back to article Video calling impresses Brits, if it's Apple video calling

More than three quarters of Brits surveyed said that video calling was the most impressive part of the new iPhone, once it had been branded FaceTime. Despite having been available on mobile phones for almost a decade, being the killer feature by which 3G telephones were promoted and been free (over Wi-Fi) for the last couple …

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  1. John Whitehead

    Two cameras much better than one

    Interesting piece, but you overlook the real innovation that FaceTime brings: integration with the backward facing camera so that you can show what you see to the other caller. This is so much more interesting than the talking head you get with, eg, Video iChat. It's another example of Apple's insistence on adding value and getting the experience right. The iPhone was long criticised for not having a forward facing camera. Now it's got one, but it's the integration of the two that creates the killer app.

  2. Victor Ludorum
    Coat

    That's all very well, but

    Why have 3G phones had front facing cameras for so long if they haven't bothered to promote the feature? Or is it because the operators like to gouge us for video calling? Or that both parties need a decent 3G signal?

    Onr thing I have noticed - my two yead old HTC Touch Diamond has a front facing camera, and video calling works fairly well. My new Desire does not have a front facing camera. I haven't worked out whether this is because Android doesn't support video calling (yet?), or HTC decided to leave it out because of lack of demand...

    Minee's the one with the HTC fanboi logo, thanks...

    V.

  3. Tim Spence
    Thumb Down

    Didn't care back then, don't care now

    I got my first video-call capable phone around 2004 (SonyEricsson V800, if you're interested), and even had free minutes thrown at me each month, but in the 7 years since then, I've made a grand total of one call, for about 30 seconds.

    It worked well enough, but what's the point? I don't want to be looking up someone's nose as they hold the phone in front of them as they're walking down the street, or see them in their "comfortable" slacks when relaxing at home. Voice is fine for me, thanks.

  4. Chris Mears

    Costs

    I reckon the reason a big reason it never took off was the prohibitive costs at lauch. 50p a minute.

    1. John H Woods Silver badge
      Happy

      Absolutely agree

      My friends and family know what my ugly mug looks like but 'look what I'm looking at' is a real win. Probably not good enough for business docs and screenshots, but for personal use this is a great feature.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Hahaha

      "real innovation"

      That's pretty funny.

      This is pretty much a standard feature and has been for years on Nokia phones. Facetime is a carbon copy of existing video calling only it doesn't work without WiFi.

      This is in fact another case of Apple bringing out a standard feature well behind the pack and loyal fans bigging it up out of proportion.

      I don't think even Apple themselves would have the balls to claim what you just did.

    3. paulf Silver badge
      Pint

      Sorry

      Its another of those "I had that years ago posts" but:

      IIRC my Sony Ericsson k800i (bought in Dec 2007) was able to do that. During a video call over 3G (it had no WiFi ability); the video stream routed to the other party could be either

      a) forward facing camera (i.e. me!)

      b) rear facing cybershot camera (i.e. what I'm looking at)

      c) any picture from the memory stick (i.e. stuff I've looked at previously and taken a photo of)

      Not sure if it was possible to stream videos from the memory card too, but in theory it was possible. My point is this has been done before.

      That said, I don't doubt it is a good addition to the jPhone, but killer app? The problem with "Killer Apps" is they tend to be discovered by accident, from features that had other intentions - case in point SMS!

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      HTC EVO

      Hmm, the HTC EVO Android phone was announced, demoed and delivered before the iPhone. It has two cameras front & back and can do video calls over Wifi.....and 3G!

      Every 3G phone that was announced when 3G was being hyped had two cameras IIRC. Even my HTC Hero on Android can do video calls with the rear facing camera.

      The fact that the video call only works over WiFi is surely an example of Apple adding value and getting the experience wrong?

    5. Stefing

      "adding value"

      You're a manager, aren't you?

    6. Anonymous Coward
      FAIL

      The kool-aid runs strong in this one...

      John Whitehead: "real innovation that FaceTime brings: integration with the backward facing camera so that you can show what you see to the other caller."

      Er, Facetime only works over WiFi - I'm pretty sure most people already know what the inside of a Starbucks or McDonalds looks like. FAIL.

    7. Piro
      FAIL

      This is it! COST!

