FaceTime - Alternative to skype

on Thursday, 17 January 2013
FaceTime is not new and many people know it is Skype alternative. Steve Jobs presented the in-house video calling already about a year ago. And in October, Apple announced that Mac owners can now use video telephony. But only now, with the launch of the iPad 2, FaceTime will probably be really popular. The new iPad has the required two cameras, Apple's range of iPod Touch, iPhone, iPad 2 and iMac is now facetime capable.

Why Apple uses its own video calling, if popular applications such as Skype are used millions of times? FaceTime has obvious advantages - at least for Apple followers. The software is perfectly integrated into the hardware, the quality of image and sound is brilliant, there are no visible delays in the conversation. Those who frequently uses Skype will be able to confirm that the images are often grainy and run image and language often asynchronously. Why still use Skype? The "classic" has been around for more than eight years, he has more than half a billion users. A headset and a web camera can turn any PC into a telephone with video. Is a Skype app with video function for Android devices and the iPhone, it works in the WLAN as traveling with UMTS.

How can Apple FaceTime establish as a competing product? First, the company should rely on the accuracy and convenience of its customers. iPhone 4 - and 2-iPad owners are automatically logged in with their Apple ID because this authentication to use their devices anyway need. A caller selects someone from your contacts, they can automatically see if he could reach him via FaceTime. Ensure the system remains closed, unlike Skype, you can search anyone. Phone number or e-mail address is always required. Who wants to activate FaceTime on their Mac computer must, however, go a similar way as the users of Skype or Google Voice. After installation and registration go. Lacks the convenient system integration.

Wi-Fi connection is required

Using FaceTime requires a Wi-Fi connection. Use on the UMTS network, what video chat programs like Skype and other permit is excluded. Apple could have two reasons to restrict the use of wireless. The data is there, usually stable and fast enough, so the high quality. Second, Apple does not require mobile operators and can use their own infrastructure: further guarantee of constant quality.

Apple gives no information about the technology behind FaceTime. The Internet was initially speculated whether the connection is first made via GSM, so the wireless network, and then switching back to the raw data net. Speaking against that meanwhile iMac owners can use FaceTime. The exchange will run only on the e-mail address and Apple ID.

Skype uses a "peer-to-peer" technology (P2P). It was the first service of its kind to use this method often used in file sharing. First, a central server to Skype that the log data of users are authenticated. This "white" thus which user is logged on and "mediated" the two.

Usually this is the idea behind P2P decentralization of data flow by the "burden" distributed to all active users. Everyone receives and sends data to the other. After lots of stops, the small data packets are assembled at the end.

Open the Windows world?

Apple could take a similar approach with FaceTime. Once a user starts a FaceTime call, it first establishes a connection with one of the Apple server. The entry permit is the Apple ID. Now "knocking" on the server when callee to verify whether this is located in a network. After the "handshake" is the Apple server, a connection between these two "terminals" ago. FaceTime between two participants, the data is exchanged directly.

One difference between FaceTime and Skype about is that the latter is online and data transfer, as soon as they are logged. FaceTime only begins to send and receive data, when the button is pressed, and stops the transfer of the end of the conversation. In addition, Apple has at FaceTime despite the proprietary protocol on proven techniques and standard codecs such as H.264 and other Sip services. Skype to make real competition, Apple would need to take a decisive step - and offer his little program also for Windows users. With iTunes you dared him - which was a great success. It is conceivable that in the future the word "Face Time" is an example for video telephony. As with Skype.