One of the coolest new features about the Apple iPhone 4 is the ability to do two-way video calling. This feature, known as FaceTime, is the star of a series of new ads from the handset maker.
The Apple iPhone 4 has a front-facing camera that can be used for FaceTime. One of the cool things I like about the new iPhone is that you can easily switch between an audio call and the video calls (as long as you’re on WiFi). This doesn’t use any wireless minutes and it could cut down on your voice minutes if you primarily talk to other Apple iPhone 4 users.
Another cool thing I like about FaceTime is that you can easily switch which camera you want to use with an on-screen icon. The HTC EVO 4G can also do two-way video calls but you have to dive into menus and settings to change which camera you’re using. The Apple iPhone 4 makes it quite easy to switch on the fly.
With that said, Apple FaceTime isn’t close to perfect. It’s only available on the Apple iPhone 4, so it’s relatively limited to a small number of users. Sure, that should change in the near future but it’s still just on the Apple iPhone 4. It’s limited to WiFi, which competitors like Fring are already doing two-way video chatting over 3G networks.
Additionally, the FaceTime service is still an Apple-only product. The company said it will be opening this up but there’s a huge difference between an open source standard and an “open to other Apple products” standard. We’ll have to see where that goes.
As for the advertising campaign, I wasn’t a big fan of the first commercial directed by Sam Mendes. I thought it was pretty schlocky from the choice of music to the cliche usage scenarios. Maybe I’m just a jaded tech dude but these ones just seem heavy-handed with its emotional goals.
I like the new ones below because they’re shorter. Sure, you get some of the same cliche heart-string pulling but that’s more palatable to me in 30-second forms. Check em out for yourself and let us know in the comments.