The Critique: You need iPhone 4 and WiFi. Ha! I just can just whip out my phone and video chat with anyone right now.
Really? Like everyone has a smartphone with a front-facing camera and chat software with a registered account they happen to be logged into. Oh, and a buddy list you’re on (well, assuming you both use a compatible chat protocol).
Point is, the number of “ready” devices for video chat/call is very small. For iPhone 4, it’ll be 0 on Day 1, but not on Day 90. After the first quarter of availability there will likely be more iPhone 4 devices ready for FaceTime than there are other devices ready for video chat.
And I don’t mean theoretically ready, I mean ready. The beauty of FaceTime is that there’s no setup. All you need is the phone. You don’t have to get chat software, install, sign up, add buddies, etc., and then make sure the other person has done the same. As usual, Apple made it “just work”.
Further, the need for WiFi is not so restrictive when you consider you’re not (I hope!) video calling from, say, a car. You’re likely in a stationary location (home, hotel, office, etc.) where WiFi is frequently available. And WiFi is only a temporary (for 2010) restriction anyway.
Finally, Apple made FaceTime an open standard, so if Android phone manufacturers have any brains they’ll fight to be first to market with it on their new devices. Once that happens, I’m sure many of the people complaining now will suddenly see what a smart and practical implementation FaceTime really is.