Tag Archives: ichat

FaceTime Beta for Mac – Not Windows, Yet


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Apple recently released the first public beta of the free FaceTime Mac desktop app. It’s not without its share of flaws, but for the most part works as advertised. I’m happy enough – for now.

FaceTime for Mac makes it possible to talk, smile, wave, and laugh with anyone on an iPhone 4, iPod touch, or Mac from your Mac over Wi-Fi. So you can catch up, hang out, joke around, and stay in touch with just a click. Sure, it’s great to hear a voice. But it’s even better to see the face that goes with it.

The only thing you need to get started is an Apple id and an email address… and the beta download, of course. Your address book is already integrated, so you don’t have to worry about having to add anyone. You CAN add anyone you want to at any point in time. With a MobileMe subscription, you can have several different accounts… choose one for friends, one for family and one for business to keep things more organized.

I don’t like that it won’t work on Windows or Linux. That’s depressing, Apple. You dont want to get leap-frogged by Skype, now do you?

I hate that you cannot block someone from within FaceTime. I had to change one of my usernames due to someone guessing it and trying to call repeatedly. There’s no way to just block them from calling at will. I hate that it won’t run full-screen natively. You have to toggle it during the call itself. Having some automated features would make it much better.

Call anyone who has a FaceTime account and see the smile you put on their face.

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iChat is More than Instant Messaging

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When Apple released the features of Leopard, some Mac users got their hoodies in a twist over iChat. They compared it to Windows Messenger… but couldn’t be further from being correct.

iChat isn’t just for instant messaging. Just some of the cool enhancements to iChat include:

  • With the new video backdrops built into iChat, you can make it look like you’re chatting from the Eiffel Tower, under the sea, or from the moon. You can also create your own custom backdrops by dragging a picture or video from iPhoto or the Finder into the video effects window. Backdrops even show up on the screens of buddies who don’t have Leopard.
  • Transform your video chats using new Photo Booth effects. Add kapow! to a chat with the comic book effect. Get twisted with twirl. Soften your image with glow. Just choose an effect and your video changes instantly.
  • Why wait for a darkened room and a projector to present vacation photos or Keynote slides? iChat Theater Now you can do it all remotely, right in iChat. Put on a photo slideshow, click through a Keynote presentation, or play a movie — in full screen, accompanied by a video feed of you hosting — while your buddy looks on. In fact, you can show any file on your system that works with Quick Look.
  • Thanks to iChat screen sharing, you and your buddy can observe and control a single desktop with iChat, making it a cinch to collaborate with a colleague, browse the web with a friend, or pick plane seats with your spouse. Share your own desktop or your buddy’s — you both have control at all times. And iChat automatically initiates an audio chat when you start a screen sharing session, so you can talk things through while you’re at it.
  • Now you can save your audio and video chats for posterity with iChat recording. Before recording starts, iChat notifies your buddies and asks for their permission to record. When you’re done chatting, iChat stores your audio chats as AAC files and video chats as MPEG-4 files so you can play them in iTunes or QuickTime. Share them with colleagues, friends, and family or sync them to your iPod and play on the go.

Who says that Instant Messaging has ever had this much functionality… and been this much fun?

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