      It used to be that mobile data was RIDICULOUSLY COSTLY, so year on year, front facing camera phones were common, but nobody ever used them (My old P990 supports it, but I never used it).

      It's also really gimmicky, and requires 3G. 3G coverage STILL isn't all there.

  5. Him over there

    Title

    To be fair, if someone came up to me right now and asked me what was the best thing about the new iPhone, I could well say the same thing and it wouldn't necessarily mean that I thought video calling was great, it would just be that I thought it was the best thing in what's becoming an increasingly mediocre device.

    Having said that though, there are a lot of goons out there who probably do think that video calling is awesome all of a sudden, just because Steve has said it is...

  6. Lionel Baden

    yeah this is gonna last

    Video calling is fun for about 3 calls

    then you kinda think why ??

    Mobiles are the wrong medium for video calling. if they want to introduce video calling the place to start will be the landline phone, but that ship has sailed

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Remember 3G?

    Wsan't video calling going to be the killer app that everyone was waiting to get with 3G ... .only when it arrived no-one used it.

    I think the main difference with "facetime" is that if it uses WiFi and is an opt-in to an existing call then you don't have the cost barrier plus deciding to go "visual" is more of a joint decision on the call rather than a setting up a video call which perhaps comes over more as a demand.

    That said, reliance on Wifi means its probably limited to use in context where you could already use a PC and a webcam.

  8. [Yamthief]
    Jobs Horns

    Only on iPhone...

    It infuriates me that Apple can get away with making their “unique selling points” out of something that has been around for years, and something that is readily available on other handsets. It’s not just the videocalling feature that Orange and Hutchinson 3G have been offering for a decade, their “apps for just about anything, /only/ on iPhone” adverts are simply lies. Ovi, Maemo and Android offer apps for exactly the same amount of “just about everything”, if not less of the useless crap that’s clogging the Apple store. What’s more is most of them are free on Apple’s competitors market places are Free!

    I hate Apple and their trend following fanboys.

    …Rant over.

  9. NB
    FAIL

    yawn

    oh look I have skype + video calling on my n900... where exactly is the innovation here? Ah that's right, Apple don't innovate, they market.

  10. Captain Underpants
    Happy

    I'm reminded of an ancient article

    See http://www.theregister.co.uk/2003/11/28/yoof_spurns_new_mobile_technology/

    Have things changed that much in seven years?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      No features

      That's a good point, I mean folders, front facing camera, wallpapers, a little counter so you can see how many character you have left in an SMS. There really isn't anything that isn't standard on every other phone.

      I have been asking Apple owners for a long time now what can their phone do that other ones can't and have yet to hear a single coherent answer or even one that wasn't a confused jumble of marketing terms about "vertically integrated ecosystems" or "user interface paradigms".

    2. g e

      Generate a tremendous charge of psychokinetic energy

      Points for naming a tune and a Doctor Who episode with that quote.... anyway...

      Is it me (probably not) or do all these Pavlovian apple owners live in some kind of technology bubble where only what apple says it makes is ever invented and only invented when apple release it?

      I can't think of anything new except maybe for getting to mass market with a touchphone (or were they not first there either) that they have actually made. Everything else they were years behind on except perhaps marketing.

      3G, sms-forwarding, video recording - all stuff my ancient Nokia 3210 does and most of its predecessors. Somehow apple fitted these to its gear as breakthrough technology.

      Well. It is if you use tech that far behind the times, it's a breakthrough to THAT.

      So now video calling is some kind of damned breakthrough. Jesus.

      Anyway, we all know that it's nothing like even a recent breakthrough and it really pretty old hat stuff which leaves the faithful apple acolytes being sold 10-year old tech as rocket science.

      Perhaps the real genius in apple's success is that they found a niche market no-one else had - selling old tech in shiny boxes to the technically illiterate and convincing them they were now somehow at the cutting edge of everything with features never before seen.

      Perhaps that's why the slavering apple public leave such an unpleasant taste in my mouth. I've never suffered fools, even gladly.

      Watch the apple fifty cent army jump on this one... I called them thickies.

      1. Player_16
        Paris Hilton

        'technically illiterate...'

