No network admin? No problem if you have an iPhone and FaceTime!

FaceTime isn't the first video calling implementation on a smartphone but it's the first one that's easy to use and has a common and widespread install base, and that brings with it some interesting and decidedly futuristic advantages. Take this, which happened to a friend of mine today:

Our primary network administrator was off-site today and our backup admin was unexpectedly sick. So of course one of our business-critical machines decided to go down. I don't work in IT but I have a technical background and know my way around Windows so I was drafted to go in and try to "fix it". Needless to say one look at the Linux error screen and I knew I was in way over my head. Remote login wasn't working either. Luckily I have an iPhone 4 and so does our network admin so we jumped on a FaceTime call. I flipped the camera around, showed him the error screen, and for the next 10 to 15 minutes he talked me past them, got me to reboot the machine, restart the proper services, and relaunch the web apps our impatient users were clamoring for. It was a win all around. Never mind Santa. Apple should make that a commercial.

Apple ads have shown a lot of emotional, familial, even romantic connections over FaceTime but they haven't (yet) highlighted potential business uses. Information technologies is interesting. Medical and educational even more so. If FaceTime ever gets going over 3G (sans Jailbreak) and If Apple lives up to their statement that FaceTime will be released as an open standard, and other devices implement it as well, video calling could really become ubiquitous and it could be a great tool for any type of remote knowledge transfer.

Have you used FaceTime on the job? Let us know how it worked for you!

Rene Ritchie

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

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Reader comments

No network admin? No problem if you have an iPhone and FaceTime!

8 Comments

I can say the same. We had a digital media server go down not long ago. It serves the media to our digital projectors at one of our movie theaters. 15-20 over FaceTime and I had the server up and running... Mind you FaceTime over 3G made it happen!

I use facetime with an ipod touch over 3g on verizons network at that. Its called mifi.

Try the Tango app. It's free, works like FaceTime and works on 3G!
You're right though. Cool use of technology.

I was out of town a few weeks ago and my ESXi server rebooted here in my home office lab. It didn't start up, so I had my wife fire up FT and point the camera at the screen, and I walked her through restarting it. Worked great.

Live in hickville. Nobody here but me even has an iPhone 4. Can not use FaceTime. If it becomes open and you can put it on a computer(windows) (they don't know what a Mac is) it would still be useless. They use their computer only for gaming ( solitaire ).

My parents network went down. They called me to Try and help them out, so I just hopped on FaceTime and told them to switch cameras and then realized that they had no wifi. So... Yeah.

We had a long duration phase power outage. I had the wife hit the whole house breaker. When the power came back, I had my 14 year old daughter ("I wanna be like you, dad") bring up the home servers in an orderly fashion from 3000 miles away... On 3G FaceTime :). Team pure, eat your heart out!