Skype brings video calling to iPhone

Skype brings video calling to iPhone

Summary: Good news for iPhone owners wanting to make video calls to Skype users - video calling comes to the Skype app.

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Good news for iPhone owners wanting to make video calls to Skype users - video calling comes to the Skype app.

iPhone 4 owners already have the ability to make video calls over WiFi networks using the FaceTime feature, but the new video calling feature built into the Skype app now supports video calling to both mobile and desktop Skype apps, and over both 3G and WiFi networks - for free.

I've tested the app over 3G and WiFi and the video quality ranges from great to acceptable, depending on network speeds.

The app is free, calls are free ... what are you waiting for?

Skype app runs on the iPhone, iPhone 3G, iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPad and iPod touch, and requires iPhone OS version 3.0 or above. Download app here.

Topics: Social Enterprise, Collaboration, iPhone, Mobility

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45 comments
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  • Sweet!

    I know very, very, very few iPhone 4 owners so FaceTime has been pretty much a total bust for me. I don't understand why Apple constantly has to create their own "standards" when perfectly good standards already exist. Apple simply does not play well with others.
    NonZealot
    • RE: Skype brings video calling to iPhone

      @NonZealot btw, Skype is not a standard, it's a closed proprietary technology that happens to be popular. Facetime will be open, but may not be popular. H.323 and SIP are open non-proprietary videoconferencing standards. Too bad there aren't more of these clients on portable devices.
      keel
      • I had a Skype phone, I know what I'm talking about

        @keel
        My Skype phone worked really well and was not made by Skype at all. Apple could have made FaceTime work just like my Skype phone did and have it access a pre-existing ecosystem that worked and worked extremely well.

        Instead, Apple had to go ahead and create yet another network, create yet more confusion, create yet more incompatibility, just because Apple does not play well with others at all.

        [i]Facetime will be open[/i]

        Facetime will be "open" as long as everyone jumps when Apple says jump. Apple "plays well" as long as Apple is the one in charge. Apple does not play well with anyone unless they are in charge. That's called being a bully.
        NonZealot
    • RE: Skype brings video calling to iPhone

      @NonZealot - No, Apple only uses established, OPEN standards don't forget and FaceTime is no different. You are thinking of "Skype" which is proprietary.

      This will help you understand what FaceTime supports:

      * H.264 and AAC, its ISO/MPEG video and audio codecs (just like iChat).
      * SIP (Session Initiation Protocol), the open IETF signaling protocol for VoIP used by iChat AV.
      * STUN (Session Traversal Utilities for NAT), an IETF standard for dealing with lots of different kinds of NAT.
      * TURN (Traversal Using Relay NAT), an IETF standard for allowing a client behind NAT to receive incoming requests like a server.
      * ICE (Interactive Connectivity Establishment) an IETF standard which helps set up connections through NAT firewalls.
      * RTP (Real-time Transport Protocol), an iETF standard for delivering media streams in VoIP.
      * SRTP (Secure RTP) an IETF standard designed to provide encryption, message authentication and integrity for the data streams.

      Learn to do research before you post, otherwise, you kinda look like a fool.
      Pederson
      • Cool!!

        @Pederson
        Since these are all existing standards, where is my Windows FaceTime client?

        Oh.

        Right.

        [i]Learn to do research before you post, otherwise, you kinda look like a fool.[/i]

        You should take your own advice.

        Apple has created yet another network that is incompatible with 100% of the existing networks out there. That they happen to use a few standards here and there in their implementation of their incompatible network makes it open in name only. There is absolutely no reason why they couldn't have worked with Skype or even MS in order to use an existing video networking ecosystem. But, like I said, Apple does not play well with others.
        NonZealot
      • RE: Skype brings video calling to iPhone

        @NonZealot
        <i>where is my Windows FaceTime client?</i>

        Since Apple writes really really bad software for Windows (iTunes anyone?) I'm glad that there isn't a Windows FaceTime client.
        If FaceTime really does use all these standards (it does) and if there are a lot of iPhone 4 (FaceTime capable) users out there in the Windows world (there are) and if they think FaceTime is good (remains to be seen and I don't claim to have an opinion) then all it will take is an enterprising programmer to write the client. Almost anyone would likely do a better job than Apple (who really can't code for Windows) so it would be a bigger win in the end.

