FaceTime is a really interesting move coming from Apple on their recently launched iPhone4. It is a mobile video telephony service which runs over IP, which by now probably have had more video calls done than mobile video calls done on all other existing handsets in the world in the same period of time.
Instead of spending my time thinking of what else to write about this new service, here are a few interesting posts that I have found in the blogosphere about it. I hope they will interest you as much as they have interested me.
Stuart Henshall’s FaceTime series
Stuart Henshall decided to write a few posts on FaceTime on his blog Unbound Spiral:
He debuted his series with a short introductory post titled How Important is FaceTime? Do You Need a FaceTime Strategy?
In FaceTime – Has Apple Suckered the Operators Again? Stuart writes a lot on what FaceTime is, how is it better than Skype, what are its shortcomings and what are the implications of it on other handset vendors and on enterprises.
And then comes the post that goes into the gritty details of how and why Apple’s FaceTime strategy is hurting operators (and Skype, which in a way is an operator) and what will likely happen to the competition – mainly Nokia and Google.
His next post is about the impact on enterprises assuming Apple will take FaceTime and make it into a real mobile VoIP offering.
The last post in this series is a bit different. In it Stuart states that FaceTime doesn’t change a lot in favor of mobile video telephony, but has broader implications when it comes to telephony itself.
Packetstan Protocol Analysis
Packetstan is a new blog dealing with analysis of IP based communication. Josh Wright, one of its members, have written a series of 3 posts on the internals of the FaceTime protocol. A word of warning – these posts are highly technical and detailed.
Part 2: analysis of the protocols in use
I can’t wait to read the next post on this series once it gets published.
iConverged, IMTC and FaceTime’s Protocol
If Paketstan’s analysis is a bit too much for you, then you might want to look at a few other lightweight posts on this:
RADVISION’s Anatoli Levine’s post on the IMTC’s blog, where he outlines and explains the various protocols used by FaceTime.
Arjun Roychowdhury’s post on iConverged. He does a good job in clarifying the standards-based part of FaceTime.
TalkStandards on FaceTime Closed System and Open Standards
Ajit Jaokar has written about open and closed several times already. On TalkStandards he looks at what Apple did with FaceTime and open standards in order to build a closed system. A nice read for those looking to develop a standardized solution and a reminder to all that standards don’t mean interoperability.
Andy Abramson’s View of FaceTime and Carriers
Andy Abramson on his VoIP Watch blog talks about Apple ID and how it is going to hurt carriers. I’d say that if FaceTime as a service catches up – it will be interesting to see how carriers will respond.
GigaOm’s Coverage of FaceTime and iPhone 4
GigaOm has a large number of posts about the iPhone 4, but a few relate specifically to FaceTime and are really worth mentioning.
Adam Jackson does a good job with his ruminations of FaceTime’s effect on the video conferencing market and what Apple needs to do next with this service (open it up).
Steve Cheney wrote a guest post on how Apple’s vertical integration allowed them to bring FaceTime to bear. It gives some good background as to where Apple are headed and how hard it will be for other handset vendors to play catch-up. I’ve written a follow up post on this one with my own views.
Ryan Lawler has a FaceTime etiquette post on NewTeeVee which brought me back in time 5 years and more – when we started developing 3G-324M mobile video telephony solutions in RADVISION. Nothing changed besides the fact that now Americans are thinking about mobile video telephony etiquette when it the past it was a European thing.
While not exactly a “FaceTime-post”,Ryan Lawler’s recent post about Skype’s IPO and the video chat angle of it should probably be in your reading list if you are interested in FaceTime or FaceTime-like services.
TechCrunch and the Missing Presence Functionality
MG Siegler writes a lot about the iPhone, and there are many more posts about FaceTime on TechCrunch. An interesting one to note is that of FacePlant – an application that adds presence support to Facetime, allowing users to know beforehand if they can video call their friends.
To me this is simply a missing feature that had to go with the service when it launched. Not because I like presence based dialing so much, but because of the many restrictions: only iPhone 4 users, only over WiFi – you can’t rely on people trying out to see if it works and then… it doesn’t.
IntoMobile on How Good is FaceTime
IntoMobile has several posts about FaceTime, but the one that strikes me the most is the recording of a call made using FaceTime from a yacht in the middle of the ocean.
The end result video is a bit crappy – probably due bad reception and low bandwidth over the satellite like. It is where I am sure things can be improved with a little more attention to the latest and greatest in video coding techniques.
It is worthwhile to note that Apple have opted in their error concealment mechanism to drop bad frames instead of decoding them – at least this is what I can ascertain from looking at the video recording.
The New York Times Gadgetwise
Jenna Wortham on the New York Times Gadgetwise blog talks about her own experience with FaceTime. While she does think the experience is satisfying and exciting she does have a few complaints as well as a general question that I find rather interesting:
“But while FaceTime is undeniably remarkable, is anyone actually using it?
I’ve had the iPhone 4 since its debut in late June, and chatting with my cat was the first time I’ve been able to use FaceTime.”
TheNextWeb and FaceTime
Zee M Kane, the editor in chief of The Next Web. While TNW has a few posts on FaceTime, the one that resounds the most is Zee’s own post on the fact that there’s no real reason to upgrade from the iPhone 3GS. Not even for the new mobile video services:
“and then there’s Face Time which despite it’s awful name is awesome. But you’ll probably only use Facetime once until it works on 3G and there’s interoperability between Face Time and other non Apple handsets.”
Silicon Alley Insider
If you want to get some impressions of other people about FaceTime, then Dan Frommer of Silicon Alley Insider comes with their chart of the day on what people love and hate about the iPhone 4.
As a spoiler, I can say that FaceTime is liked by iPhone users – it it’s not their top priority.
Some of our own writing
There are also a few posts written in RADVISION’s blogs:
Sagee Ben-Zedeff tried to understand how open FaceTime really is (or isn’t). He also wrote a great post covering the launch and the non-Magical facts about FaceTime.
And my own writing?
- Why I should now eat my hat
- How open is FaceTime?
- FaceTime and how this is going to affect the Android handset vendors
- 4 ways for Apple to improve FaceTime
And if you are contemplating adding video calling on your own, you should probably also consider these 5 facts about IP-based mobile video telephony.