        That's a lot of writing about your 'past' self. Why? You forgot that back then, the phone you bought was a bit of a wank; there weren't too many at first but soon a tidal wave. Now to make sense to what I mean; how many 'different' brand of phones did Nokia, SonyEricsson, HTC, NEC, LG, Motorola, etc. make and sold and how many of those had front-facing cameras? :-/

        Now, How many brands of phones will Apple make and how many of those will have front-facing cameras?

        Answer: 2

        'So now video calling is some kind of damned breakthrough. JesusPhone.' (Fixed)

        Sorry that I left such an 'unpleasant taste in your mouth'.

  11. iamapizza

    You sure?

    >More than three quarters of brits surveyed said that video calling was the most impressive part of the new iPhone...

    Keep in mind that Brits can be very sarcastic. I'm thinking this was tongue in cheek. Sort of like reviewing a book and saying, "I liked the cover very much."

    1. ScioScio

      True enough

      Or,

      From the moment I picked up your book until the moment I put it down I couldn't help laughing, one day I intend reading it.

      G. Marx

  12. Matthew 4
    FAIL

    the thing is..

    You can't use it in public because you look (and would be) an idiot - and if you're at home then why not use your laptop for free, with a bigger screen and higher res camera?

  13. Jay Jaffa
    Jobs Horns

    Your conclusions will prove to be wrong ...

    It's like everything else that the iPhone has been responsible for that may have gone before but didn't meet with general acceptance. Even Web browsing on a Phone, available for many years, in some shape or form, wasn'[t propoerly exploited until Apple did i properly.

    You'll find Video calling is exactly the same - it will be adopted in droves and put even further strain on the mobile core networks - despite the initial Wi-Fi handoff/backhaul caveat it still needs to pass through the RNC/MSC to allow for Govt. Intercept on the audio.

    Wait & See - It won't take long

  14. Ku...
    Boffin

    Its all in the marketting

    Apple are pretty sharp at marketting.

    I can video call from my desk. I seldom do. About the only application where I use video calling is when speakign to relatives overseas and there is more than one of us at either end its more of an "inclusive" thing to webcam, speakers, Skype video call than it is to sit there with a handset pressed to your head and say "yeah, mum says hi"

    Mobile based video calling still seems to have a bunch of limitations which make it less useful and I am not encouraged to use it.

  15. Stefing
    Jobs Horns

    I just can't see it

    What next - iFax?

    Video calling is dead technology for a reason - nobody wanted it, it was impractical and looked crappy. Okay, three reasons.

    Also - WiFi to WiFi only?

    Ring ring.

    Hello?

    Hi - are you near a WiFi hotspot?

    Err, hang on a minute, yeah - why?

    I want to video call you.

    Oh. Err, why?

    So you can see me.

    * hangs up *

  16. Thomas 4

    Not those guys again -.-

    "Tech blog Gizmodo even published a call for everyone else to adopt Apple's FaceTime protocol in the interest of interoperability, following the best tradition of blithely ignoring all that went before."

    As well as following the other best tradition of ramming their collective tongues so far up Sir Steve's ass they tickle his brain when they speak. Christ, I hate fanbois.

    Rant out of the way, this is hardly new technology. I remember a few years ago buying one of Three's very first handsets that offered video calling - the clamshell NEC e606. Granted I never used it as I didn't know anyone else with a Three phone but I did have the satisfaction of being able to watch video on it while everyone else was enjoying colour photos for the first time.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The fact that anyone is impressed by this

    proves just how gullible and stupid the Brits really are.

    If I crap in a bag and give it a rediculous apple name, the sheep in this country would be all over it. Baaaaa!

    Get yourselves a life people, remember individuality?

    Pathetic!

    1. ScioScio

      Gizmodo

      Gizmodo are probably desperate to get back in the favour of his highness after their went against his will and leaked the prototype. Pathetic really.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Down

      Obviously..

      We can assume you're leaving?

      Bye, don't remember to write.

      Twit.

    3. Gareth Gouldstone
      Happy

      Individuality?

      By that I take it you mean choosing to use Nokia or Wintel-based products?

  18. Shirtbuttons

    Sooo

    We all need to walk around with earpieces and mics on the off chance that we may get a video call assuming we're in an area with Wifi.

