Apple releases FaceTime on Mac App Store for 99 cents

Posted:
in Mac Software edited January 2014
Buyers of Apple's new MacBook Pro lineup will get the newly out-of-beta FaceTime for Mac free with a new machine, while existing Mac users can buy the video chat software on the Mac App Store for 99 cents [updated with explanation of charge].



As with the beta released last October, users of FaceTime for Mac simply enter their Apple ID to login and chat with other Mac, iPhone 4 or fourth-generation iPod touch users.



The new application also supports high-definition 720p video, offered with the new FaceTime HD camera in the new MacBook Pros released on Thursday. On a Mac with a standard-definition camera, the application offers VGA-quality video for Mac-to-Mac calls.



Users can make calls using their existing Address Book contacts, and add people they call most often to their Favorites list. The application also features a list of recent calls.



Window and playback controls fade away in FaceTime for Mac, allowing users to keep the focus on their conversation. The view also transitions smoothly when an iPhone 4 or iPod touch user switches from front to rear cameras or from portrait to landscape views.







FaceTime's Widescreen aspect ratio also makes it easier for families and groups to participate in a call. Users can also place a call in full-screen to use every inch of their Mac display.



Version 1.0 of FaceTime for Mac also retains the application's push notification feature, which allows incoming calls to ring on a Mac, even if FaceTime isn't running. If a user has more than one Mac, incoming calls will ring on every computer so they can answer on the Mac that's most convenient.







FaceTime for Mac (iTunes link) requires a built-in FaceTime camera, an iSight camera (built-in or external), a USB video class (VC) camera, or a FireWire DV camcorder; and a 128-Kbps upstream and downstream Internet connection. Making HD video calls requires a built-in FaceTime HD camera and a 1-Mbps upstream and downstream Internet connection. Receiving video HD calls requires a supported Intel-based Mac.



Update: The 99 cent fee has been confirmed to be a result of regulatory fees associated with software updates. The situation is similar to when Apple charged a fee for users to unlock 802.11n functionality with a software update years ago. The Sarbannes-Oxley Act requires that companies charge for significant features added to already-purchased products.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 84
    Best way to make facetime even more of a novelty? Gets me a bit nervous about what else they might start charging for.
  • Reply 2 of 84
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by BenRoethig View Post


    Best way to make facetime even more of a novelty? Gets me a bit nervous about what else they might start charging for.



    Agreed. Is there any reason to charge for this aside form "because we can"?
  • Reply 3 of 84
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by BenRoethig View Post


    Best way to make facetime even more of a novelty? Gets me a bit nervous about what else they might start charging for.



    IMHO, charging 99 cents is the best way to kill facetime on the mac. I'm sure they are trying to get more people to sign up with the offer, but I just don't want to see a $129 OS X upgrade where I have go to and spend an additional $50 for upgrades.
  • Reply 4 of 84
    asciiascii Posts: 5,941member
    I was hoping Snow Leopard users would get it free with 10.6.7. Maybe they think putting it on the App Store will help with adoption even more than including it in an OS update, due to the visibility.
  • Reply 5 of 84
    stuffestuffe Posts: 391member
    New Macs get it for free, no different than upgrading to the latest iLife, only dead cheap and available over the Mac App store possible to introduce more people to the app store on the Mac. At that price, I won't even think about it. Sure, they could make it free, but then they could for the Keynote iOS app etc and such. A few small low cost things that most everyone with an iPhone will want get's people into the habit ot the App store on the Mac, which is what they want. Not that I am defending it, although I don;t see much to defend if I was. I love Facetime for Mac - I used it to play trivial pursuit at a family birthday party I couldn;t attend in person - a Skype chat (sadly they were on windows) to point at the whole room at either end, and then a local Mac Facetime window at my end and a roving iPhone 4 at the other end to point at the board etc - genius!
  • Reply 6 of 84
    I think it is pretty shabby, when we pay for a premium product and operating system, to then be expected to pay for Facetime. It is also very short-sighted of Apple when they need widespread market adoption to make it work.



    Hopefully we will see the integration of iChat and Facetime in Lion to present a reasonable alternative to Skype. And hopefully it will be FREE!
  • Reply 7 of 84
    I'd say this move was designed to get people into the App Store on the Mac and buy something. There are plenty of Mac users without iOS devices, this lets them see what it's like to buy something.



    I know I haven't bought anything in the App Store, free or paid.



    Only thing that makes sense to me...
  • Reply 8 of 84
    Where does iChat sit in all of this?



    Can FaceTime do conferences and exchange files?



    /confused.
  • Reply 9 of 84
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by BenRoethig View Post


    Best way to make facetime even more of a novelty? Gets me a bit nervous about what else they might start charging for.



