So what ever happened to FaceTime being an "Open Industry Standard"

dontwalkhand

macrumors 603
Original poster
Jul 5, 2007
5,239
1,257
Do any of you remember the iPhone 4 Keynote back in 2010, where Steve Jobs came out and said that they were "going to the standards bodies tomorrow to make FaceTime an open industry standard"?

Fast forward to 2012, and so far, it doesn't seem like any of this is true at all. I would love to have it be an open industry standard so I would be able to FaceTime anyone, regardless if they were using an Apple device or not.

Right now, there doesn't seem to be a way to find out if the other person has an iPhone or not to be able to know when to FaceTime them. Right now all of my FaceTime calls are "planned", where I would call the person, and then ask if I could FaceTime them, to show them something...actually pretty useful, and I don't mind doing this at all...as long as I know the other person has an iPhone, which unfortunately not all the time am I able to know that.

Another way I check is I open up the Messages app on my iPhone, and see if it will say iMessage there, and if it does, I know I am able to FaceTime them.

If Apple would open up the standard however, it would be nice to FaceTime a TV, or a Cisco deskphone, etc.
 

FSMBP

macrumors 68020
Jan 22, 2009
2,492
1,347
Do any of you remember the iPhone 4 Keynote back in 2010, where Steve Jobs came out and said that they were "going to the standards bodies tomorrow to make FaceTime an open industry standard"?

Fast forward to 2012, and so far, it doesn't seem like any of this is true at all. I would love to have it be an open industry standard so I would be able to FaceTime anyone, regardless if they were using an Apple device or not.

Right now, there doesn't seem to be a way to find out if the other person has an iPhone or not to be able to know when to FaceTime them. Right now all of my FaceTime calls are "planned", where I would call the person, and then ask if I could FaceTime them, to show them something...actually pretty useful, and I don't mind doing this at all...as long as I know the other person has an iPhone, which unfortunately not all the time am I able to know that.

Another way I check is I open up the Messages app on my iPhone, and see if it will say iMessage there, and if it does, I know I am able to FaceTime them.

If Apple would open up the standard however, it would be nice to FaceTime a TV, or a Cisco deskphone, etc.
That's not true. 3GS can send iMessages but cannot FaceTime.

The problem with Apple making FaceTime a standard (or even iMessage) is that they will have to rely on other companies to maintain Apple's level of customer service & app performance/quality. Not to mention all non-Apple devices with FaceTime wouldn't be seamless like an iPhone is.

For example, unless Google baked FaceTime into its OS, Android users would have to go download FaceTime & create usernames (or Apple IDs), then use it. The beauty of FaceTime on an iPhone is that is seamless, no sign up needed. Same with iMessage.

Basically, Apple loses control if they make FaceTime an open standard.
 

mattopotamus

macrumors G5
Jun 12, 2012
13,285
3,432
Also, two years is really not that far down the road. With that, facetime will not be adopted by non iphones.
 

Small White Car

macrumors G4
Aug 29, 2006
10,899
1,125
Washington DC
Basically, Apple loses control if they make FaceTime an open standard.
How is this any different than normal phone calls?

If I use an iPhone I get Apple's UI to dial and make calls with. If I use an Android phone I get Google's.

Do you think anyone picks up an Android phone and says "Oh, wow, Apple should do something about this design!"

No, if they want Apple design they buy an Apple phone. No one blames Apple for how other phones make calls. Why would they suddenly start blaming Apple for the way other phones make video calls?
 

scaredpoet

macrumors 604
Apr 6, 2007
6,627
342
Do any of you remember the iPhone 4 Keynote back in 2010, where Steve Jobs came out and said that they were "going to the standards bodies tomorrow to make FaceTime an open industry standard"?

Fast forward to 2012, and so far, it doesn't seem like any of this is true at all. I would love to have it be an open industry standard so I would be able to FaceTime anyone, regardless if they were using an Apple device or not.
Open standard adoption cuts both ways. Apple developed Facetime using all open standards (H.264, STUN, SIP, and "all that that alphabet soup stuff"), so aside from the Apple's server which currently directs the traffic and keeps track of what numbers and Apple IDs are associated with what devices, there technically isn't anything to prevent other companies from doing the same thing.

