Apple’s New iPhone 4 Ads: A FaceTime Future?

Nevertheless, the ads are emotional proofs of concept for a future that will eventually be real for many millions, whether that future is brought about by the iPhone 4 or not.

You can see all four new ads on Apple’s site. I think they’re all well done, with my personal favorite being “Haircut”.

But the ads mean less to me than Mashable’s quote above. They seem to have forgotten Apple made FaceTime an open standard.

Unless Android handset makers are idiots, they should be fighting to be first to market with FaceTime on an Android phone. (Oh, and Microsoft should push for this in the first WP7 phone, too.) It’s not about Apple, per se, but rather the technology they’ve made available to everyone.

If hardware makers don’t blow it, this “concept for a future that will eventually be real for many millions” will be brought about through Apple’s work, not through their phone. For FaceTime, think of iPhone 4 as Apple’s model to show other hardware makers how it’s done.

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Silly Apple Criticism 1: iPhone 4’s FaceTime is Like Video Chat, Only More Restrictive

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.

FaceTime will be a success because you don’t need an account.

Leave it to Apple to go the extra mile. Any other company would have made you sign up for something new. Serious design and engineering went into the software side of FaceTime, as well as custom integration with AT&T. That’s what will make it a break out feature, not just something for geeks.

Good article. Much of the tech press is just considering FaceTime another video chat implementation, but there’s a lot more going on here.