Apple introduces FaceTime video calling -- iPhone 4 to iPhone 4 [updated with video]

iPhone 4 FaceTime video calling iChat

Steve Jobs brought back a doozy of a "One more thing..." for his WWDC 2010 keynote today -- the awkwardly named but awesome-looking FaceTime video calling for iPhone 4.

Apple says it requires zero setup, works landscape or portrait, front or back camera, and supports h.264, AAC, SIP, STUN. It's Wi-Fi only in 2010 but they're working with carriers to support it over 3G in the future.

Video after the break

[ FaceTime page]

YouTube link

Rene Ritchie

Editor-in-Chief of iMore, co-host of Iterate, Debug, ZEN and TECH, MacBreak Weekly. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter,, Google+.

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There are 31 comments. Add yours.

dloveprod says:

I can think of one use they left off that will be quite popular.

ghostface147 says:

I bet we are thinking of the same thing, but that has never worked for me. I prefer the real thing and laugh when others have spoken of what I think you are talking about.

shelly says:

plain and simple they need iChat, and it should be called ichat instead of face time

dloveprod says:

@ghostface147 Lol every time I get a knock on knocking vid, I brace myself and make sure no one is looking over my shoulder.

Sizzlechest69 says:

I just wonder if they will make the front facing video camera available to apps like Yahoo Messenger, Skype, etc.

james h jackson jr says:

my n900 front facing web camera uses skype for video chat more people already have skype they should of done it that way as people already have skype accounts and videochat that way apples is phone to phone only where as the n900 is phone to phone or phone to computer any device with a webcam and skype the n900 can video chat with

Johnsen says:

Iphone 4 to Iphone 4 Video Call ? Lame Sh*it.
Still 3.5 inch... sorry, but MEHHHHH! I'm going for Nokia :) or was it Android?

Virtuous says:

People will begin to blow by their 2 GB allotments when AT&T allows video chat on their 3G network. Combining video chat with tethering and Netflix will use bandwidth. If Hulu releases an iPhone app that runs over 3G people will use even more bandwidth.

icebike says:

Now we know why AT&T put Tiers in place.
Will they allow Skype Video chat on the iPhone now, or would it compete with a "Core" feature.

Noodles says:

Wifi ONLY?! iphone to iphone ONLY?! At&t ONLY?! I am glad I followed my hunch to purchase the EVO.

iBamse says:

This is just plain stupid!
3G video calling has been an industry standard since 3G was first announced. And that works without any setup between any phone supporting the standard, anywhere.
I think the real reason behind not supporting standard 3G video calling is that they would have to pay some really expensive license fees. So instead they create their own standard.
At least they should have made it ichat-compatible.

iBamse says:

Having said that - I only used video calling over 3G once or twice, because it generally sucked.
And by the way, it was advertised with just the same selling points as the Apple version:
Signed language, talking to your grandparents etc. Only this time it is a lot less likely that it will work as your grandparents need to have an iPhone 4 for it to work. And you both need to have WiFi available.
It sucks!

Mav says:

If front-facing camera API is public any app can use it, be it Skype or Qik.

(Copy of) Dev says:

In theory, yes. In practice, Apple has rejected plenty of apps for violating terms that only used public, documented APIs.
With public/private APIs not the determining factor, and no written rules as to what IS the determining factor, we just will not know until Skype, Qik, Ustream, or somebody tries it.

Arti says:

This is so dumb! This is even dumber than leaving a front facing camera off the iPad! Apple is making the exact same control-freak closed-system BS that took them from success to failure last time against PCs!!!!!!!
OMG I can't wait for Android to respond with their next open-platform device that will probably let you do what you want to do with the hardware. I'm (WAS) a die-hard iPhone 3GS user--I will NOT upgrade, I want out of the Apple ecosystem.