Apple can present an open standard (and we really don't know if they have or haven't), but it's still up to standards bodies like the ITU to choose to adopt them. They don't just accept anything you hand to them. Sometimes the process takes years.


If Apple would open up the standard however, it would be nice to FaceTime a TV, or a Cisco deskphone, etc.
Cisco Deskphones, LifeSize videoconference systems, and Polycom devices are probably the LEAST likely to adopt FaceTime, at least natively. These companies make lots and lots of money on the premise that you must buy their expensive equipment and maintain multi-thousand-dollar-per-unit service contracts on a yearly basis, to be able to communicate with other businesses using those same devices. they make even more money selling "bridges" which are basically additional hardware tasked with making those expensive devices play nice with iPhones and mobile devices (after of course, you install their specific, proprietary app on those devices, which might or might not also cost some money).

To them, opening up the idea that iPhones and android devices can just seamlessly connect to their systems without any additional hardware or expense is a silly idea because it isn't making them any profit. It also starts to make their $5,000 and up systems look kinda silly... why bother spending that kind of cash on these things when you can just conference in from the laptops and smartphones your employees already have in their hands? Why spend money on technicians and support staff when faceTime is there, and no setup is required? Cisco would be out of the conferencing business in no time, and for that reason, they try as hard as they can to make it seem like being compatible with devices is a complicated affair that requires all kinds of work, and you're better off just buying their stuff so you can talk to other people who have been duped into buying their stuff.

Open standards don't always guarantee adoption. Even if the ITU accepted it as an open standard, that doesn't mean that an HTC One X or Samsung Galaxy S III will just magically be able to make FaceTime calls. The vendor of that phone (and that carrier releasing the ROM) will have to choose to adopt it as well. And n matter how open Android is at its core, we've already seen that carriers and vendors have an interest in locking down certain parts of their devices for profit purposes.

I'm not saying it's impossible: it definitely is. But the problem isn't as simple as you make it, and doesn't rest solely with Apple.
 
Last edited:

robanga

macrumors 68000
Aug 25, 2007
1,657
1
Oregon
I have wondered why someone does not do a cross platform Trillium or ICQ type of client that incorporates Facetime. (or why those developers do not).

I would imagine because such clients are not easy and because how would you make money from such a thing? Selling something for $2.95 on app stores requires a fairly low level of investment for development and ongoing maintenance and even then adoption is going to be very low if people have to pay anything.

AOL, Yahoo and others have tried for years to monetize messaging with little success.

It would be better if Apple revamped and put out their client with Windows support and used the APIs of yahoo, aol (like they are doing now) msn and others. That would make Facetime use increase.
 

FSMBP

macrumors 68020
Jan 22, 2009
2,492
1,347
How is this any different than normal phone calls?

If I use an iPhone I get Apple's UI to dial and make calls with. If I use an Android phone I get Google's.

Do you think anyone picks up an Android phone and says "Oh, wow, Apple should do something about this design!"

No, if they want Apple design they buy an Apple phone. No one blames Apple for how other phones make calls. Why would they suddenly start blaming Apple for the way other phones make video calls?
I'm not sure I get what you're saying. All I meant was, stuff like FaceTime, iMessage or whatever on Apple's devices are great because they are all integrated into iOS from the get-go: no need for users to download apps, make screennames. It's all that seamlessness & simplicity that makes Apple's solutions stand-out in the first place.

I remember when I used to Skype someone. I had to call them before hand, ask them to sign on Skype (and hope they remember their username/password), then I would wait for them get online, then I would click Video Chat. Now with FaceTime, I just find my contact & tap "FaceTime". It's just that simple.

It seems if FaceTime was an open standard, it would just be like Skype (a third-party solution that isn't cohesive with the OS).
 

