Reconnect with Your Relatives and Friends Using FaceTime

Yesterday, my parents finally jumped on the iOS bandwagon and got a couple of iPads. The first thing my mother wanted to do was test out FaceTime, a feature of iOS (and OS X) that has received lackluster attention from some tech pundits for being less useful than other popular video calling services like Skype. To my surprise, my initial thoughts on FaceTime were actually very inaccurate. After having an hour-long conversation with my mother and father, getting a tour of a redecorated home office, and being able to share moments as if I were there in person, I’ve decided to change my opinion and now consider FaceTime to be not only useful, but incredibly fun.

My parents aren’t tech pundits, programmers, super geeks, or anything of the sort. They’ve always been tech savvy, but their interest in all the latest gadgets has never been as high as my own. In short, they’re regular people that have found a lot of use in an app many tech reviewers and pundits shrugged off as just an extra feature that comes with Apple devices. In fact, one of my mother’s good friends (also not a geek herself) recently purchased an iPhone 4 specifically to use FaceTime.

Video and audio quality was very good and consistent throughout the call. My mother can reach me at my Mac, my iPhone, or my iPad wherever I may be. She can also reach me, in a video context, while she’s on the go without having to worry about my being logged in to Skype or some other app. During an hour of full video streaming, we experienced no noticeable choppiness. Everything was smooth, even when we frequently switched between the front-facing and rear cameras to show the other person something we were looking at.

Whether we were talking on the iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, or OS X, everything was consistent and there was no difference between them in terms of quality. Nothing was sent or received in super high-quality. This wouldn’t necessarily work for video podcasters doing interviews as well as some of the alternatives out there; this feature is made for families and friends to connect over long distances, and for that purpose, it fits perfectly.

After reading and hearing so many different negative responses to the built-in cameras on the iPad 2, I finally found a use for them and I have no serious complaints. FaceTime worked for me, and surprisingly well at that.

Article Written by

Ryan Matthew Pierson has worked as a broadcaster, writer, and producer for media outlets ranging from local radio stations to internationally syndicated programs. His experience includes every aspect of media production. He has over a decade of experience in terrestrial radio, Internet multimedia, and commercial video production.

  • http://www.facebook.com/chad.jones75 Chad Jones

    It could, but that would defeat the purpose of being “the church”. Being in a church is all about community and spending time with one another (as well as being fed spiritually) How can one make a difference where they live in their community? And who could you physically go to in need of some guidance or counsel? I think too many people hide behind their computers these days and avoid physical contact anymore (at least it seems) but who knows. Jesus came to people and formed the church (the apostles) and he would constantly go to peoples homes to eat and have conversation (sometimes even inviting himself over) and he had a constant will/desire for his community and people. But thats just my 2 cents :)

  • Tom Farley

    Hebrews 10:25. (Paraphrase) “Forsake not the assembling of yourselves…especially as you see the day approaching.”

    I agree with Chad. Sure we can get many things online, such as church sermons, books, etc. but that really can’t take the place of physical human contact. Any serious Christian has to realize that fellowship is almost as crucial as the Gospel itself. In my personal experience, my church is so close that we call each other family and it isn’t just a word here. I have many friends that are “closer than a brother”. My wife and I went thru a very difficult time after the birth our son. He has Cerebral Palsy. If it weren’t for the support (prayer and physical) of many of our church friends, we would have been devastated in many ways (emotionally, financially, etc.). In the end, Christ used these people (and still does) to be a help for us. I couldn’t be the Christian I am today if not for personal contact with my pastors and church friends.

  • D Lowrey

    Where this could take the place of a physical church is for those who work on Sunday morning and other times services are being held. For instance…the church I currently attend only has services on Sunday morning. There’s no Sunday or Wednesday evening services…so it you can’t attend on Sunday mornings…you are out of luck.

  • Neil Bryson

    For people who are isolated, Cyberchurch must be a godsend!  For the rest of us, we do need real contact with other Christians, to see them, be with them, worship with them, encourage and be encouraged.  I think this is because the Church is a Body, with Christ Himself as the Head, and that sense of the Body cannot be really experienced in an edifying way in cyberspace.

  • Anonymous

    i cant believe this,me and my friend just got two i-phones for 43.78 USD each and a 25 USD gift card for 4 USD the stores want to keep this a secret and they dont tell you go here http://s6x.it/2volf

  • http://twitter.com/JenMcGahan Jen McGahan

    I can see the appeal, but then the email address itself becomes a spam or bounce problem for the email service when it tries sending to that portion of the list.. That will be trouble for legitimate web businesses’ lead generation.

  • http://twitter.com/JenMcGahan Jen McGahan

    Then again, if someone uses the 10-minute email, they were never good leads to begin with, so who cares!

  • http://sunnyis.me/ Sunny Singh

    CyanogenMod is working on getting Android on to the TouchPad, it looks like they already released a somewhat usable version already.

  • John

    Yep, I agree with you… HP is on the verge of melt down… It is only a matter of time now. The company direction is way of course, and who knows what will happen next.