    Fair enough if you set up a call - as in business etc but for day to day stuff I just don't see it taking off.

    I wasn't aware of being able to use the forward camera which would be much more interesting as you would be able to receive detailed instructions from the Mrs about which apples she wants you to pick out at the supermarket.......

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    *yawns*

    Its refreshing to see an article about FaceTime where the author remembers that 3G videocalling has been around for the best part of a decade, but failed to take off. I'd be surprised if this makes it big, given its (fairly large in my opinion) drawback, you need to be connected to a WiFi network while already in a call to another iPhone. So use is limited to....er... open WiFi points, in cafes/university/work and at home. And requires a degree of forward planning on the part of caller/recipient. I see this as the major hurdle for FaceTime, one which will cause frustration among users "what do you mean I can't video call, no WiFi, stupid f***ing phone, just do it".

    Initiating the videocall whilst in a voice call is however a good idea, one which gets around the presence problem the author noted it was a minorly frustrating niggle about 3G video calling, calling someone to check if was ok to video chat, yes? hang up and videocall.

    And at least it will be cheaper to videocall than over 3G, regular phone call cost...

    1. Tim Hale 1
      FAIL

      Huh?

      'We all need to walk around with earpieces and mics ' um, what? Why? Is that because you've always wanted to play a secret agent on telly and adopting the look on video call is the only way you'll do it?

  20. zebthecat
    FAIL

    It will fail

    Sure it is fun once, maybe twice at a push. We had this this years ago on three and my wife and i video called each other once each to test and that was that:

    a. You look like a twat

    b. You can't walk (mind that lamppost), pretend to work, pick your nose etc.

    c. You have to TALK LOUDLY (twat factor again)

    d. Skype is better and more comfortable.

    but most importantly in this case, all your friends need to have apple kit.

    Aaah - think i get the point now

  21. Rogerborg

    Maybe the reason it's never caught on

    Is that iPhone owners are better looking than regular chavs and munters.

  22. AW111

    Well done Apple - I used to love this service

    I must be the only person who loved 3G video calling back in the day with a SE V800. I called the kids, the kids called me. When travelling on business it was fab that my 3 year old son could show me his muddy knees while they were playing in the forest. Well done to Apple for resurrecting this service - but how many interesting places/views/events happen in wifi coverage. Why not use this superfast mobile broadband HSPA to deliver greater coverage and more occasions where you'd actually want to use this - I've seen enough of the inside of Starbucks !!!

    1. Pete 2 Silver badge

      Low cost alternative

      so why not just replace the iphone's screen with a mirror. that way they can spend all day looking at the attractive person on the other end of their video call. Someone who thinks the way they do and never disagrees with them. You never know, they might even fall in love with that parson - if they weren't already.

      It worked with our budgie

  23. GeorgeTuk

    This is a tech website

    And that means we all know its just re-marketing a currently available feature.

    But Joe Public really doesn't know about these things and therefore it seems very impressive feature. You can bet that their focus groups included the basic users and they gave a list of features that they could do and would be impressive.

    Innovation is nothing without marketing it correctly.

    1. John Bailey
      FAIL

      Ahh..

      So that would be because "Joe Public" hasn't had a cell phone with a front facing camera for how many years now? When did Joe get out of suspended animation?

      Sorry to disappoint, but the level of stupidity is not quite that bad.

      But hey.. Enjoy the nose hair POV that will be common the one time that you use the feature.

  24. Dan Keating
    FAIL

    Same issues will kill take up on iPhone as with any other handset

    I've had free video calling on my E71 (wifi or 3g) via Fring for a couple of months now (ignoring the inbuilt expensive route via my operator).

    Why FAIL?

    Video calls need you to hold the phone at distance and talk over speakerphone. Calls become public and I've found 75% of the time, the location I'm in drowns out the conversation - rendering the call useless. Combined with artifacts and choppyness - the novelty soon wears off.

    The alternative is to carry a set of headphones with a mic around in your pocket just in case you get a video call to guarantee that you can hear each other speak. Who's going to bother?