Stuntman06

macrumors 6502a
Sep 19, 2011
961
5
Metro Vancouver, B.C, Canada
There are already video conferencing methods and apps that work on both iOS and other operating systems. Facetime only works on iOS. For instance, I can already video conference from my Android devices to many other Android or non-Android device. I cannot use Facetime, so I'm already unable to connect with anyone using iOS. However, there is already a way for someone using iOS to connect with me. If we really want to video conference, we can do it now and if it takes off, there is little incentive to wait for Facetime to become available for me on Android.
 

BFizzzle

macrumors 68020
May 31, 2010
2,443
0
Austin TX
maybe by open industry standard he meant, on ios and osx?
as in the industry standard will be apple computers and phones using facetime.

idk he did say open, which to me implies open to all platforms.
 

Peace

macrumors Core
Apr 1, 2005
19,513
3,988
Space--The ONLY Frontier
H.264 is far from being an open standard.

It's a patent encumbered format that Apple has a financial interest in.

Apple has shown many times that it doesn't care about open standards.
I don't care much for "open standards" either. They are usually crappy with very little support and they fracture.

In any case h.264 is pretty much royalty free and will soon be h.265.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High_Efficiency_Video_Coding

"The timescale for completing the HEVC standard is as follows:
February 2012: Committee Draft (complete draft of standard)
July 2012: Draft International Standard
January 2013: Final Draft International Standard (ready to be ratified as a Standard)"
 

BFizzzle

macrumors 68020
May 31, 2010
2,443
0
Austin TX
I don't care much for "open standards" either. They are usually crappy with very little support and they fracture.

In any case h.264 is pretty much royalty free and will soon be h.265.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High_Efficiency_Video_Coding

"The timescale for completing the HEVC standard is as follows:
February 2012: Committee Draft (complete draft of standard)
July 2012: Draft International Standard
January 2013: Final Draft International Standard (ready to be ratified as a Standard)"
lol so true
or HTML5.
 

ThatsMeRight

macrumors 68020
Sep 12, 2009
2,257
124
Do any of you remember the iPhone 4 Keynote back in 2010, where Steve Jobs came out and said that they were "going to the standards bodies tomorrow to make FaceTime an open industry standard"?

Fast forward to 2012, and so far, it doesn't seem like any of this is true at all. I would love to have it be an open industry standard so I would be able to FaceTime anyone, regardless if they were using an Apple device or not.

Right now, there doesn't seem to be a way to find out if the other person has an iPhone or not to be able to know when to FaceTime them. Right now all of my FaceTime calls are "planned", where I would call the person, and then ask if I could FaceTime them, to show them something...actually pretty useful, and I don't mind doing this at all...as long as I know the other person has an iPhone, which unfortunately not all the time am I able to know that.

Another way I check is I open up the Messages app on my iPhone, and see if it will say iMessage there, and if it does, I know I am able to FaceTime them.

If Apple would open up the standard however, it would be nice to FaceTime a TV, or a Cisco deskphone, etc.
They never made it a standard.

Jobs also said that before the end of 2010, you'd be able to FaceTime over 3G. Now we're finally getting it... in 2012... for the iPhone 4S only.
 

VulchR

macrumors 68020
Jun 8, 2009
2,356
10,525
Scotland
It is getting to be a bit ridiculous that the computer/telecoms industries haven't agreed some sort of open standard for video conferencing. For my work I have to Skype, MSN, AT&T Connect, Facetime, etc. so students and colleagues can contact me if they need to. The current state of affairs doesn't really help anybody except in a short-sighted way.
 

Scythe5

macrumors regular
Jun 12, 2012
131
2
It is getting to be a bit ridiculous that the computer/telecoms industries haven't agreed some sort of open standard for video conferencing. For my work I have to Skype, MSN, AT&T Connect, Facetime, etc. so students and colleagues can contact me if they need to. The current state of affairs doesn't really help anybody except in a short-sighted way.
There won't be a standard as long as companies think they can gain an advantage over their competitors. Apple won't give ANYTHING away - EVER - if they think they can make a buck off of it.