FaceTime is a game changer

Literally 3 seconds after my iPhone 4 activated, I called Roy. Once the call went through, I tapped the “FaceTime” icon. Seconds later, Roy popped up on my screen and I had my first ever FaceTime experience.

This was seconds after my phone turned on. I hadn’t synced it with my machine yet. It didn’t have my phone numbers yet. I hadn’t setup anything on the phone except my WiFi. I didn’t sign up for anything. I didn’t touch a single setting. It just worked. ZERO ISSUES. My mom can do this.

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We were on our video call for about 20 minutes. We flipped between the front and rear camera many times. We flipped the phone’s orientation many times. ZERO ISSUES. I showed Roy our apartment, he showed me his. I saw Lindsay, he saw Kate. Roy even went outside on his balcony and showed me his beautiful view of Brooklyn.

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Later in the evening, I FaceTime chatted (video called?) my boy Gary in New York. I can already see FaceTime bringing us all together. The distance between San Francisco and New York has gotten smaller in my mind.

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FaceTime is a game changer. It’s a life changer. Yes, other phones have claimed to have video calling for a while, but it has never worked like this. So stop telling me your phone has video calling. Go try an iPhone 4.

24 comments

  1. Thats so 2005…..Nokia phones doing that a long time ago…and on 3G networks not just WiFi….now Apple catches up and its a "game changer"

  2. Elgin, I don’t care that Nokia phones have had some crippled, pathetic feature that they thought qualified as video calling.It didn’t work. No one used it.Therefore, FaceTime *is* a game changer.I don’t care about how many boxes your Nokia can check off. It’s a sad phone.

  3. Right in the first comment, too. FaceTime is a game changer the same way built-in iSight and iChat was. Just click a button and it works great, first time, every time. Apple makes this kind of thing obvious, beautiful, and removes the barrier to everyone else (other than the Nokia loving geeks). It makes me so happy to use good technology without wasting time on it. That’s also why I love Posterous 🙂

  4. Well done.. This is the first phone that has actually worked.. No other phone has cought on with it.. But like you say, they claim the did…

  5. I had the same pleasant experience as Sachin. And why have I not seen Nokia user video chatting in the wild? Never, not once.

  6. I hear that so often. "Such & such was doing it before Apple." That is true in many cases, but what Apple always does is make it ACCESSIBLE. Could my dad figure out how to email a photo on his Windows computer? No. Did he instantly, intuitively drag the photo to Mail on my Apple computer? Yes. Like you said in your post: my mom could do this. It’s all about user friendliness…and by "user" I mean "complete n00b".

  7. It’s the same thing about megapixels. Just because your camera phone has 27 megapixels doesn’t mean it takes better photos. I call it the megapixel myth (patent pending).

  8. I only wish it weren’t tied to SIM card phone numbers. I’ve spent the last 2+ years moving people over to my Google Voice number. Carrier independence is the future and Apple had to take a step backwards on that in order to make FaceTime "just work."Perhaps this will change as FaceTime moves through the specification process and opens up to non-phone devices.

  9. <html><head></head><body style="word-wrap: break-word; -webkit-nbsp-mode: space; -webkit-line-break: after-white-space; ">Kirk: wow never thought about the Google Voice issue. is it known that it won’t work? I wonder if there’s a chance that even if Google Voice connects the call, the two phones can still figure out that FaceTime is possible between them<br><div><div></div></div></body></html>

  10. Two people using Google Voice numbers simply can’t connect.If you have my GV number in your address book, but you’re not using GV you can initiate a FaceTime call to me and it’ll make it through the Google layer.If I try to initiate the call though, you’ll see my real phone number in the invite popup and think "Who the heck is calling me?" which defeats all the magic of Google Voice giving me one number, everywhere, for life.

  11. let’s compare this with the EVO 4G experience.- they used a 3rd party to supply video calling- the software didn’t make the shipping handset, so you have to download it- servers for downloading/using didn’t scale (for much smaller volume)- you have to set up a separate qik account- another step to verify your phone- no easy way to figure out who does/doesn’t have video calling- if you get it to work, you’ve got a clumsy push-to-talk experienceso what if your phone (nokia, evo, etc.) is technically capable of doing something. if it’s not easy enough for the masses to do, it doesn’t count.

  12. <html><head></head><body style="word-wrap: break-word; -webkit-nbsp-mode: space; -webkit-line-break: after-white-space; ">rakeshlobster: awesome comment. thanks!<br><div><div></div></div></body></html>

  13. I havent used an Apple so far, however i HAVE used Nokia, and i can very clearly say, nokia models are the dumbest, they are only popular for their low end models that claim to give excellent battery life. Am i qualified to make these comments, heck i have been using Nokia N series for the last 2 years and planning to throw it as far as i can so that i can get my hands on something better.

  14. Yeah…I can’t be focused on someone’s face for a whole conversation. Nor would I want someone to be looking at me at all times. BUT it would be good if you want to show someone something on the spot, I see usefulness and handiness there. So I guess what I’m saying is that nothing’s fine, I’m torn. I’m a little late…

  15. Oh wow yeees – that s really what we need! is it? in my opinion just another nonsense device on the way to nowhere guys. hang loose.

  16. Here’s where mobile device companies are becoming asinine. People prefer to talk face-to-face in private locations, i.e. in the comfort and security of their homes or offices. And it’ll make phone usage while driving even more hazardous. Implementing it well might be a technological achievement, but it’s only being used as a gimmick to sell more phones.

  17. I have been using Nokia and Samsung to video calls for years in Australia. Super simple, no need for WiFi, just choose a contact and video call over the phone network, no data charges. I like video calling from the middle of a park or outside the Sydney Opera house. iPhone (unhacked) can’t do that – No Wifi – but any modern 3.5G capable phone should be able to. I can video call any brand phone, HTC, Samsung, Sagem, ZTE, Nokia, LG, Motorola… wise up apple fan-boys, facetime isn’t a game changer, it is a catch up, and a limited one at that. Wake up apple, don’t give use apple-only protocols, give us universal video calls.

  18. Hey that looks facetime looks awesome – and I think I agree with you…there’s no doubt that Apple are looking to lead the way whilst other manufacturers seem to play catch up. Videocalling has been problematic from day one (at least here UK) and I can’t wait to try this out when I get my new iPhone…youve got me really excited!! lol

  19. Hi Sachin, just found this post from google. it’s awesome, the facetime. I’m an iPhone 3GS user and would like to switch my device into iPhone 4. The reason is this feature "FaceTime". But I need to make sure if it is can do video call to other device, let’s say if I’m using iPhone 4, can I do video call to my wife that is using Nokia N82. FYI, her N82 also can do video call, and we used to video calls before I sell my phone and change to iPhone 3GS. I’m sorry my English is not so good.Thanks.

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