Sunday, October 10, 2010

Is the new yahoo app a facetime killer?

Facetime today does only work from iPhone/iPod touch over wifi. Steve Jobs said that facetime will be open standard but till now there are no other devices using facetime.
Instead more and more smartphones begin to sport front facing video cameras, the market for apps that handle video messaging efficiently has becoming increasingly attractive.
Many options such as Fring, Tango, and Qik are available, but the only big player right now is Apple with Facetime.
Qik is an android application but not as good integrated into OS like facetime and is not preinstalled as standards on android phones.

In a press release announcing T-Mobile’s new myTouch smartphone, there was a mention of users’ ability to video chat through Yahoo! Messenger.
Recently, David Katz, Yahoo’s VP of Mobile for the Americas region, gave the low down to Reuters in terms of what smartphone owners can expect from the revamped Yahoo! Messenger app. The app is expected to be released for Android users in the near future with the ability to work across 3G and Wi-Fi. Interestingly, the video part of the app will work with PC and Mac users running Yahoo! Messenger—finally making video chat from smartphone to desktop/laptop a reality.
Rumors are out there that the new yahoo app is coming to the Apple app store.

But Apple is very adamant about video apps running only over Wi-Fi, as its native FaceTime only operates on Wi-Fi.
Apple will earlier or later extend facetime to 3G but it is doubtful that Apple will approve the new yahoo messenger.
In case yahoo messenger will only work on Wifi, it will still be a big competition to Facetime because of the ability to make video calls cross phones and PCs which Facetime does not offer yet.

The question is why does Apple not already open facetime to other platforms and why does it not support 3G.
It is a tough call, and I find no sense why my MacOs X iChat does not work with facetime or why other messengers are not allowed to work facetime.

I could find two reason why not supporting 3G. Apple wants to have always best user experience, 3G is often too slow and most of the iPhone users are living in big cities where the 3G network is already pretty busy, video chat would not help the 3G network.
Then there are the costs for the consumer. If a consumer does not have the old unlimited ATT contract then the 2GB are pretty fast used for video chatting. After this it gets expensive for the user or 3G is unavailable till next payment circle.

The other reason could be that Apple wants to show strengths to the carriers to show that an user does not need a calling or data plan to make calls. The future is not to need a carrier and Apple does know it. It is since a while an issue for Apple that the phone bills are so high. Apple does not like that others are charging high for their service and Apple does not make money out of it.
Their dream is that all services are going through Apple and that they dominate the price.
If they can't deliver all services then at least the 3rd party has to go by Apple's rule.

We will see if Apple is approving the new yahoo messenger and if people will use it. I personally like that facetime is so perfect integrated into the OS, and if iChat on Mac would work with facetime, this would be great, but if i could use facetime to call my sisters in Germany to their Skype or AOL messenger my life would be almost perfect.

But I guess instead, I have to buy them new iPod touchs. I have 4 sisters each of them gets an $229 iPod touch which is in total $916 which would be equivalent to
45,800 minutes or 32 days straight call to landline (based on 2 cent a minute).

I think i skip the iPod touch. Better choice might me Apple TV and a camera. And using facetime to call their living room or i just use the Skype app on my iPhone, without video chat.

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