As our sister site GigaOM reports, video calling has indeed arrived on the iPhone. It’s just a little one-way, is all. A new version of Fring supports video calls made using both its own and the Skype network, but you’re only able to receive video, not transmit it, since the camera on the iPhone 3GS still resides on the side of the phone opposite the screen.
So long as you have iPhone OS 3.0 installed on your iPhone, you should be able to receive video calls with Fring from desktop and certain Nokia phone users once you install the update. As with everything cool on the iPhone, you’ll have to have a Wi-Fi connection to use video calling features, just as you must to make and receive voice calls, too. This despite AT&T’s announcement that it would allow VOIP on its network.
Video calling works as advertised, but I’ll warn you that it can be an unnerving experience to talk to someone who can’t see you, but who you can see, for all parties involved. You can even initiate video calls from the iPhone, but obviously doing so still won’t enable video services on your end.
It’s a neat trick, and handy if you’re on the road and haven’t seen a loved one for quite a while, but until Apple gets wise to this trend (if it is one; some think video calling will never catch on in the mainstream), I’ll be placing my iPhone Skype calls the old-fashioned way, to avoid the accompanying feeling of slightly creepy voyeurism that comes with watching without being watched. The video below will help you fathom the system if you’re not interested or able to give it a go yourself.