  25. Bobajobbob

    Works for me

    I use iChat AV all the time and I just see Facetime as a more portable medium to do that. I've had countless 3G video phones over the years and made maybe 2 calls. The technology was simply too unreliable and the quality terrible. With Facetime they appear to have it right. I don't see the lack of 3G connectivity as a downside as I don't want to take a video call on the move but when I'm sitting at home or in a hotel and want to talk to my kids/wife/family etc it will work fine.

    Having said that I can't see myself making many iPhone to iPhone Facetime calls because most won't have an iPhone 4s but if it is linked up to iChat or Skype then it becomes a killer app. Rather than chasing my kids round the house with my Macbook Pro trying to film them with the webcam for my sister in NZ I'll be able to do it on the iPhone. I've been waiting for this since the first iPhone came out.

  26. JDX Gold badge
    IT Angle

    Why all the bitching that "Apple didn't invent it"

    There's nothing wrong with making money from improving existing ideas. And it's just marketing at work. The iPad was nothing new either since mp3 players already existed, when will techies realise that UI is one of THE most important factors in product design? You only have to look at open-source software to see they aren't aware of this fact :)

  27. Jon Double Nice

    Ha ha

    Man, WAP was awesome! Like the internet crossed with teletext on a digital watch.

    1. Daniel 1

      Because...

      They all had it fifteen years ago on their Blokia XYZ GgGgG BiCap9000 (the petrol generator version - only one in the country... can't think why...) They usually get about half way through a long rant about it, before announcing "rant over" - and then proceed to continue ranting for the rest of the post.

      Personally, I think ts interesting. I won't use it myself (I never bought the XYZ GgG... either), but I suspect customers will, and I expect to be having to incorporate services around it into my company's current offerings in a few years time. And even if the people who will probably use this service have "more money than sense", then that's fine... Isn't that just the sort of people you want to sell things to?

      Why try and sell anything to someone who wants to tell you how he already used it, after compiling it, for free, on a handset made from Bakelite, from some source code found on a paper tape, two decades before anyone else, and "it was shit." That's not a market; that's just some crank, in funny clothes, posting stuff on the Internet. (In fact, maybe it's always flopped, so far, because they kept trying to sell it to these guys?)

  28. Big Bear
    Jobs Halo

    Your al rong, innit

    And Lo! Did Steve proclaim across the land that the Blessed Feature was to be video call and yea all was right with the world. From sea to mountain, man spake with man as if he were in front of he, e'en tho leagues were the gulf atwixt them. But some did not see His blessed wisdom and decry'd His holy words, speaking blasphemies of Prior Art and other sick heresies, but true to His vision the chosen peoples went forth to the land of i and lived in harmony for all eternity.

    Until Steve proclaimed the gospel of iPhone 5...

  29. D@v3

    differences between the past and the present

    yes, everybody knows that video calling has been available on 3G for years, but, what was the quality of the camera you were using? (or not using as the case may be)

    Here, we have the iPhone4, one of the large feature upgrades that people seem to be forgetting is the HD video recording.

    If you compare the standard of video recording on mobiles from 3, 4 or 5 years ago, to the quality that you get from a portable HD video recorder, like the Flip series, I'm sure you will notice the difference, the same difference you will get with the iPhone4. Living in England, and having used o2 for the last few years, I know I wouldn't want to try and stream HD video over a 3G network. Streaming HD over WiFi between two specifically designed devices using a defined protocol, now that could very well be a different matter.

    I think the main thing is to wait until the damn thing has actually been released, so we can see if its any good for ourselves. If 'FaceTime' is as much a pile of fetid dingos kidneys, as 'normal' video calling is, then I shall gladly eat my shoe along with my words, but until I have seen it for myself, I wont know for sure.

  30. Rolf Howarth

    No new features?

    ## It ain't what you do it's the way that you do it, that's what get results ##

    Bananarama got it right.

    Apple's strength is in taking features, many of which have been around before in one form or another, and developing them into a complete package that makes normal people actually want to use them.

    If things like tablet computers and video calling have been around since 2001, and yet no-one could be bothered to use them up until now, doesn't that tell you something??

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Horns

    so I have to use the speaker phone

    So I have to use the speaker phone and get a terrible incoherent call or I get to see the side of someone's head. I fail to see the real value of this.

