In a not so surprising move, Apple announced today during the "Back to Mac" event that FaceTime for Mac would be ready for immediate download. This initial release is clearly marked as a beta release. It's also currently only available for Macintosh users with Mac OS X Snow Leopard installed, no word if Leopard users will get to join the fun, but that seems unlikely with Lion on the prowl already. No news yet on if FaceTime will be available for PC users, it does seem highly likely that eventually it will be available. In a very positive since, FaceTime for Mac is a totally separate application from iChat. Also no word on any other software publishers or phone makers adding FaceTime to their products.
With an installed base of over 50 million Macs and the prevalent behavior of most Mac users to upgrade, it seems likely that well over 50% of all Mac users (25 million, but who's counting) will have access to FaceTime for Mac. The real question is whether they will use it. iChat Video is probably one of the most underused Apps on any Mac, but possibly with iPhones being pulled into the Mix personal video conferencing will finally take off just like AT&T predicted so many years ago.
Apple Brings FaceTime to the Mac
Macs Can Video Call Over 19 Million iPhone 4 & iPod touch Users
CUPERTINO, California—October 20, 2010—Apple® today announced the public beta of FaceTime® for Mac®, an entirely new application that allows Mac users to video call iPhone® 4 and iPod touch®* users as well as other Macs. Featuring an easy to use interface, FaceTime for Mac automatically uses your Address Book contacts so there’s no need to create special buddy lists, and it works seamlessly with the built-in camera and mic on Mac notebooks, iMac® and Apple LED Cinema Displays.
“FaceTime makes video calling to or from mobile devices easy for the first time,” said Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO. “We’ve sold more than 19 million FaceTime-ready iPhone 4 and iPod touch devices in the past four months, and now those users can make FaceTime calls with tens of millions of Mac users.”
FaceTime for Mac requires Mac OS® X Snow Leopard® and is easy to set up with an Apple ID. The public beta is available immediately as a free download at www.apple.com/mac/facetime.
*iOS 4.1 required.
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