4.1 beta contained support for associating FaceTime calls with an email address.

According to a new report by Eric Slivka of Mac Rumors, the latest iOS 4.1 beta 3 includes a streamlined interface for initiating FaceTime calls, prompting the user to connect via a phone number or email address (below).



Set to be an open standard

Connecting via email would enable FaceTime on forthcoming new models of iPod touch, which are already rumored to include a front facing camera that would be primarily suited for video calls. The beta graphics also indicate the forthcoming iPod touch 4 is likely to include the same Retina Display as iPhone 4.

Adding support for FaceTime via an email account would also enable Apple to bring FaceTime support to iChat AV on the Mac, which already shares nearly identical video chat technology. This would give Apple a leg up on competing, proprietary video chat networks such as Skype, which currently does not support video chat from mobile devices, or Fring, which was banned by Skype from making mobile to desktop calls via its VoIP network.

Adding iChat AV support would immediately open FaceTime to around 30 million Mac users. It could potentially increase interest among iPhone 4 and new iPod touch 4 users in buying Macs as well. Apple has also announced official intent to open the FaceTime technical specifications to other vendors to allow compatible video calls between any mobile devices.

However, despite the existence of open standards in other areas, including Jabber text instant messaging, there has not been a widespread adoption of open IM across vendors. Yahoo, Microsoft, and AOL IM all continue to maintain their own closed, proprietary IM chat networks while mobile phone operators similarly cling to paid SMS. Only Apple and Google have embraced open Jabber IM.

However, with Skype being the primary video chat network available, and because it does not currently officially support video chat between mobile devices, Apple's FaceTime standard has a much greater opportunity to quickly become the de facto standard for video conferencing. Apple's FaceTime is almost entirely based on IETF standards already, making it very easy for existing video conferencing vendors to support the specification.
post #2 of 67
FaceTime on: iPhone 4, iPod Touch 4G, iPad 2G, iChat 10.7/10.6.5 by the end of this year.
my $0.02
post #3 of 67
Time to start shorting AT&T and Verizon.
post #4 of 67
Sounds good - bring it on.


Also, FaceTime works great over 3G.
post #5 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe hs View Post

FaceTime on: iPhone 4, iPod Touch 4G, iPad 2G, iChat 10.7/10.6.5 by the end of this year.
my $0.02

Completely agree. 2010 will be known as "The year of Face Time".

For every company besides Apple it will be known as a huge Face Palm.
post #6 of 67
That makes a lot of sense. I just hope Apple would create an address book category for people in my contacts who have FaceTime.

How long before Apple release VOIP service (FaceTime without video)?
post #7 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by NasserAE View Post

That makes a lot of sense. I just hope Apple would create an address book category for people in my contacts who have FaceTime.

How long before Apple release VOIP service (FaceTime without video)?

voicetime you say? :P
post #8 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by NasserAE View Post

That makes a lot of sense. I just hope Apple would create an address book category for people in my contacts who have FaceTime.

How long before Apple release VOIP service (FaceTime without video)?

I could be wrong, but I don't see the point in that.

If you already have video and audio, why would you want only audio? I could see them building in something where one user just sees an icon when the other user wants to block the video feed for some reason, but I don't see audio-only connections coming anytime soon.

It seems more likely to me that they might build in a "reverse Facetime" feature wherein if you make a free Facetime call and the other person *isn't* in a Wi-Fi area, that it gives the option of switching to a regular cell-based voice only call.
post #9 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by ihxo View Post

voicetime you say? :P

I think I got to trade mark it VoiceTime™

*VoiceTime™ is a trade mark owned by NasserAE. Using VoiceTime™ without permission from NasserAE could result in lawsuits and fines (That include you Apple).

post #10 of 67
I was a bit confused by the title... Facetime "via email". At first I thought the non-cell phone connection would be made by one user's device emailing another user their IP address.

But so there is still a central server involved, it sounds. Apple has just made the registration process so transparent that you don't even know you are getting an account on this server.

And it's very simlar to iChatAV. You use your AIM (or whatever) account so your computers can exchange IP info, and then they establish a peer-to-peer connection after that and no longer need the server. But so while Apple can "open source" the standard as far as the video formats, handshakes, etc, it's still Apple that's going to be running the server that tracks your device for the purpose of making that initial discovery contact, right? Other vendors might have a problem with that.

Or am I mis-understanding how it works?
post #11 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post

I could be wrong, but I don't see the point in that.

If you already have video and audio, why would you want only audio? I could see them building in something where one user just sees an icon when the other user wants to block the video feed for some reason, but I don't see audio-only connections coming anytime soon.

