FaceTime Arrives on the Mac

Apple today unveiled FaceTime for Mac (previously only available to iPhone 4 and iPod touch devices). It’s a free download and, as the name suggests, it’s Mac-only. As you can see from the image above, FaceTime keeps the same portrait mode dimensions while  iPhone-to-Mac video conferencing. Weird thing… portrait mode is also used with Mac-to-Mac FaceTime calls (see below). To make FaceTime calls on your Mac, it’s as easy as finding your friends on your contact list (populated by the Mac Address Book). To call someone not on your list, you need to enter their email address, wait for confirmation, and if they accept your FaceTime request — using their iPhone, iPod touch, or Mac — the call will begin. All in all, it’s pretty straightforward.

UPDATE: Engadget has posted a hands-on review, with plenty of UI photos, of FaceTime for Mac. Apparently, it can operate in landscape mode, if a phone is held in that position when making a FaceTime call (photo). Final analysis: “it’s rough.” You may also be interested in Gizmodo’sHow To Turn Off FaceTime For Mac.” They also have a FaceTime video demo testing the quality of Mac-to-Mac and iPhone-to-Mac calls.

FaceTime Alternatives: Skype, Google Voice / Video Chat, Fring, and Qik to name a few.

Apple Brings FaceTime to the Mac

Macs Can Video Call Over 19 Million iPhone 4 & iPod touch Users

CUPERTINO, California—October 20, 2010—Apple® today announced the public beta of FaceTime® for Mac®, an entirely new application that allows Mac users to video call iPhone® 4 and iPod touch®* users as well as other Macs. Featuring an easy to use interface, FaceTime for Mac automatically uses your Address Book contacts so there’s no need to create special buddy lists, and it works seamlessly with the built-in camera and mic on Mac notebooks, iMac® and Apple LED Cinema Displays.

“FaceTime makes video calling to or from mobile devices easy for the first time,” said Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO. “We’ve sold more than 19 million FaceTime-ready iPhone 4 and iPod touch devices in the past four months, and now those users can make FaceTime calls with tens of millions of Mac users.”

FaceTime for Mac requires Mac OS® X Snow Leopard® and is easy to set up with an Apple ID. The public beta is available immediately as a free download at www.apple.com/mac/facetime.

*iOS 4.1 required.

Apple designs Macs, the best personal computers in the world, along with OS X, iLife, iWork, and professional software. Apple leads the digital music revolution with its iPods and iTunes online store. Apple is reinventing the mobile phone with its revolutionary iPhone and App Store, and has recently introduced its magical iPad which is defining the future of mobile media and computing devices.

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