Apple introduces video conferencing for iPhone 4, called FaceTime

Mon, Jun 7, 2010


A short while ago, Steve Jobs demoed one of the most anticipated features of the new iPhone – video conferencing. Apple calls the feature “Facetime”, and as you might expect, it’s set up much in the way that iChat is.

Jobs showcased the technology by calling his old pal Johnathan Ive where they had a sorta hokey conversation.

Jobs: You know I grew up with the Jetsons… and video calls… and now it’s real. What about you?

Ive:  I grew up with the same thing, and it’s real now!

Jobs: It is real… especially when people turn off their WiFi.

Ive: We’ve had to wait an awful long time for this to become reality.

Steve: Okay, let’s have lunch soon.

Some take away points: The feature is wi-fi only, can only work with 2 iPhone 4s, works in portrait and landscape mode, and users can utilize both the front and rear cameras. Cool stuff.

Jobs notes that they’re working with cellular providers to get the feature available on cell networks by 2011.

Engadget was able to get some hands-on time with the device. Here are their first impressions.

  • As we said, it’s shockingly thin.
  • The screen is truly outrageous — you basically cannot see pixels on it. We’re not being hyperbolic when we say it’s easily the best looking mobile phone screen we’ve ever laid eyes on.
  • The build quality is really solid. The home button feels much snappier, and on the whole it just feels like a tightly-packed device, but it’s not heavy.
  • The side buttons are really nice and clicky.
  • iOS 4 is very familiar — there’s not a lot added to fit and finish.
  • The general speed of the whole OS is way snappier. The camera app in particular is noticeably faster — shots get snapped in an instant.
They also have video showcasing FaceTime in action. Check it out over here.



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