        Fortunately no one is forcing me (or you) to abandon Skype just because they have an iPhone or a Mac. Choice is a great thing. It gives me options, and it gives you something to complain about!
        use_what_works_4_U
      • @macadam: Missing the point

        Although this first sentence is [b]very[/b] telling!!!
        [i]Since Apple writes really really bad software for Windows (iTunes anyone?) I'm glad that there isn't a Windows FaceTime client.[/i]

        If FaceTime was as standards based as you claim it is (it isn't), Apple wouldn't have to write a Windows FaceTime client.

        [i]If FaceTime really does use all these standards (it does)[/i]

        Yes, but the way that Apple put them all together is [b]not[/b] standard, or there would be FaceTime compatible clients for Windows [b]before[/b] FaceTime was ever released. I could write an application that stored its configuration in an XML file but that doesn't mean that the application was open or that it used standard communication protocols.

        [i]all it will take is an enterprising programmer to write the client[/i]

        Unfortunately, Facetime is [b]not[/b] an open standard so no enterprising programmer can write a client for it. Only Apple can.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Facetime
        [i]Apple [b]had pledged[/b] to release it as an open standard allowing other companies to develop around it[/i]

        This has not happened yet. When will it happen? Who knows.

        [i]if there are a lot of iPhone 4 (FaceTime capable) users out there in the Windows world (there are)[/i]

        There are a LOT more Skype users than there are iPhone 4 users in the Windows world.

        Again, this is [b]all[/b] about Apple making things [b]difficult[/b] for paying customers like me. There was [b]no[/b] reason why Apple couldn't have worked out an arrangement with Skype to use their network. Fring managed to do it (as I was reminded in another blog) and it was [b]wildly[/b] successful (too successful, in fact, for Fring to keep up with).

        Apple does not play well with others. End of story.
        NonZealot
      • So closed-minded

        @NonZealot
        You are so focused on hating Apple that you missed one of my most important points. It seems self-serving to quote my post but what the heck.
        <i>Fortunately no one is forcing me (or you) to abandon Skype just because they have an iPhone or a Mac.<b> Choice is a great thing.</b></i>

        You see, rather than focus on a product which doesn't solve my problem (Facetime) I am much happier to focus on one that does (Skype) and that works on my Macs, my PCs, and my Linux box. Apple is out to make money, how shocking! They create products that drive them to more and more profit. How shocking! If you don't like it, use something else! To paraphrase Steve Jobs (a jerk if there ever was one, almost to your level)
        <i>If you want that on your phone, buy Android</i>

        Hopefully Apple will release FaceTime as a fully open standard. Since it's been in production for less than a year I think it's a little to early to praise or condemn them on this pledge. Time will tell but this is still a very new product.

        You go on posting your vitriol. I find it very amusing.
        use_what_works_4_U
      • Interesting!

        <i>You go on posting your vitriol.</i><br><br>Yes, I've come to discover that anyone who posts anything not 100% pro-Apple is immediately accused of "hating" Apple. My posts aren't vitriolic, I simply won't suck up to Apple and apologize for all their mistakes like you will.
        NonZealot
      • Vitriol

        @NonZealot <br>Your comments are not vitriolic because they disagree with Apple. I don't like everything that Apple does, and I have said so in the past. Notably whenever I try to use iTunes on my Windows7 PC.<br><br>Your comments are vitriolic because you never seem to have anything positive to say about anyone unless you are using them to bolster your anti-Apple sentiments. In fact I have a hard time recalling the last time I saw you initiate any commentary that wasn't specifically bashing Apple. You never seem to comment about how great a Windows product is on its own merits. You only seem to praise them when it gives you an opportunity to attack Apple in some fashion. <br><br>Apple is far from perfect. When I worked for Apple I was known to tell people to buy a PC if what they wanted was Windows. I would rather have them calling Dell for support then showing up at my Genius Bar complaining because they really wanted Windows. I am more than willing to criticize them when I feel they screwed the pooch on something. But because I disagree with you does not make me an Apple apologist. iTunes and Quicktime for Windows - bad software. Antennae that can be shorted out by holding a phone the "wrong way" - blown out of proportion but still a bad design. Blaming said antenna on the user - really bad move. The difference is that I don't jump at every opportunity to lambast any one company like I'm somehow saving the world. You do.<br><br>Incidentally, every word I've typed today has been written in the Chrome browser running on Windows 7 on my Asus desktop PC. And I am quite happy about that, too. <img border="0" src="http://www.cnet.com/i/mb/emoticons/happy.gif" alt="happy">
        use_what_works_4_U
      • I constantly praise my Apple hardware

        [i]In fact I have a hard time recalling the last time I saw you initiate any commentary that wasn't specifically bashing Apple.[/i]

        Time after time after time after time, I've stated that my iPhone 4 is the best smartphone I've ever had and that my MBP is the best laptop that I've ever had.

