Published: Jun 28, 2010
FaceTime is a video calling software feature for iPhone 4's phone application, developed by Apple and announced at WWDC 2010. It is based on numerous open industry standards and Apple has pledged to release it as an open standard allowing other companies to develop around it. Apple has purchased the name "FaceTime" from FaceTime Communications.
Apple was first to implement video cameras with the Mac. The Macbook, and the Powerbook before it, had built in video cameras. Before that Apple had the iSight video camera.
The Apple iPhone 4 makes video calling a reality. With the tap of a button, you can wave hello to your kids, share a smile from across the globe, or watch your best friend laugh at your stories iPhone to iPhone over Wi-Fi.
FaceTime can only work by connecting an iPhone 4 to another iPhone 4; the previous generations of iPhone are not supported. Furthermore, the iPhone 4 phone number of each party must be shared/known in order for the call to be initiated. Alternately, with 3rd party software like fring, video calling can operate on a 3G network and can also connect with other phones. However, in contrast to FaceTime, Fring's Webcam window takes up only a portion of the screen, and does not flip over to landscape mode.
How to Access FaceTime on iPhone 4
FaceTime currently works in the Phone application, instead of being a separate app. It can be activated when in the Phone application by placing a call, and pressing the FaceTime button. FaceTime is located beneath the Keypad button and is to the right of the Add Call button and replaced the Hold button (which is then available by pressing and holding the Mute button). The icon resembles a camcorder. It is also possible to request FaceTime from the Contacts app.
FaceTime is open to developers so it is very likely that applications like Skype will use FaceTime, or similiar applications in the future. The fact that FaceTime is integrated into the address book also lends it an advantage over third-party apps, mostly because there are two ways to launch it immediately, and directly from the iPhone 4's contact list.
FaceTime is based on numerous open standards.
* H.264 and AAC – video and audio codecs respectively
* SIP – IETF signaling protocol for VoIP
* STUN, TURN and ICE – IETF technologies for traversing firewalls and NAT
* RTP and SRTP – IETF standards for delivering real-time and encrypted media streams for VoIP
...I wonder what the future of FaceTime video calling will do to sexting...?