Today Apple announced the public beta of FaceTime for Mac, a new application using which Mac users can video call iPhone, iPod touch and Mac users. So looks like Apple is pretty serious about its Video calling service “FaceTime”. I guess Facetime has brought in some momentum to the consumer Video calling service. Though video calling was not something new that Apple invented, it existed even before Apple ventured into it. However FaceTime literally gave a facelift to consumer video calling service. If Apple can support Group Video calling, then it’s a perfect vehicle to target enterprise segment. Beware Skype, Cisco, Logitech and slew of other companies operating in enterprise video market.
Here is what Steve Jobs has to say about FaceTime:
“FaceTime makes video calling to or from mobile devices easy for the first time,” said Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO. “We’ve sold more than 19 million FaceTime-ready iPhone 4 and iPod touch devices in the past four months, and now those users can make FaceTime calls with tens of millions of Mac users.”
Though Apple claims that FaceTime uses standard protocols, it is yet to publish any documents supporting the statement. Any inter-op with Facetime will open up huge opportunity for developers and other video service providers. Unless Apple sees a huge potential in inter-op, I doubt they will share all the technical information about Facetime.
Skype Journal compares FaceTime and Skype. Looks like Skype beats Apple with respect to quality and additional features. Dan York has hands on information about FaceTime on Mac.