Skype wants to use Apple’s new FaceTime open-standard for video calling

“Gadget site Pocket-lint confirms with an unnamed source within Skype that the company would more than welcome an opportunity to make their already popular chatting software compatible with Apple’s new, open-standard, FaceTime video calling technology and the iPhone 4,” Joe Aimonetti reports for CNET.

“Pocket-lint’s source says,’We would welcome the opportunity to work with Apple to bring mobile video calling not only to our many millions of Skype users on iPhone around the world, but also to the countless more making video calls on desktops, TVs and other connected devices,'” Aimonetti reports.

“Clearly the ability to video call from Skype-enabled computers to iPhone 4 (and vice versa) would certainly be advantageous to all users involved,” Aimonetti reports. “This would also make the FaceTime functionality on iPhone 4, which is currently restricted to Wi-Fi, seem much more robust.”

Full article here.

17 Comments

  1. Skype is the competitor to iChat. It either pulls iChat to a wider audience by letting FaceTime communicate via iPhone 4 to pc and Macs and vise versa or Skype will do it for millions of current users!!!!!!
    FaceTime is a good first step for Apple. And Open standards is good as we all can benefit from combining applications uses later on.
    Go Apple ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”grin” style=”border:0;” /> Buy AAPL before it goes past $301 bucks.

  2. @Chas

    Wait for the next MobileMe version which will go online together with Apples server farm in autumn.
    Apples solution will exceed Skype because of a “systemwide call function via push notification” without always running iChat in the background.

  3. iChat sucks for one reason. Low market penetration.

    For chat and video chat to be successful, it has to have critical mass.

    Skype has that critical mass.

    Apple has shown no interest in porting iChat to the PC. iChat is the AppleTV of chat apps. It’s a hobby.

    Apple is trying to to video chat what they did by supporting html5. Supporting an open standard that they have a say in creating.

    Remember, it’s an open standard, not open source… this means that Apple can charge a small licensing fee for its use, if they wish… though I’d imagine they would make it free to use ( at least to start out )

  4. @MooLatte

    Agreed. Although my immediate family is all Mac, most of my friends are not, so I’m forced to use Skype with them. Skype’s biggest limitation is its inability to actually videoconference (tie in multiple video chats).

  5. “Apple has shown no interest in porting iChat to the PC”

    Because there is already an existing application that does iChat. It is called AIM (AOL Instant Messenger).

    Currently, iChat works with AIM protocol (the original, default protocol), as well as on Jabber, which currently includes GoogleTalk. In other words, iChat users can video-chat on AIM and GT. Also, currently, AIM is the ONLY one of the big ones out there that allows four-party video-conferencing.

    The only significant problem with iChat (and likely the main reason it hasn’t picked up and has allowed Skype to leapfrog it big time) is that iChat’s AIM protocols require several dozen open ports on the firewall in order to work. Skype is quite elastic with that respect, and if UDP isn’t available, it will funnel its stream using port 80 via HTTP. I have yet to come across a corporate firewall that will let iChat through, or block Skype.

    As for Facetime protocols, if they don’t make it into iChat by this time next year, I’d be in a serious WTF mode, scratching my head.

  6. I currently use a touch screen cell phone that has Skype voice and video calling built into the firmware – thus, integrated into the address book and phone app. Still satisfied with this 3.5G/WLAN voice AND video over IP flexibility, I was rocked by Apple’s impressive Facetime demonstration.

    I believe it will be awhile before Skype incorporates Facetime. They may choose to extort Apple into underwriting their adoption costs. On another front, Facetime, with its open networking standards, may already be compatible with iChat on Snow Leopard or through a 10.6.4 update.

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  7. I’m already scratching my head with iChat versus FaceTime.

    1) Why didn’t they say anything about making these compatible during the keynote? They didn’t have to release a new iChat, just say that it’s coming.

    2) How exactly would these two work together? The beauty of FaceTime is that it’s zero configuration and doesn’t require usernames or passwords. Your phone number is your username and since it is your phone, your password isn’t needed. They either need to give phone numbers to iChat ($$$) or change FaceTime on the iPhone to be able to call iChat usernames (storable in contacts).

    If FaceTime could call usernames, why wasn’t this shown during the demo? If this was the plan, why wait until later to implement this feature? It seems like this feature would be much easier and straight forward to implement than using the phone number.

    Something doesn’t make sense here…and I suspect it may be a nice surprise…maybe one that takes advantage of the new data center?

  8. My understanding of FaceTime is that every new iPhone will require a basic (and free) MobileMe account (premium, or “full” membership will continue to cost $100 per yer). In other words, in order to activate your phone, you must create a MobileMe account. This account is immediately associated with your mobile number in your address book. When you boot your iPhone, it automatically logs you into FaceTime with your MobileMe account and stays logged in forever. If you add a mobile number to your address book, your phone will check to see if there is a MobileMe user ID associated with it. If so, it will add it behind the scenes. Anyone on iPhone 4 can call you at any time, because you’re always logged in. Just like you can set your phone to automatically redirect incoming calls to voice mail, you may be able to set this to automatically not answer. And if someone is on a desktop computer, they’ll be able to log in (presumably, using iChat) and see all of their iPhone 4 friends online.

    None of the above is from any official (or unofficial) Apple data; it is just the way I understand how it works.

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