I also wonder if someone could build a Matrix bridge if it is available via web, that would be fairly cool.
- Is it phone-number based IDs? Or can I pick a username or get a random ID?
- Is spam going to be a problem? Previous Apple had the advantage that you had to buy a multi-hundred dollar advice to call someone. Will they need to implement new spam measures (or will you simply have to add a contact first)?
it was literally an email that surface on the Epic store litigation, where one Apple exec says (quote from memory) "We can't have facetime for android because that will remove the barrier for families to buy Android phones for their kids"
So it will be crappy and have TONS of limitations (wouldn't be surprised it it only work with one apple device hosting) because it is only for legal excuse reasons.
I might be missing something... Is there something in this that is illegal?
besides being immoral and a literal F-U to your consumers, it can bring anti trust cases when you are as big as Apple.
But other than that, well, just go celebrate your $2 gain on your APPL stocks despite the fact you were prohibited to call 50% of your friends just so someone couldn't save a few bucks when buying a phone for their teenage kid. Go you!
They have no moral obligation at all to extend their own first party services to Android, that's an absurd idea.
Of course they prefer people to buy iPhones for their kids, there is nothing wrong with that, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with not actively working to make the experience of mixed Android-iPhone families slightly better.
There are literally dozens of cross platform messaging and video calling apps. Banning these would have been wrong, and possibly illegal, but they are not doing that.
This is such a great rubric!
Anticompetitive behavior is illegal for companies with a monopoly, and based on the leaked emails, it seems Apple's intentions were clear. The "monopoly" bit is still up in the air, but it's becoming increasingly clear the "anticompetitive behavior" bit is not.
This FaceTime news shows that Apple's lawyers are probably worried.
They also don't have any kind of monopoly on TV or music streaming, so there would be nothing wrong (and certainly nothing illegal) with keeping Apple Music and Apple TV exclusive to their platforms, so clearly they believe they will make more money by making them cross platform. Presumably it's the same with Facetime.
I think it's funny because Apple left a decade-long opening for Google to build equally good Android alternatives to iMessage and FaceTime and dominate in cross-platform communication. Instead, twelve chat platforms later, I'm not entirely sure if Google has finally released something that won't be superseded next year.
Before you say, "just don't use it", here are some examples. My kids parents/school group uses WhatsApp, same as my kids sports club to organize matches/training. I'm a volunteer for a local association -- WhatsApp group. I really have little choice in using it.
I don't get the impression that Android users are angry at all. It's me as an iPhone user who is pissed about never being able to use any of these supposedly fantastic services.
I have never used FaceTime and probably never will if it is true that Android/Linux/Windows users cannot initiate FaceTime calls on this new FaceTime web app.
> because Apple left a decade-long opening for Google to build equally good Android alternatives to iMessage
is simply not true. No one but Apple can integrate SMS and messaging on iOS as Apple can; others do not have entitlements for that. You could do it on Android (and Google did for a brief period with Hangouts, and so did Signal), but you can't do it on iOS.
i think it is a closed solution that sucks just like all the others.
i think every single one of those lock-in-for-profit platform only attract idiots (in the original greek work meaning of the word) and makes true open solutions that will ultimately help everyone slower to show up. Because eventually they will.
Why? As an iPhone user, I am the one who paid for the development of FaceTime, but I can't use it because communications tools require network effects that FaceTime doesn't have. I can't even use it with my wife.
I'm not saying it's somehow illegitimate or even illegal for Apple to do this, but what it tells me is that Apple cares more about hurting competitors than about providing a useful service to its own paying customers.
But it's still a shitty thing to do. I have a tremendous amount of respect for companies that do things that are contrary to business objectives because they're the right thing to do. In this case, Apple chose to do the shitty thing.
Video conferencing software has an anti-network effect:
If just one person in a group cannot use a particular app, nobody in the group can.
Video conferencing has no ubiquitous fallback.
This isn't a clean fallback option.
You can use FaceTime without a phone number. Just create an Apple account, then give your contact your AppleID associated email address to add to their contact card for you and you have a working FaceTime destination.
You cannot create an Apple account without providing a phone number.
Point is to limit false account (and I guess also having some clues about real identity in case of abuse).
I also have been embarrassed trying to teach Google's solutions and then Google messing with them over and over, so I won't ever try to introduce a Google service again.
I miss what for the same reason
One complaint I have about them is that shuffle is broken. Completely broken. And I know they explained multiple times that it's not, that people are imagining things, but I just don't believe that - it's impossible that in a playlist with 300 songs I keep hearing the same 5 songs over and over and over again!
Surely being paid to use Spotify would represent even better value.
Google rebrands or changes entire apps at a whim. I’m shocked they haven’t ruined Google Apps (Workspace) with their changes.
