At its simplest, you’ll need the following to Facetime:
1. The Hardware (currently the following hardware supports Facetime: an iPhone 4 or 4S, iPod Touch 4 or 4S, iPad 2, Mac with a built-in iSight (webcam). You and your Facetime friend will each need one of these.
2. Facetime App. If you are on a Mac, you’ll need a copy of Facetime (which you can purchase from the Apple App Store). If you are on an iOS device (iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad), the ability to Facetime is built in to the operating system.
3. A Facetime account. You can assign a phone number and/or an email to your Facetime account through your Apple ID. You’ll do this the first time you launch Facetime.
That’s the short version. What questions do you have about how to get Facetime up and running?
Putting a human touch on the technology, the NY Times published an article about how we are using technology not just for nerdery, but for connecting with each other. From “Skypanukkah” holiday celebrations, to saying a final goodbye to a dying relative across the country, the article is full of vignettes of how video chat is changing the way we connect with the people we love.
– NY Times article
Video Chat service Tango just launched a new Video Messaging service on their platform. VentureBeat has the scoop and the details on how you can leave messages for friends when they don’t or can’t pick up a video chat request. I can’t say how many times I’ve wished for this on Facetime. Here’s hoping Apple is
The good folks at Patently Apple have a huge rundown on a new feature that Apple has patented, and that could someday make its way into improved Facetime software. The basic rundown is clear if you’ve ever used Facetime while running around your home or office. Apple wants to make it so different lighting sources don’t make your face washed out with light and then covered in shadows. As lighting sources around you change, Apple wants to help keep the camera focused on a well-lit face in front of it. Check the article for the full rundown!
If you don’t have enough people to Facetime with, or if you’re just an animal lover and would like to make a dog’s day, I highly encourage you to sign up to Treat Chewie. Here’s the concept:
Sign up to have Chewie the dog text you (to let you know a FT request is coming).
Answer the Facetime request and talk to Chewie.
Chewie gets a treat when you Facetime with him.
Don’t worry about Chewie getting fat on treats… here are the caveats:
– Chewie is only receives treats once an hour on the hour
– Chewie is only open for treat business Monday through Friday 10a-6p
– In order to recieve Chewie’s call you must have an iPhone with Facetime and you must be on WIFI at the time of the call
Go forth and Treat Chewie!
After upgrading my iPhone 4 to iOS5, people who were previously able to Facetime with me weren’t able contact me any longer. The calls just failed.
Turns out there was a change on my side of things that I wasn’t aware of. If people can’t reach you on Facetime, make sure that Facetime is turned on in your Settings on your iPhone/iPod/iPad.
Go to Settings > Facetime and check to make sure that you have the Facetime setting set to ON if you’re having a similar problem. Hopefully this will help someone else out!
In June of 2010 when Apple released Facetime on the world, they also unveiled a free service where you could call 1-888-FACETIME and get an Apple employee to pick up your Facetime call request. The number still works to call, but there’s no more video option. Kind of disappointing. I wonder if Apple or anyone else could set up an automated video response? When exactly did this service end?
The web is buzzing with rumors and ideas on what Apple’s next big idea may be. Combine an opinion piece by TheNextWeb.com that Apple may be considering a FaceTime and iMessage-like audio messaging service and some news floated by MacRumors that Apple has just open-sourced its proprietary audio codec.
Put simply, the pieces are in place for high-quality, free phone calls on your iPhone.
Both articles are worth a read. What if Apple is not only the next Sony, but also the next AT&T?
With the release of the authorized biography of Steve Jobs
, many interesting details are coming to light. AppleInsider was the first to point out that the book quotes Steve Jobs as saying that he finally “cracked” the problem of making a great TV. Some people have speculated that this would involve a new Apple TV with Siri integration and Facetime from your living room TV setup. It could be very cool, indeed, taking Facetime to a whole new level. Read the full article on the possibilities, but if Apple’s track record with the iPod, iPhone & iPad are any indication, if Apple has a TV up its sleeve, it’s a bigger and better deal that what we can imagine.
Turns out you can keep your video chats as private as they need to be. According to ZDnet, Apple has confirmed that Facetime calls can be made HIPAA compliant (for doctor-patient video conferencing) using WPA2 Enterprise security.
In addition to medical privacy, the fact that Facetime calls can be made private comes as good news to individuals and corporations who want to ensure that their communications stay private. Need to make sure no one is eavesdropping on your personal or sensitive conversations? Facetime on a secured network could be a good option for you.
Thanks to long time Mac authority Jason O’Grady at ZDnet for the insight.