Greensboro, N.C., artist David Lanham broke his foot and had some free time to spare. If that was me, I would eat chips and play video games all day. Not Lanham. He had a video chat (using FaceTime on the Apple iPhone 4) with a friend and painted the friend's portrait. This led him to offer his services to those who want a similar portrait done, for a fee of $50.
Perhaps Consumer Reports knows what it's talking about. Perhaps, though, actual consumers look at life in a slightly different way. Perhaps they're even prepared to hold their new iPhone 4 in a different way.
Even owners of the older iPhones weren't too keen about how calls seemed to disappear into the sky, never to be heard again. Still, however, they bought.
Now, there's even the notion that left-handed, right-handed, and even ambidextrous people might have trouble using the iPhone 4 to call their friends, loved ones, and legal representatives.
So along come four new iPhone 4 … Read more
Ever since June, when we learned of FaceTime, Apple's two-way video-calling feature for the iPhone 4, we've been waiting for Fring to make its competitive move--especially since Fring announced its intention to release the very same features last March.
Since Fring, the joint VoIP-and-multinetwork IM client, was still offering only one-way video calls when we pitted it against FaceTime on the iPhone 4, it wasn't hard to predict the victor of that battle. So for honor's sake, we retested the updated Fring for iPhone, fresh in the App Store with two-way calling, when it was released on Thursday.
It would be cruel to kill you with suspense. While certainly better than it was earlier this month, Fring's two-way calling on iPhone 4 doesn't even approach FaceTime in the arenas of design, video quality, and audio quality. There are some reasons for all of these, however, some areas where Fring can improve, and plenty of cases where despite the drawbacks, using Fring will make sense. Are you ready?
Fring versus FaceTime, part deux
Like FaceTime, Fring uses the iPhone 4's front-facing camera to share video of your visage to your calling companion. Fring lets you make video calls through Skype and SIP, and other chat networks that support such calls. The video shows up in the same location as FaceTime, though the incoming Web cam image we saw was much grainier than FaceTime's. Bandwidth may have something to do with that, and we tested Fring over both Wi-Fi and 3G.
We're disappointed that Fring's video is smaller than FaceTime's and shows more of its bland background. FaceTime undoubtedly lends a richer visual experience. Fring is also less flexible than FaceTime since it's blocked access from swapping between the front-facing and standard cameras, unlike Apple's pet app, which can jump between cameras to broadcast both your face and the view in front of you.… Read more
Wilson's meticulously groomed and highlighted hair is a constant topic of conversation on our show, and this morning we force him to tie it back in honor of so many evil movie villains from the '90s.
On today's episode of The 404 Podcast, we're wrapping up iPhone 4 news from the weekend, including reports of 1.7 million units sold, design backlash from left-handed smartphone users, and a new phone sex service that uses Apple's FaceTime video chat program to connect users to a live show.
It wasn't exactly a surprise when Apple demoed video chatting that uses the front-facing camera during the iPhone 4 announcement on June 7.
However, many expected Apple to introduce a Skype-made solution akin to Skype's iPhone app instead of video chat service crafted in-house. The result of Apple's mobile video chatting efforts is FaceTime, which can be roughly considered an iPhone 4 take on the video calling portion of iChat for Mac.
With several iPhone 4s in hand, we did the only responsible thing we could, with a side-by-side video chat comparison with Fring, FaceTime's most notable potential rival on iPhone 4. Skype's iPhone app doesn't currently support video chatting, so it's out of the running. Fring, though, will broadcast a contact's Web cam over Wi-Fi and 3G on services--like Skype--that support video calling.The results were clear. FaceTime is the hands-down winner in terms of video quality, ease-of-use, and video chatting features.
FaceTime for iPhone 4 displays high-quality video of the caller (top right window,) though much grainier footage of our caller's camera. The three on-screen buttons make it easy to mute or end a call, and switch between the front-facing camera and standard back-of-camera view for the feed we produced. FaceTime video calls function in both portrait and landscape modes.
The fact that FaceTime is integrated into the address book also lends it an advantage over third-party apps, mostly because there are two ways to launch it immediately, and directly from the iPhone 4's contact list. Third-party apps, of course, require you to launch the program first, log in, and then seek out whomever is online.
At this stage, Fring's iPhone app just can't compete on the iPhone 4. Its VoIP video calling works fine, but calls are one-way, for a start. Despite the fact that Fring works on the iPhone 4, the software hasn't yet been updated to take advantage of the phone's front-facing camera. iPhone owners can view others' Web cameras in a Fring call, but can't yet broadcast their own. … Read more
With the iPhone 4 due out this week, Apple has confirmed that one of its most anticipated new features, FaceTime video calls, will not use minutes from users' wireless plans.
Citing an unnamed Apple rep, Business Insider reported Sunday that people don't need to worry about using voice minutes, even though FaceTime video chats are initiated from a voice call.
"The voice call ends as soon as the FaceTime call connects," the Apple rep told the online business publication. "The FaceTime call is over Wi-Fi so does not use carrier minutes."
To be clear, voice … Read more
Just a few days after Apple unveiled its FaceTime video chat for the iPhone 4, Logitech is getting in on the video-calling action with a new line of affordable HD Webcams, one of which captures 1080p resolution video. The line includes the HD Webcam C270 ($39.99), HD Webcam C310 ($49.99), HD Webcam C510 ($59.99), and the HD Webcam Pro C910 ($99.99). The C270, C310, and C510 will be available this month, while the C910 arrives on the market in August.
"Skype is the market leader and champion of video calling for consumers and it's clear to us that mobile video will become increasingly important to our customers in the coming year. We are glad to see that Apple recognizes the value and potential of mobile video.
However, just to be clear, we are not considering FaceTime as a technological platform for video calling in our own products. Based on Apple's statement about FaceTime being an open … Read more