    Video calling is always going to be a novelty. Most people just don't want it.
  • Reply 10 of 84
    nasseraenasserae Posts: 3,158member
    That 99c is going to break my budget...
  • Reply 11 of 84
    Come on! It's 99 cents. If you don't want it don't get it.
  • Reply 12 of 84
    stuffestuffe Posts: 391member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mrtotes View Post


    Where does iChat sit in all of this?



    Can FaceTime do conferences and exchange files?



    /confused.



    Just chat, just 2 participants at a time. Nothing else, no screen sharing/conferencing/text messaging/photo-booth file/picture sharing/chat logging/video session recording etc etc.



    *but*, it is incredibly simple and doesn;t require you to be signed into anything for it to work, and will "call" you on all your Macs/phones whatever for more chance of being able to take a call.



    iChat is better featured, Facetime is simpler and takes away a layer of abstraction like accounts/logins/status/friends lists as well as features. I like them both, use them differently, although I would like to see an option to "wrap" Facetime into iChat for those who want to, but I can't see it happening.
  • Reply 13 of 84
    nceencee Posts: 836member
    do both or all party's have to be on Facetime / iChat, or can you call someone who uses skype, and vs a versa?



    Skip
  • Reply 14 of 84
    stuffestuffe Posts: 391member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ncee View Post


    do both or all party's have to be on Facetime / iChat, or can you call someone who uses skype, and vs a versa?



    Skip



    Facetime to facetime only, so this App, or an iPhone 4/Latest gen iPod touch/Likely new iPad also.



    I'd quite like to quit using Skype, but as I don't know of a way to interface a Windows client with either Facetime or iChat video, I am stuck with running Skype also...only because I use ot to speak to the wife when working from home, as my office is 3 stories away from where she spends most of her time during the day! If I could get her a windows client app that would do iChat or Facetime I would drop Skype, as I only use it with here for this 1 purpose!
  • Reply 15 of 84
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mrtotes View Post


    Where does iChat sit in all of this?



    Can FaceTime do conferences and exchange files?



    /confused.



    FaceTime and iChat will likely be combined in Lion.



    FaceTime is HD videoconferences with other computers and iOS devices.

    iChat is SD videoconferences with other computers, allowing iChat Theater, file transfers, and screen sharing.



    They both have reasons for existing, and combining them will simply be simplification.
  • Reply 16 of 84
    feynmanfeynman Posts: 1,087member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by walshbj View Post


    I'd say this move was designed to get people into the App Store on the Mac and buy something. There are plenty of Mac users without iOS devices, this lets them see what it's like to buy something.



    I know I haven't bought anything in the App Store, free or paid.



    Only thing that makes sense to me...



    +1



    Agreed.
  • Reply 17 of 84
    So how does this differ from the beta? I have 0.9 (92) and it seems to do all that this article state (except 720p HD video which my 2007 iMac doesn't support anyway).
  • Reply 18 of 84
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by stuffe View Post


    Just chat, just 2 participants at a time. Nothing else, no screen sharing/conferencing/text messaging/photo-booth file/picture sharing/chat logging/video session recording etc etc.



    *but*, it is incredibly simple and doesn;t require you to be signed into anything for it to work, and will "call" you on all your Macs/phones whatever for more chance of being able to take a call.



    iChat is better featured, Facetime is simpler and takes away a layer of abstraction like accounts/logins/status/friends lists as well as features. I like them both, use them differently, although I would like to see an option to "wrap" Facetime into iChat for those who want to, but I can't see it happening.



    Well I hope it's better than the beta, which showed all my contacts regardless of whether they have any kind of FT access. At least iChat makes it clear who is there and what kind of connection is possible - that to me is much simpler.
  • Reply 19 of 84
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Big Brother 84 View Post


    Hopefully we will see the integration of iChat and Facetime in Lion to present a reasonable alternative to Skype.



    that is my thought as well. Why two different programs. I really hope they are combined, even if it is done by making FaceTime a plugin for iChat and we still have to pay if we haven't already. Heck if they did it that way then perhaps I could mean other plugins for iChat as well, adding other systems into the mix (skype, twitter etc)
  • Reply 20 of 84
    nasseraenasserae Posts: 3,158member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mrtotes View Post


    Where does iChat sit in all of this?



    Can FaceTime do conferences and exchange files?



    /confused.



    People were asking for FaceTime on Mac since Apple announced the iPhone 4 last year. The beauty of FaceTime is that you don't have to sign in or anything. Once you setup you email then you don't have to keep the app open on your Mac because it uses Push Notifications. iChat is different because it is a full text and video chat client and require you to sign in and keep the app open in order to communicate. iChat also require you to have either a MobileMe or an AIM account.
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