Is this how FaceTime will work on next gen iPod touch G4, iPad G2?

Boy Genius and 9to5Mac have been digging deep into how FaceTime might work on iOS devices that don't have phone numbers attached to them -- namely the next generation iPod touch G4 and iPad G2. Since iPhone 4 uses phone numbers as "accounts" to route FaceTime connections, the alternative for iPod touch and iPad seems to be Apple ID and the associated email address.

You enter the email address, hit verify, check your email, and if it works -- boom -- you're good to go. Then something like Push Notification could be used to request a FaceTime session.

If iPod touch G4 and iPad G2 indeed get their front-facing cameras and FaceTime on, and if Android, Palm and others choose to implement the open standard Apple released, next year could be a very interesting time for smartphone users. Hundreds of millions of smartphone users.

My only question is why didn't Apple just use ID/email to start with, even on the iPhone, to keep everything standardized across devices?

[Boy Genius, 9to5Mac]

Rene Ritchie

Rene Ritchie is one of the most respected Apple analysts in the business, reaching a combined audience of over 40 million readers a month. His YouTube channel, Vector, has over 90 thousand subscribers and 14 million views and his podcasts, including Debug, have been downloaded over 20 million times. He also regularly co-hosts MacBreak Weekly for the TWiT network and co-hosted CES Live! and Talk Mobile. Based in Montreal, Rene is a former director of product marketing, web developer, and graphic designer. He's authored several books and appeared on numerous television and radio segments to discuss Apple and the technology industry. When not working, he likes to cook, grapple, and spend time with his friends and family.

  • So it means you'll have several accounts for facetime?
    One for your iphone4, other for an ipod touch and (eventually) your ipad?
    Wouldn't it be easier if it was based in an e-mail account for all devices? This way you could choose where to answer the call, apple's (?) way the caller gets to decide...
    What about devices from other platforms? Will people need to have an itunes account?
  • Pivale,
    It's confusing only because the information above is tentative. It's not out yet!
  • FaceTime to iChat. iChat is on all Macs with cameras. Video works with Aim, opening up all computers with cameras. Maybe WiFi only, but huge increase on who you can reach.
  • What it should be is 3G obviously and wifi, based on whatever email address you want to use and work with any and all webcams on laptop, netbooks, desktops, iPad with camera and every front facing cell camera cell phone. I like apple, but if the standard is open, then the access should be open and device/access agnostic so it doesn't matter. That's how you gain users and then add some new features as well.
  • Talk about proprietary. Apple should worry less about the lack of openness of Flash and more about creating video chat which talks to NOTHING but their own HW devices. What about Google Video Chat, AOL, Skype, etc. How about being able to use the iPhone's front-facing camera to talk to other people regardless of their service, OS or Device? Very hypocritical, IMHO.
  • @pbs0920
    The Fring app lets uses video chat over 3G to multiple devices. Not sure if the Fring-Skype brouhaha is over though. Facetime uses open standards and any 3rd party appears to be able to implement it. As for why Apple themselves don't do it, well, presumably there is a triangle of schedule-money-quality they manage too as well as the usual business trappings. But Facetime uses open standards.
    So, Apple has to keep a Facetime users database somewhere then. It's just all hidden. If one has a hypothetical iPad and iPod touch or is on a PC, how would the server know which device to send the Facetime call to?
    For video chart services, they keep track of where one is logged in and will log you off on other devices. For Facetime, will the Facetime server ping all devices until you answer on one device?
  • Facetime is supposed to use SIP (session initiation protocol), and this was always envisaged as having an email-like address; email-like in that it could but not to be confused with your email address, in that it doesn't have to be the same.
    The reason this is pertinent is that if you use your email address, this could also signal a future potential point of interoperability. There are some major infrastructure/technical hurdles to specifying any old email address as a SIP address to take inbound calls, but there are also some clever options to get around them.
    Ultimately there is little practical benefit for customers in Apple using interoperable standards unless they are going to open up the infrastructure in some way so that other clients/users can make and receive calls into the FaceTime system - and this looks to a SIP user like a possible move in that direction; just a possibility, nothing likely!
  • I want
  • I'm not sure this is real. It should be "Which email address...", not "What email address...". I don't think Apple would make such an error (surely there's an app for that).
  • Isn't "what email address" the correct way to say that if your asking someone to input a singular email address? Then change the wording to "which email address" if you have multiple accounts listed.?? I'm isn't a english major, but I is a technolgy geek. And that makes me an expert on neither. JK about that last sentence. (grammaticaly speaking that is)
  • Which is a relative pronoun used to refer to inanimate things (i.e. an email address). Which also used to refer to persons (e.g. The man which has a red hat) but this is nonstandard and instead the usage is "The man WHO has a red hat".
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