    Let me also just take a guess.. Apple probably is trying to patent this prior art as well. LOL

  32. Surur
    Jobs Horns

    Retina display the next to be made old hat - by Apple next year

    You know what's even funnier - when the next iPhone comes out with a 4 inch screen and the same resolution suddenly "retina" displays will be old hat also.

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    IM ON MY IPHONE

    *waves penis at camera*

    1. Captain Underpants

      iChatRoulette?

      There's an App for that!

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Joke

      So thats your face then?

      because iPhone users are Dickheads right?

  34. Mad Hacker

    Remember when you said putting a camera on a cell phone was stupid?

    A lot of people (myself included) thought it was stupid to put a camera on a phone. Why the hell would I need that?

    Turns out I use it all the time at work for actual productive things (not just taking pics of the kids.) I take snaps of white boards after a meeting. I take pictures of frozen workstations with error messages on the screen that you can't capture because the keyboard and mouse are unresponsive. I take pictures of network equipment to show my remote IT people how it is connected before making changes. etc.

    I recently debugged an issue in a network rack. It would've been great if I could've just sent the guy video of the equipment I had and what cables were plugged into what instead of having to tell him that over the phone. And guess what... I *do* have wifi in my office.

  35. DEAD4EVER
    WTF?

    video calling ?

    so let me get this straight front facing cameras have been on phones for years well before the iphone came to market if im not wrong and brits have now only started to like it because of the iphone good god we brits are lacking in keeping up to date im ust say. if brits are only interested in video calling for the iphone then this country is filled with fanboys. newsflash apple isnt the only mobile phone company you know theres others that do video calling you know. but no fanboys have to have apple apple apple so sad.

  36. dave 93
    Thumb Up

    It's not about phones, it's about live video...

    Skype, and others, really have made video chatting/presence pretty mainstream now.

    Let's wait and see if Apple's hubris will allow Skype to use the iPhone cameras, or if Skype will support Facetime, then it will get interesting, especially as Skype is about to go 720p friendly.

    In lots of situations, simple and cheap (ie free) video is a real bonus (read the tech support post above), bring it on, I say!

  37. Watashi

    iGasm

    I hear there's another new feature on the iPhone. By combining the microphone with the external speaker, you'll now be able to use the phone on a special "hands free" setting. This will be called "LookNoHands" and will impress the less tech-savvy Fanboi for years to come.

    What's getting to me is how little research most iPhone users must put in when buying a new mobile phone. Why else would so many of them be so amazed by things that are actually old hat? The basic assumption that because it's on an iPhone, it must somehow be revolutionary pisses me off. It's almost as if the features are completely irrelevant to iPhone buyers and all that matters is that they have the 'coolest' phone around.

    However, what really, really gets me is that there are so many 'journalists' out there who act like mobile phone f*ckrtards, writing reams of gushing techno-love-letters to Steve Jobs, completely oblivious to what is made by other manufacturs. Some of these idiots even have the front to blame the producers for not bigging up what their devices do. You're the f*cking journalists - do some f*cking work for Christs sake!

    I've nurtured my geekiness for decades. I played pong on the brown and white plastic Atari hardware, typed code into the BBC Micro back when they were the hottest sh*t available, surfed the web on Mosaic and used digital cameras back when the only digital camera you could get was on the end of a f*cking telescope. Apple really isn't that big a deal - please, please, please stop this gadget conformism before we end up in Apple's version of Brave New World.

  38. Andy Baird

    So let's see...

    ... many years ago, the writer of this piece was unable to successfully market a clunky version of video calling. And in a brilliant leap of illogic, he deduces that therefore Apple will fail now with its "one click and you're on" FaceTime implementation. After all, if *he* couldn't do it then, why should Apple succeed now? Sure, makes perfect sense.

  39. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Not that excited, but..

    I had a phone a few years back which did video calling, and what screwed it up was the mobile operators.

    I knew one other person with capability to receive video calls, and they were on a different network, so I (for some reason) couldn't call them.

    Also, at the time, 3g for even basic web browsing in my city centre location was practically unusable if anyone else was attempting to get on wapsexy.com. I certainly couldn't get to it.

    I've got iChat and various other video calling things at home now, none of which I've ever used. I probably won't use this, but I can see the benefit for showing someone things, or say.. tech support. "Show me what it says on your computer that won't switch on..."