        I just don't believe they are perfect. Stating that in a ZDNet talkback is regarded as blasphemy by many.
        NonZealot
      • Praising the hardware

        @NonZealot<br>And time after time you follow your praise of the hardware with "but OS X is the worst ... ever created". Likewise you almost never fail to mention the faulty antenna design on your iPhone4. As I said, it's a legitimate gripe but you can't mention it and then claim unqualified praise.<br><br>I still have still have a difficult time recalling you post anything positive about any product, Apple or otherwise mind you, that did not also include negative comments on an Apple product.
        use_what_works_4_U
      • Well, that hardly seems to be my problem

        [i]I still have still have a difficult time recalling you post anything positive about any product, Apple or otherwise mind you, that did not also include negative comments on an Apple product.[/i]

        I most certainly have done so. That you happened to have missed those many posts is hardly my problem. :)
        NonZealot
      • Not your problem

        @NonZealot
        You are right, it is a failing of my memory I suppose and not your problem. Just as it is not my problem that you have not acknowledged my very obvious refusal to <i>"suck up to Apple and apologize for all their mistakes like you will."</i> :)
        use_what_works_4_U
      • Well, try to remember this one then

        My iPhone 4 is the best smartphone I've ever purchased and is the best smartphone currently on the market. End of story. In fact, I've convinced 1 person to purchase one and tried to convince another when they expressed interest in waiting for WP7 or buying an Android phone (they ended up buying Android).

        My MacBook Pro is the best laptop I've ever purchased. End of story. In fact, I've convinced 2 people to purchase one.

        Apple did a fantastic job on these 2 devices. End of story.
        NonZealot
    • Wait a sec...

      @NonZealot

      Skye is a "for profit" company is it not, and charges for its video conferencing services does it not? Explain to me why Apple should make their phone into a Skype phone when Skype is perfectly capable and is doing it on its own? It sounds like you're suggesting Apple should have just handed Skype 10's of millions of potential new paying customers out of the goodness of its heart. Are there any other videoconferencing services that might have demanded similar "favors" from Apple?
      oncall
  • RE: Skype brings video calling to iPhone

    I like the feature OK, but I don't use my iPhone that much (have a roll-over plan which, for all practical purposes, means unlimited minutes for me) so unless I'm out of the country I wouldn't have much use for it. Also, I'm usually not very concerned about whether iPhone calling video is available via 3g or Skype. I like such video when I'm out of the country, but, even then, I'd prefer to use my laptop with Skype.<br><br>My 2 cents is that tech companies provide features because they can and, thus, hope to attract a larger market via the features. Many times the features are pretty much so what. I feel that way about, for example, FaceTime. I do like Skype video sometimes via my laptop or desktop--for grandchildren, when on vacation, etc. Rambling, so ....
    Znod
    • Well said

      @Znod
      <i>My 2 cents is that tech companies provide features because they can and, thus, hope to attract a larger market via the features.</i>

      You are exactly right on that point. Video calling on a phone seems like a nice idea, but I doubt I would ever use it. For me personally, the screen is just too small. I am glad that the option is there and one day I might change my mind. For now though, give me Skype on a 10+inch screen or I just won't bother.
      use_what_works_4_U
  • RE: Skype brings video calling to iPhone

    Exactly what "standards" existed (& worked) before Apple introduced Facetime? Which by the way they've released as an open standard for others to use; Thats what I'd call playing well.
    rodzter
  • RE: Skype brings video calling to iPhone

    Facetime also works with Macs and iPod Touch as well as iPhones (& probably iPads in the future) I wonder if Skype Video is using the same frameworks/API's as facetime, now Apple has released this as an open standard.
    rodzter