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Summary:

A picture is worth a thousand words, and a video will save you even more typing. There are lots of video chat options out there now for both Mac and iOS, and the competition is fierce. Which is your go-to client on either platform, and why?

skype-vs-facetime

A picture is worth a thousand words, and a video will save you even more typing. There are lots of video chat options out there now for both Mac and iOS, and the field is growing more competitive. Which is your go-to client on either platform, and why?

Apple is now putting FaceTime HD cameras in new Macs, which provides better video quality for Mac-to-Mac and Mac-to-iOS calling, but of course, FaceTime has a limited reach because it only works on Apple hardware. iChat, Apple’s IM client, supports video chat with other iChat users, and with those using the AOL Instant Messenger network, too, so it’s actually a little more flexible. Google Talk lets you make video calls from Gmail to other Google users, but it doesn’t have a native Mac app, which might be a problem for some. Skype works across different devices, but the recent Mac overhaul has left some unimpressed. Each has benefits and downsides, but which is usually your first choice?

You have nearly as many options when it comes to iOS video chat. Skype has a solid iPhone client, and an iPad version is supposed to be arriving in the very near future. Fring just updated its app to allow users to make 4-way group video calls with an iPad-optimized interface, and it also offers group video calling on the iPhone. FaceTime keeps extending its reach, and has the benefit of being pre-loaded on all current generation iOS devices, and requiring very minimal setup. Which are you using to stay in touch?

  1. How about a choice “I don’t video chat” to show the general displeasure with the current options. Even FaceTime, the better and easiest of the bunch, requires the phone to be on WiFi. Until that changes and you can just dial without concern for stuff like that video chat will be a novelty used on business trips to call the kids and not the norm.

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  2. I’ve been surprised at the uneven experience with both Skype and FaceTime. I bought FaceTime hoping for better video quality. It was better than Skype, but not as advertised. I wish we had a sense of the specs when we see ads that show crystal-clear, non-pixelating video chatting. Seen any good reviews on this topic?

    htkirk
    macintoshia: mac tutorial & mac help
    http://macintoshia.com

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