The Verge and several other sources are reporting that you can now make free audio phone calls to your Facebook friends if you live in the US or Canada. You and the person you are calling will need to download Facebook Messenger for the iPhone. After that, it’s free audio calling. Plus free texting from app to app. You can’t beat free.
With all the people who are constantly picking up new iPads, iPhones & Macs, I thought it might be helpful to post a visual guide for how to make a Facetime video call from one Apple device to another. I’ve tried to make this guide both simple but just thorough enough. Hit the jump to read the text version.
Apple released a commercial to highlight Facetime on the iPad and iPad Mini. Note the emphasis isn’t on the technology or megapixels or anything technical. Facetime is only good as a technology because of how it connects people, and this is a perfect example of how Apple gets it.
It’s a big week for Facetime with the announcement that in iOS 6 (coming Fall of 2012) Apple will allow Facetime calls to be placed not just over wi-fi, but also over cell phone calls. From Apple:
FaceTime now works over cellular networks as well as Wi-Fi, so you can make and receive FaceTime calls wherever you happen to be.4 You can even make and receive FaceTime calls on your iPad using your phone number. That means you can use FaceTime wherever you are, on any device. And never miss another wink, smile, air kiss, or eye roll.
Apple has announced that they will begin including Facetime HD cameras with 3X more resolution than previous Facetime Cameras, starting today.
An apparently new warning message, first spotted by iDevice, shows up if users try to disable 3G data while on a FaceTime call. “Disabling 3G may end FaceTime,” it reads. “Are you sure you want to disable 3G?” Since the call is still running over Wi-Fi, disabling it does nothing, but re-enabling it afterwards gives a similar message. “Enabling 3G will end your phone call. Are you sure you want to enable 3G?”
Video calling over 3G on Facetime has got to be one of the most requested features we’ve clamored for since its debut. Looks like it’s just waiting in the wings.
Google has announced Hangouts on Air, a way to live stream and record a group video conversation from different video feeds. Just a few years ago, it would have cost tens of thousands of dollars in hardware to accomplish something like this, but now it’s free and it couldn’t be simpler. The video above gives you the quick overview on how to do it. This is going to open up all sorts of possibilities for video podcasts, archive-able teaching, webinars, roundtables, world-wide meetups and lots of things that people have never even imagined because of the previous technical obstacles. I can’t wait to see what comes of it!
One of the things that makes Facetime so great is its simplicity. That’s probably in large part due to the obsessive nature of Steve Jobs. A new book has just come out that details so much of the philosophy of Apple and the late Steve Jobs: Insanely Simple: The Obsession that Drives Apple’s Success.
Take a look if you enjoy getting the inside scoop from people who knew Jobs and Apple best.