Apple has announced that they will begin including Facetime HD cameras with 3X more resolution than previous Facetime Cameras, starting today.
New on the scene today: Sidecar App to place VOIP (Voice over Internet) calls with a bunch of nifty features. Here’s the rundown:
Available for free for iPhone and Android. US and Canada only for right now.
More PR after the jump…
Via The Verge who spotted the news on iDevice, this news arrives:
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.
Now this has a cool factor. “The Galileo is a revolutionary, iOS-controlled robotic iPhone platform with infinite spherical rotation capability.”
So it’s a way to remotely control your iPhone to pan, zoom and tilt. As of this writing, the minimum threshold has been met to produce the Galileo, so you can put in your pledge now to receive one of the first ones, or simply wait until production ramps up and buy one off the shelf. Cool!
GREAT tip from Tidbits that points out something I (and I bet many of us) didn’t know:
Facetime uses the microphone at the top of the iPhone that is normally dedicated to noise-cancellation.
You probably know that there’s a speaker and a microphone at the bottom of the iPhone used for most calls, but when you put the iPhone into speakerphone or Facetime mode, the device uses its proximity sensor to tell you’re not holding the phone next to your face and it switches which microphone it uses to avoid feedback.
Although you will have the bandwidth to do a high quality video chat if you’re on a 4G LTE wireless cell network in the US, you wont be able to Facetime unless you’re on wifi. Word has begun trickling out (I saw it first on Cult of Mac) that the carrier-imposed restriction banning video chat over cell towers will remain in place as the iPad 3rd Generation gets into people’s hands this weekend.
The only upside to this is that you won’t have the chance to accidentally blow through all of your monthly allotment of data for your mobile plan.
As a little public service announcement, I wanted to point out that you can get a warranty for your new iPad 3 for cheaper than Applecare. Squaretrade is currently offering warranties for as low as $59.
Applecare has been $79 (slightly less at Amazon) BUT Apple has just raised renamed it Applecare + for iPads and raised the price to $99. My advice–pick up a copy of Applecare from a retailer while you still can before the stock runs out. Apple will honor the extended warranty and you’ll get a good deal while supplies last.
The internet is buzzing with anticipation of the newest (generation three) iPad. This site is primarily focused on Facetime & video chat technology, so let’s hit this highlight first. The big news from Apple in relation to the new iPad is that they have specified that the front-facing camera is officially the “Facetime” camera, while the back-facing (higher-quality 5 Megapixel) camera is now called the iSight camera.
Although the new iSight camera is the same super-awesome camera in the iPhone 4S, the Facetime camera is still the same old VGA (low-res) camera we’ve become so accustomed to.