FaceTime? Yeah, but…October 4th, 2010 |
Okay, so the comic arc continues, and I’m still talking to Optus due to some stuff still not being right, but I got my iPhone finally!
One of the primary features of the iPhone 4 is video chat, so of course it’s something you want to test straight away. RaGe, Klingers, Wormy and I did that at RaGe’s place… with us all in the same room. Yeah, it looked great, but being tethered to WiFi isn’t all that great. Apple just set the video codec at too high a quality level to make it even halfway okay over 3G.
Since then I’ve only attempted to use it once. I got off work and decided to demonstrate the feature to my work colleagues Sarah, Chris and Jasmine. I called Wormy, figuring he had the highest chance of being on WiFi at the time. Turns out I was right, but it kept ringing until it rang out. No demonstration
On the other side of town, Wormy was at work serving customers. He decided it was a good idea to carry his phone with him in Aeroplane Mode to prevent battery drain and interruptions from incoming phone calls or SMS, but connect to WiFi so he could do internet searches to assist customers. This led to a phone which should not have been able to receive calls, getting one, and him getting in trouble
I think this demonstrates FaceTime’s biggest problem. You cannot use it 99% of the time.
Today, I read this article, and the part that really stuck with me was where it said “Video Calling [...] over both WiFi and 3G using [...] Yahoo! Messenger” Now THAT is a pretty much complete solution to my immediate problem. It supports 3G so it can be used pretty much anywhere, and it works over an existing client which has had video chat for years, and finally, you don’t require an iPhone or iPod Touch to use it. (Currently the only 2 devices that support FaceTime)
I’m sure when WiFi and FaceTime compatible devices start to get more common, FaceTime itself will be a nice simple and elegant solution to video chat. Unfortunately for the moment, neither are common enough to warrant the hype. In the meantime however, if Yahoo! would get off their asses and add video calling support to the iPhone’s Yahoo! Messenger client, I will be able to put that forward facing camera to much better use than what I currently am, which is pretty much just taking avatar photos.
My Dad lives in the Philippines, and he only ever contacts anyone over Yahoo! Messenger. Perhaps I could actually talk to him once in a while and SEE how he’s doing.
EDIT: Wow, won’t you look at that?