The people at Apple chose to highlight FaceTime, their face-to-face calling software, in all of their marketing material for the iPhone 4. This is not surprising as it is a great, futuristic feature which sells well. That said, it was not initially a very useful service as both callers had to be on iPhone 4s and connected to wireless internet to use it. This is slowly changing as it is becoming more widely applicable, though it wonâ€™t be truly useful until itâ€™s fully integrated into all audio conferencing services.
The major breakthrough with Facetime came when it was integrated into Skype. This service has long thrived on face-to-face communication and now you can use it fully through your iPhone â€“ this is truly useful as families often use Skype to keep in touch and now iPhones can be a part of that. The performance of the app is excellent, and while colours look a bit off, this is nonetheless a great use of FaceTime.
FaceTimeâ€™s growth will come when it extends to all telephony systems available on the iPhone. For instance, Powownow run a great conference call system through a free iPhone app â€“ this would certainly profit from the ability to use FaceTime as video can be a very useful element of a business call. Messenger apps such as WhatsApp could also incorporate this system to add value to their offering. In short, there are many more ways to use FaceTime than are currently available.
Skype has proven that FaceTime is applicable, and Apple has shown that they are willing to open up the technology to applications. This is very encouraging news as we can expect ever more apps to incorporate this feature, allowing us to truly make use of that front facing camera.
Filed Under: iPhone