It seems more likely to me that they might build in a "reverse Facetime" feature wherein if you make a free Facetime call and the other person *isn't* in a Wi-Fi area, that it gives the option of switching to a regular cell-based voice only call.


VOIP is a huge market and video calls are not a replacement for voice calls. Video calls are not always practical.
post #12 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by NasserAE View Post

I think I got to trade mark it VoiceTime

*VoiceTime is a trade mark owned by NasserAE. Using VoiceTime without permission from NasserAE could result in lawsuits and fines (That include you Apple).


Which will logically lead to the sleep apnea aid from Apple: BedTime.

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post #13 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by NasserAE View Post

VOIP is a huge market and video calls are not a replacement for voice calls. Video calls are not always practical.

Well yeah, but my point was that with this particular technology, there is never going to be a case where the video portion of the call is impractical. Video calls on Facetime only become impractical for reasons based on the users whims, not for any functional reason.

Thus my argument that while there may be a feature for blocking the video portion of the call (basically when you are indisposed, naked, etc.), there is no reason to have an audio-only service. Certainly no reason to have a separate second service.

It's WiFi. The network will never be that constricted that the audio alone will be a better, or more functional choice than both together. The only reason not to have video is if the user chooses to turn that portion of the communication off for personal reasons.
post #14 of 67
What are the chances of video conference support; i.e., 3+ users?
post #15 of 67
Question is would HTC, RIM, Nokia, Samsung, and others adopt FaceTime? Especially how Apple have pissed them off recently with the whole antenna mess.
post #16 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post

Well yeah, but my point was that with this particular technology, there is never going to be a case where the video portion of the call is impractical. Video calls on Facetime only become impractical for reasons based on the users whims, not for any functional reason.

Thus my argument that while there may be a feature for blocking the video portion of the call (basically when you are indisposed, naked, etc.), there is no reason to have an audio-only service. Certainly no reason to have a separate second service.

It's WiFi. The network will never be that constricted that the audio alone will be a better, or more functional choice than both together. The only reason not to have video is if the user chooses to turn that portion of the communication off for personal reasons.

You are mixing too many issues together. I am not talking about separate service. The service is already there. They only need to add voice only. This is similar iChat where you have voice chat and video chat. If Apple adds voice only to FaceTime then I don't have to use Skype anymore. Beside it will save me money.

Maybe you don't want it but I am sure many will use it.
post #17 of 67
As far as I know, FaceTime has not yet been released as an open standard. Apple's probably waiting for the iPod (and possibly iChat) roll-out.
post #18 of 67
wrong thread WTB delete post button.
post #19 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wurm5150 View Post

Question is would HTC, RIM, Nokia, Samsung, and others adopt FaceTime? Especially how Apple have pissed them off recently with the whole antenna mess.

If the feature really catches on and customers demand it, I don't see why they wouldn't. The world doesn't revolve around Apple - and that's coming from a fanboi.
post #20 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post

I could be wrong, but I don't see the point in that.

If you already have video and audio, why would you want only audio? I could see them building in something where one user just sees an icon when the other user wants to block the video feed for some reason, but I don't see audio-only connections coming anytime soon.

Because Facetime uses data and not everyone has unlimited dataplans. Here in New Zealand we've got data capped with stupid pricing structures so making a video call over WiFi will chew rapidly into our data plan let alone the even more pathetic data plans on our cellphones.

Voice takes considerably less data than video.
post #21 of 67
If this feature starts to catch on I imagine Google will quickly add video chat to Android (either built into the OS or as a separate App). They already have video chat as part of Google talk.

Further more I cannot imagine Skype just sitting back and letting Apple win. I'd expect to see a Skype App with video chat soon.

The battle is only just beginning.
post #22 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by NasserAE View Post

I think I got to trade mark it VoiceTime

*VoiceTime is a trade mark owned by NasserAE. Using VoiceTime without permission from NasserAE could result in lawsuits and fines (That include you Apple).


Ouch. Voicepalm.

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post #23 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by NasserAE View Post

That makes a lot of sense. I just hope Apple would create an address book category for people in my contacts who have FaceTime.

How long before Apple release VOIP service (FaceTime without video)?

Already possible, once you have initiated a video call you each hit the home button. This leaves the audio and stops streaming the video - uses way less data then video and doesn't use your cell minutes.
post #24 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by cart0194 View Post

Already possible, once you have initiated a video call you each hit the home button. This leaves the audio and stops streaming the video - uses way less data then video and doesn't use your cell minutes.

