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FaceTime: iPhone 4 gets its own video calling app

When Steve Jobs announced his trademark "one more thing" during his iPhone 4 unveiling at today's WWDC keynote, it was a real doozy. FaceTime is Apple's new video calling app, that works from iPhone 4 to iPhone 4 with no setup whatsoever. Just when we were getting excited that the iPhone 4's front camera would let us video call with Skype, Apple delivered something even bigger.

FaceTime is not without its issues, though. First off, it's going to be WiFi-only for at least the rest of 2010, while mobile carriers get their networks ready to handle it. AT&T, we're looking at you! Get it together, guys! Also, taking mobile video calls mainstream presents some interesting issues of etiquette and decorum. With Skype, you know you can video call someone because they're signed in. With FaceTime, you might get an incoming video call when you're in public, or when you just got out of the shower. Plus, it makes drive-by flashing pretty damn easy ... I wouldn't hurry to answer any FaceTime calls from strangers, that's for sure.

Despite the issues, though, I think FaceTime just raised the bar for what we expect from our communication devices. Plug-and-play video calling used to be Jetsons-type-future-stuff, and now it's just the latest thing made mainstream by Apple. Love them or hate them, they're pushing the envelope again.

For a recap of the keynote, check out the liveblog from our sister site, Engadget and further WWDC 2010 coverage on TUAW.

Tags: facetime, ios4, iphone 4, Iphone4, steve jobs, SteveJobs, video calling, VideoCalling, wwdc

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