Leanna and Chad go hands-on -- and faces on! -- with iPhone 4 FaceTime video calling
One of the big game-changers of the iPhone 4 is FaceTime, Apple's version of video-calling. Chad and I were very excited to try it out and recorded our experience.
A few things first. You can initiate a FaceTime call either from the person's Contact entry, or while on a phone call. It's incredibly simple and easy to do -- except for one glaring omission Dieter and Marcus already noted...
You can't tell when the person you want to video call is available (on their iPhone 4 on Wi-Fi) so you can FaceTime them. If you're on a call chances are they'll tell you whether they're ready or not, but if you try it without asking, or from the Contact entry, it will time-out if it can't connect.
We should also point out that you can enable and disable FaceTime in the Settings. This is great for privacy but if it's off and you don't know it's off, it can be frustrating. Needless to say, if you want to use FaceTime, make sure it's enabled.
On with the video hands-on, after the break.
The first thing we noticed is that the quality of the video is extremely good - better than either of us was expecting. There was no lag or pixelation.
A fun discovery we made is that the small window containing your own video (self-portrait) can be moved to any corner you wish. A quick flick in the appropriate direction is all you need to do.
We also tested out the audio with our headsets in and we both agreed that the quality was much crisper. This is probably because the headset mic is picking up the audio instead of the iPhone's mic which we're holding a couple feet away from our mouths.
Another thing we discovered is that you can press the home screen during a FaceTime call and use any other apps on the iPhone. However, this will pause the video for the other person and only audio will be heard. You can easily return to the FaceTime call by tapping the green bar that appears at the top of the screen, similar to browsing other apps when on a voice call.
In conclusion, Chad and I are very impressed with FaceTime on the iPhone and we can't wait to use it as a method to speak to our Canadian TiPb-ers, Rene and Georgia!