Isn't that only disengaging the incoming video stream, not the outgoing video stream?
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post #25 of 67
I bet 80%, maybe even 90% of my phone calls are in places where I have wifi (home, work, etc), and as more and more of my friends get Facetime-enabled devices I'll use wifi more and my phone minutes less. A year from now I might only need the cellular connection for 10% of my calls. Now Verizon becomes a heck of a lot less important, which gives Verizon a lot less weight when negotiating with Apple. Verizon and AT&T are just dumb pipes most of the time, Apple's data center provides the servers for most phone calls (among other things).

Just to make it totally clear that AT&T and Verizon are just dumb pipes, the the iphone and ipod touch merge into one product with the option for 4G, just like the iPad currently has an option for 3G or not. By then the Mac Books will probably have the 4G option as well. Verizon is just another ISP option.
post #26 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post

I could be wrong, but I don't see the point in that.

If you already have video and audio, why would you want only audio?

Maybe because you're talking to someone without video? or someone who's not on WiFi? Or someone with a slow internet connection?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wurm5150 View Post

Question is would HTC, RIM, Nokia, Samsung, and others adopt FaceTime? Especially how Apple have pissed them off recently with the whole antenna mess.

HTC, RIM, and the rest know that they got only what they deserved. If Facetime looks like it's going to catch on, they'd be scrambling to get on board.

Even Google would get on board if they could find a way to mine your video conversations for personal information.
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post #27 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

HTC, RIM, and the rest know that they got only what they deserved. If Facetime looks like it's going to catch on, they'd be scrambling to get on board.

Even Google would get on board if they could find a way to mine your video conversations for personal information.

Ive heard talk of Cisco already being on board. This could mean pre-loading the needed protocols to their Linksys router firmware for ideal FaceTime chat or, perhaps, the next Flip cameras which are expected to include WiFi will add a front-facing camera for FaceTime access. If they add even the half-way decent PMP to it they could be the first real competitors Apples iPod line has seen in awhile, and even with just a great video cam, with WiFi for easy uploads it could still take away more than a few sales.
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post #28 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

HTC, RIM, and the rest know that they got only what they deserved. If Facetime looks like it's going to catch on, they'd be scrambling to get on board.

Even Google would get on board if they could find a way to mine your video conversations for personal information.

They'd scramble to get onboard but not necessarily the FaceTme train. Google already has video chat for PCs as does Microsoft, Yahoo, Skype, and various others. It is quite possible HTC, RIM and the rest would go with different systems. I could easily envision a future where you'd need to download a third party app to enable video chat from an Android or Windows Phone to an iPhone.
post #29 of 67
.. from building a FaceTime client for Android?

The moment several Android phones come out with Front Facing cameras, this would be a great move by Apple. In fact, I would rather prefer an Apple Face TIme client on Android, RIM, Windows Mobile 7, etc., as opposed to some other clients that might have a shoddy implementation, giving FaceTime a bad name.
post #30 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by macarena View Post

.. from building a FaceTime client for Android?

The moment several Android phones come out with Front Facing cameras, this would be a great move by Apple. In fact, I would rather prefer an Apple Face TIme client on Android, RIM, Windows Mobile 7, etc., as opposed to some other clients that might have a shoddy implementation, giving FaceTime a bad name.

I don't think Apple will, but they don't need to. Remember, at the end of the FaceTime intro Jobs announced they were submitting it for open standards approval the very next day.. It's their cake and they want everyone to eat it.
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post #31 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

...This would give Apple a leg up on competing, proprietary video chat networks such as Skype, which currently does not support video chat from mobile devices...

...However, with Skype being the primary video chat network available, and because it does not currently officially support video chat between mobile devices...

Get your facts straight.

http://www.skype.com/intl/en/get-sky...in/nokia-n900/
post #32 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by DrDoppio View Post

Get your facts straight.

http://www.skype.com/intl/en/get-sky...in/nokia-n900/

I see what you are getting at and the article might be a little ambiguous bit I don't think it's incorrect as stated. Skype officially supports a Nokia phone. That's it. Not devices. It's not open and it's designed to cover all device and device types and apps that wish to utilize it.
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post #33 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

I see what you are getting at and the article might be a little ambiguous bit I don't think it's incorrect as stated. Skype officially supports a Nokia phone. That's it. Not devices. It's not open and it's designed to cover all device and device types and apps that wish to utilize it.

It is incorrect. A Nokia phone is a device and two Nokia phones of the same model are two devices.