(Copy of) Dev says:

While by no means official, the multitasking page on certainly implies that you can videochat with Skype. (Look at the section that says "Get VoIP calls while using other apps")
Of course, these pics are just marketing mockups, so take with a suitably large amount of salt.

dloveprod says:

I just watched the facetime video, it was really nice, they should run that as a commercial on tv.

iBamse says:

@(Copy of) Dev:
No, it implies that you can do Voice over IP. The woman in the image is just a static contact picture.

Noodles says:

@Dionte, watch you've just watched is an internal Apple promo, the realtime demonstration Apple did at the conference was terrible. You would think a video chat app running over Wifi would eliminate the lag, it did not. Realtime use of facetime is very-very laggy. To use that promo as a national commercial would be very misleading.

Schrutefarms says:

My theory is why can't we use my3g on this native feature. Jailbreak it and make sure the program thinks it's under wifi... Bam... There ya go... I don't see why we can't do that.

(Copy of) Dev says:

@iBamse may be right. Ah well, I can dream...

ahinchies says:

So the video is sent over wifi while the voice is still over a cellular network? What a joke.

johncblandii says:

Great but lame marketing. I was refreshing @engadget's live blog every second to see what "one more" would be. When he said video chat, I gathered my stuff and shut down the laptop. It was such a "we're playing catch up but going to make it look revolutionary" moment, as was copy/paste, folders, and multitasking.
Welcome to the video chat horde iPhone. Oh wait...not all iPhone'ers. Just you iPhone 4 folks. Yep...fragmentation at its best. ;-)

Gnargusto says:

Was really hoping it'd be called Face Shot...

paul says:

Not over 3g? Now that suxx :-(

seanroxas says:

" It’s Wi-Fi only in 2010 but they’re working with carriers to support it over 3G in the future." Does it mean the iphone 4 will be able to support 3g video calling maybe next year OR there will be a new model of iphone that can support it released next year ?

Hahahah says:

Hahahaha. U ppl complain too much. U want the world and complain when its not served up on a silver platter. No one seems to understand that appl isnt forcing u to buy this thing, and u even have options on siimilar smart phones on other networks. U ppl are talking like the world is ending. Lol. Well its not, and congrats apple for yet again amazing me with this beautiful (arguably) piece of hardware i will be purchasing on launch day. To all the haters, DONT BUY ONE, and if u dont have one DONT COMPLAIN BOUT SOMETHN THAT DOESNT EVEN CONCERN U. Lol. Ive tried the competition, nexus 1, pre, And many other android phones. In my opinion, no phone will have everything u want, but this is the closest to perfection ur gonna get, add a little jb magik, and u have ur self a highly functional little companion to take everywhere. Im prob the minority as my 3g signal has never failed me and att is the best carrier ive had, over vzw, sprint and tmo. Again im lucky cause of where i live, and understand ppls frustrations that living in bumblefuk, cuts down on 3g coverage.

Simmer down says:

Preach it "Hahahah"!!!
Seriously everyone, I understand your frustrations... I for one am seriously disappointed about the FaceTime only working over Wifi... But they did say they are working with the carriers to support 3G. Its great they keep offering us their improvements as they come instead of holding out on us for years until they achieve what you all have in your head as the "perfect phone." I am still in love with my iPhone3G (jailbroken) and probably will wait to upgrade until they figure out an efficient way to get FaceTime on 3G.
So go ahead Arti and everyone else, leave the "Apple ecosystem" I'll be happy to have you not clogging up my local Apple/At&T store with your whining

NotAiNazi says:

BEWARE!:O Before buying a new iPhone 4, thinking that you'll ever be able to "Video Conference" in "Facetime", on anything other than WiFi..... THINK AGAIN....!!! ...then Think Different and buy different phone. Right now AT&T has allowed and will be allowing Video Conferencing on their 3G network via "Video Share". So... it's not AT&T's problem! Then it must be Apple's, Right? True...! Amazingly if you jail break your brand new iPhone 4, you'll be able to video conference, isn't it? lol... Sorry for laughing, but as with their ban on True Multitasking (you're only getting Task Switching) and video Conferencing isn't supported over Garden Walled GSM Networks!!! You can "Video Share" on Android though! ..........

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