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Video Calls Now Available On the iPhone

Illustration for article titled Video Calls Now Available On the iPhone

Be happy, because video calls are now legally available on the iPhone. Be sad, because it's one way only, so you won't be able to flash your naughty bits.

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Fring—a free chat client for the iPhone that supports most standards—has been updated to support video conferencing on the iPhone, using Wi-Fi. It works on Fring to Fring, and Skype to Fring. Unfortunately, it's not bi-directional. You would be able to see whoever is calling you from a desktop, but you won't be able to transmit your image, even if you have the 3G videoconferencing kit. The reason is a physical one, according to the developer: The iPhone doesn't have a front camera, so you can't do face to face.

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Which begs the question once again: When in the name of all that is good and chromed is Apple going to update the iPhone with a front camera and iChat AV? Given their push for videoconferencing on the desktop, the power in the current iPhone, and the efficiency of their iChat AV video codecs, it can't be far away. I hope. [iTunes App Store]

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DISCUSSION

beyondthetech
BeyondtheTech

Lord Almighty, I've been waiting for mobile videoconferencing ever since I had my Samsung SPH-i700 Pocket PC on Verizon Wireless almost 6 years ago. Microsoft pet project "Portrait" got updated to support video chat, but those bastards at Samsung never gave them access to the rotating camera.

Ever since then, I haven't seen one carrier (or developer for that matter) really try to support or push for videoconferencing over a mobile network. Certainly, Windows Mobile and the non-carrier-branded HTC devices with all those front-facing cameras could have done it.

But, now all the carriers are pissing that it'll kill the network, or perhaps they're trying to find a way to make extra money off of it. AT&T even got Apple by their tiny nutsacks to make sure nothing is released unless it's done "over Wi-Fi."

Frustrating, to say the least.