But let's not split hairs here. FaceTime will be great when it is really open. For now, it isn't.
post #34 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by Orlando View Post

They'd scramble to get onboard but not necessarily the FaceTme train. Google already has video chat for PCs as does Microsoft, Yahoo, Skype, and various others. It is quite possible HTC, RIM and the rest would go with different systems. I could easily envision a future where you'd need to download a third party app to enable video chat from an Android or Windows Phone to an iPhone.

That doesn't make sense. Your scenario would have 100 different inconsistent standards that wouldn't speak to each other.

Apple has released FaceTime as an open standard which could conceivably work with all phones. So if you're Google, do you use an open standard that will work when the Android user is talking to an iPhone customer (or a PalmOS customer or a Symbian customer, etc) or do you create a non-standard that is clunky and doesn't work?
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post #35 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post

Well yeah, but my point was that with this particular technology, there is never going to be a case where the video portion of the call is impractical. Video calls on Facetime only become impractical for reasons based on the users whims, not for any functional reason.

Thus my argument that while there may be a feature for blocking the video portion of the call (basically when you are indisposed, naked, etc.), there is no reason to have an audio-only service. Certainly no reason to have a separate second service.

It's WiFi. The network will never be that constricted that the audio alone will be a better, or more functional choice than both together. The only reason not to have video is if the user chooses to turn that portion of the communication off for personal reasons.

I (and others) don't always want to be seen. Voicetime would indeed be great feature.
post #36 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post

Well yeah, but my point was that with this particular technology, there is never going to be a case where the video portion of the call is impractical. Video calls on Facetime only become impractical for reasons based on the users whims, not for any functional reason.


I agree with you on the 'user whim' part but I believe the people who use it will often only want to use the audio part. I use Skype all the time for business as well as pleasure because it is really convenient and inexpensive for international communication. Even though it has video we never use it. It is much more practical to use audio or even the text feature. Video is for close family and special occasions only. I takes too much work to do video. With voice you can be cooking, eating, walking around, whatever and still carry on a conversation. No need to send or receive the video data either as others have mentioned.

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post #37 of 67
@ Prof. Peabody,
I disagree with pretty much everything you've stated. There is a reason why video calling has never become the defacto option for communication even when it's been readily available, like with Skype or iChat A/V. It's simply impractical for day-to-day communication between everyone.

NasserAE's comment was basically, IMO, showing that FaceTime could be a Trojan Horse which will rip all these carriers charging for voice plans (and SMS) on top of data plans down to basic ISPs, but this can't happen without a very easy method for Voice over IP... which FaceTime is, along with Video over IP.

I think it's inevitable and so far the future of cellular calls will require VoIP, even if it gets routed to the carrier's PBX as there is no provision for a dedicated voice channel in LTE.


Quote:
Originally Posted by DrDoppio View Post

It is incorrect. A Nokia phone is a device and two Nokia phones of the same model are two devices.

But let's not split hairs here. FaceTime will be great when it is really open. For now, it isn't.

I get your point and agree that it's most correct but stand the interpretation and ambiguity of the article's statement.
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post #38 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by DrDoppio View Post

FaceTime will be great when it is really open. For now, it isn't.

Says who?

Granted, no one else is using it yet, but that doesn't mean it's not open.
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post #39 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

That doesn't make sense. Your scenario would have 100 different inconsistent standards that wouldn't speak to each other.

Yep it is a pretty bad scenario and I agree it doesn't make sense; unfortunately, I can easily see it happening. Just look at instant text messaging. Lots of different and often propriety systems. Some can talk to each other (such as Yahoo to MSN Messenger), but if you want to reach everyone you need multiple accounts.

Quote:
Apple has released FaceTime as an open standard which could conceivably work with all phones. So if you're Google, do you use an open standard that will work when the Android user is talking to an iPhone customer (or a PalmOS customer or a Symbian customer, etc) or do you create a non-standard that is clunky and doesn't work?

Google already has video chat on the desktop. Microsoft also already has video chat on the desktop. Skype already has video chat on the desktop. Which do you really think is more realistic: they rewrite their existing software to use the FaceTime standard or they release a mobile client for their existing system?
post #40 of 67
I'm inclined to think there's an good argument for the voice only feature too. Though if the phone companies see Facetime as a trojan horse who knows what they'll pull in trying to slow adoption unless they generate a big increase in data use when people eventually facetime via 3G. For many phone companies, mobile and mobile data is the only thing really keeping them viable.

The other thing is that whilst Apple are submitting this as a set of open standards that's really only the beginning. Microsoft have plenty of reasons why they want to keep people on MSN and not build in the open standards into their forthcoming Windows phone. The same goes for Google, RIM etc.

Open standards is great but it does nothing to compensate for the perceived or real risk that Microsoft and others will see from losing eyeballs on their products.
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