FaceTime headed to Mac, Windows?

Apple airs first iPhone 4 commercial - FaceTime

Mac4Ever rumors today that Apple's FaceTime video calling will be coming not only to the Mac in the form of an iChat update, but also to Windows.

FaceTime is built on open standards and has been released as an open standard, so we could see it integrated by existing services like Skype, Microsoft could build it into their IM client, or -- hey -- it's about the only thing Apple hasn't built into iTunes yet, right?

Currently FaceTime is limited to iPhone 4 and iPod touch 4, getting it beyond iOS and mobile and onto the desktop could help not only spread the technology but increase its usefulness.

You want?

[Mac4Ever, thanks Luc!]

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Rene Ritchie

EiC of iMore, EP of Mobile Nations, Apple analyst, co-host of Debug, Iterate, Vector, Review, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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Reader comments

FaceTime headed to Mac, Windows?


I want it only if it integrates into other apps like Skype. And it definitely needs to be on the Android platform in some form.

I don't have a Mac but I thought I've seen people video chat with iChat before. Was that using another client within iChat like AIM etc?

1) How to get FaceTime on Windows? Answer: iChat for Windows. There's precedent with iTunes/Safari/QuickTime. It expands the footprint from Mac users to any laptop/desktop user (for chat) and accelerates the acceptance of FaceTime.
2) Make it work with Skype, why? If you can push the usage of video calls why integrate with Skype since chat and voice calls should be easier. And if it's already embedded into iChat why not expand chat to the iPhone rather than enable integration to a platform that you're trying to dispose of.
Peeps, remember what FaceTime is - it's a disruptive technology which Apple is trying to use to take out competition. If you use FaceTime what are you not using to communicate? And once that happens, what can you add to the FaceTime experience that current forms of communications cannot deliver? Don't for a moment believe that the introduction of FaceTime is a one time deal with no extensions or additions. The pace that Apple is moving tells me that there is another hand that they are going to deal that goes beyond what is in place at the moment.

"I don’t have a Mac but I thought I’ve seen people video chat with iChat before."
Sure, but they weren't chatting with people on phones.

YES!! I think FaceTime is great, but frankly, not enough people have an iPhone 4 or iPod Touch 4 for it to be useful. Besides, for now, most people use video chat on their computers. Bringing it to desktop computers will undoubtedly help the standards to explode until Apple's FaceTime-supported iDevices become more common.

Yes, iChat does video, but it doesn't use the FaceTime protocols, so the two systems can't talk to each other. Logically, it makes sense for Apple to integrate the two, but they haven't updated iChat in a while. Hopefully, this means that a FaceTime-compatible iChat update is forthcoming.

If they set it up in iTunes (using Mac ID - duh!) then they monetize by locking the world into iTunes. They don't need to sell it as an app - though $4.99 would be more than reasonable - by locking in iTunes to every PC they are that much closer to world domination.
But on the Touch - it is an email entry so I don't know. With the Windoze being all over the place (4+ OS, zillions of hardware and no control) they'd be smart to put it in iTunes so there is some control over how it can be used. I can't imagine Apple letting go.

Minor quibble - FaceTime had been submitted to a standards body as an informational draft, but it is still 100% under Apple's control, and, as Apple has never announced any plans to share control with that standards body, FaceTime is not open in the sense of, say, HTML, but more along the lines of the Flash runtime, in that others can implement, but not contribute. (I am not saying Flash is open, just that it is a mistake to refer to FaceTime as open when the protocol is solely under the control of one company.)

I wonder if Apple has an agreement with FaceTime the company to use their trademark for this or if we're going to be seeing a lawsuit in the future since FaceTime and Apple's FaceTime are probably considered overlapping in the market with Web 2.0. Especially if Apple moves their FaceTime service to desktop systems.

I echo the other sentiments....being able to use Facetime to video chat to a Mac user via iChat would be great. It would make Facetime useful in my mind. As is I am limited to the number of people I can actually call and the people I would contact I will just use iChat on my MacBook or iMac since they are also available at the same places I have WiFi. They also need to make Facetime available over 3G for it truly to be useful on a regular basis.

Oh yea, I can't wait to surprise all my friends when I facetime them while I'm in the shower!! Oh way, all of my friends are losers and don't own iPhones...

I dont need it on the computer. How about having FaceTime on 3G!!! It's the only reason I don't use it. You have to have both people on wifi, and that seems to never happen.

FT is much better than Skype.. You just call and watch :-) The only problem is limitation to iPhone 4 users.. Hopefulkly others will join...