    I'm sure I read (perhaps even on ElReg) a rumour about there being the possibility of building FaceTime compatibility into other clients, other phones, etc, so it might not just be other iPhone4 users you can talk to. Get it working with ChatRoulette and you're onto a winner.

  40. Graham Marsden
    Megaphone

    I'm ON the TRAIN!!

    LOOK, HERE'S the TRAIN I'M ON...!!!

  41. Anonymous Coward
    FAIL

    Your jealousy is transparent

    Haters:

    Apple is not doing anything illegal. They have no unfair advantage. They are simply successful. They make [and market] products that hundreds of millions of people want and like.

    There is nothing preventing your favorite company from doing the same. Other companies are simply not as good at marketing and delivering products that consumers really, really, really want.

    Your hate, anger, and frustration is misdirected. Instead of being angry at Apple and its fans, you should be angry at other companies for not playing the game as well. Because they can. They just don't.

  42. Tim Hale 1
    Go

    Marketing

    Apple are great at marketing, they take something that hasn't reached mass popularity and make it popular. How many non-geeks had heard of digital music before the iPod? Like it or not, 'iPod' is almost to 'Digitial Music Player' as 'Hoover' is to 'Vaccuum Cleaner'.

    Looks how smart phones have really taken off since the iPhone, oh sure, blah blah, Android's better, whatever. My point is that people have a smartphone now that didn't before and they haven't even heard the term, nor do they care.

    I think video calling could go the same way, it's been around for ages but it hasn't had good marketing behind it. Never mind whether it's useful, what's that got to do with selling anything? A great many people likely don't even realise that their phone can make video calls, that's not patronising, that's just recognising that some people just don't care about spec sheets.

    I don't know if it'll take off and like it or not, neither do you. But you have to admit, whether you like their products or not, Apple are great at marketing. Even if they're selling only to fanbois they had to get those fanbois somehow and if, as the Apple-haters would have us believe, it's not on technical prowess it must be on the strength of their message.

  43. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Think about students...

    University students have near full campus WiFi coverage in many University's, many of them are foreign students and already use a laptop with a webcam and use skype to call their family and friends at home at all sorts of times.

    With "facetime" they can do essentially the same thing without having to cart their laptop around. I would also suggest that the fact that video calling isn't new is to be honest is largely irrelevant to most users I speak to, whereas the fact that Apple have put it into a nice user interface, made it "usable" and then marketed it does matter.

    I do agree that it would be a lot more useful for Apple to have used a standard protocol so it doesn't matter what client you are using but I see the best aspect of the iPhone 4 is that it has the forward facing camera that can be used by other applications, such as Skype etc.

  44. Anonymous Coward
    Megaphone

    Twonks!

    Oh look, it's an article about Apple. I must take time out of my day to tell the world that I think Apple is crap and that Steve Jobs smells of wee. I must not forget that by so doing I am also telling the world that I am insecure and like to hang out with others who are just like me. I am also concerned that the other guy has a penis bigger than mine and will probably shag my girlfriend. And better than I can.

    Are things so bad in Beige Box World that you twonks feel you must lash out at anything better presented and better marketed than your nasty plastic phone or Airfix PC? How pathetic does that make you? Why do you guys bother, really? You don't like Apple but every manufacturer of every computer and mobile phone is now scrambling around trying to make their stuff look as good as an iPad or prettier than an iPhone. They are unlikely to succeed but you'd prefer to buy one because it's not made by Apple. Well duh!

    People buy Apple products because those products look drop-dead gorgeous and have terrific functionality. Good for those people. They're just a little further up the food chain than you, is all.

    It was Mr Jobs, I think, who upon presenting Mac OS X to the world for the first time, said something like "Redmond, start your photocopiers!" Well, nowadays it's the makers of other smart phones whose photocopiers will be whirring away. Not so smart, eh? Apple do stuff well and even where they aren't first to market, they tend to do it better. Steve Jobs never forced anyone to buy an Apple product. He just persuaded them to do it by making and marketing stuff that is a little further along the evolutionary path than the under-engineered dross that you "fanbois-bashers" feel safe with.

    OK, flame away, children. Start throwing everything out of your toy-box... Now!

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