Ahead of the MacBook Pro refresh likely on its way today, Apple has released FaceTime for Mac for sale in the App Store. The app had been in public beta since October 2010, but the new app drops the beta status and provides support for HD video calling for computers that have a built-in FaceTime HD camera.
That camera doesn’t yet exist, but it will definitely be among the updates to Apple MacBook Pro line unveiled later today. FaceTime for Mac supports 720p video calling on Macs that have the new camera, or VGA-quality calling on Mac-to-Mac calls using the previous built-in iSight camera. FaceTime for Mac also supports calls between Macs and the iPhone 4 or latest generation iPod touch.
Unlike the beta, FaceTime for Mac isn’t at the App Store. The release version will cost you $0.99, unless you’re purchasing a new MacBook Pro, in which case we’re hearing you’ll get the app for free. No word yet on whether other new shipping Macs will also include the app for free.
As of this writing, the FaceTime beta is still available for free from Apple’s website. I definitely recommend trying to grab this download while it’s live for existing Mac owners, since I can’t see any significant differences between it and the shipping version at this time, beyond possibly support for the new HD cameras. FaceTime is definitely impressive, but I’m not sure I’d pay $0.99 for it when I’ve still got iChat for general Mac-to-Mac video calling purposes. Check out the video below for a sample of FaceTime for Mac in action.
What do you think? Raw deal or fair asking price?
Related content from GigaOM Pro (sub req’d):
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- Report: The Enterprise Videoconference Landscape, 2010 – 2015
- Report: Google’s Voice Possibilities