What is this certainty based on? Google's history shows the exact opposite likelihood.
I think it's actually a bit nicer than FaceTime.
Even Hangouts which is abandonware is better promoted than Duo and takes a prominent place in the Gmail UI along with Meet.
You say this like Google doesn't have a history of product ADHD where they create new products and cancel them within months. On top of that, they create multiple products for the same functions which means that people get confused about what's appropriate for a situation and what's not. At one point, Google had 3 different video solutions all active at the same time and none of them worked with the others.
There's also WhatsApp video which is pretty poor quality, imo. Duo is much clearer and higher quality.
When Inbox came out I thought “huh this is great. I’d better not get used to it or I’ll be sad when it inevitably gets shut down in a few years”. And sure enough. I dread the family conversations in a few years of “wait where did the icon go?”
"In August 2020, it was reported that Google was planning to eventually replace Google Duo with Google Meet, but would continue to support Duo and "invest in building new features" in the long term"
As with all Apple products "it just works". I wonder if that may change when it goes to the web.
LINE which I use more often is far better quality than WA.
We switched to WhatsApp and video quality is noticeably more reliable. It does a better job when - for example - someone is outside and the WiFi isn't 100%.
A fun way to test is counting to 10 by having one person say 1 and the other say 2 as soon as they hear the 1 and so on. You'd be surprised how long it can take to count to 10 on some apps
No links to send (Zoom), no ever-changing products and menus (Google anything), and as few taps as possible/low friction to turn on (Whatsapp is comparable).
The audio and video quality is also pretty damn good.
The left hand side of the window in Mac always displays recently called. No idea how to access contacts in the Mac app.
The video quality is all right.
In the app itself AFAIK your only option is to type into the search box at the top of the missed calls list, and it will search contacts.
Otherwise you can load the contacts app and look there, and then click the facetime icon for the contact you want to connect with.
Works worse than WhatsApp and Google Meet. Way worse than Duo.
Functionality wise worse than Zoom but UI is maybe better than Zoom. But wait, FaceTime has essentially no UI.
Works a lot better than Signal. But Signal’s audio video and their UI around it sucks, so that’s nothing FaceTime ought to be proud of.
It’s just Apple doing Apple things and fans going bonkers over it.
> Non-Apple users can join a one-on-one FaceTime call or a Group FaceTime call, effectively making FaceTime a more platform-agnostic video service that is no longer just limited to iOS users. You do, however, need an iOS user to start a FaceTime call and send a link.
From the article.
I spend a lot of time on my PC for streams/gaming, and I put up with music.apple.com because I'm normally a happy subscriber using my iPhone.
But the website is just terrible.
- I get logged out if I don't visit for a day which requires a whole 2FA dance. Why not just leave me logged in?
- If I am still "logged in" after some hours, all songs become "previews" and I can't actually listen to anything. The fix is to log out and log back in, and it's a dice roll whether I'll get to do the 2FA dance again
- Songs routinely just don't play when I click them. Only fix seems to be leaving the album that I'm looking at and then returning to the same page
- Navigating away from albums occasionally makes Chrome pop up a "you have unsaved changes" warning. Why?
Perhaps noticing that everyone was using Zoom during the pandemic?
Remember originally Steve Jobs promised that FaceTime would be an "open standard." For some reason Apple backed off on that.
I'm currently using Signal on Windows/Android/iOS and apart from two annoyances it is fine.
- No gif support on Windows (Android/iOS only)
- Cannot add a second phone but can add a tablet. As soon as it detects a SIM card slot (with or without SIM in it) it only allows you to set it up as the primary device, rather than a secondary like a tablet.
This is so infuriating. I can have Signal with the same account on my phone, my macbook pro, and my windows desktop, but not my iPad Pro. It doesn't even have a SIM card in it. Just an empty slot.
Maybe this is a bug that only affects certain models or something?
Oh god. The Apple Music web app is so incredibly bad. Hands out the worst web experience I've ever had. It flat out cannot do its function (play music) reliably at all. I’m so confused why they thought it was shippable - they should be embarrassed that this is something they released to paying customers. It’s terrible.
It made me switch to Spotify.
It’s still not open sourced to this day.
I'm so glad we have the patent system around to promote innovation and protect creators!
This seems to be the quote you are referring to:
“FaceTime video calling. Now, FaceTime is based on a lot of open standards — H.264 video, AAC audio, and a bunch of alphabet soup acronyms — and, we’re gonna take it all the way. We’re going to the standards bodies, starting tomorrow, and we’re gonna make FaceTime an open industry standard.”
Note Jobs promised open industry standard and not open source. They are not the same thing. But you are correct that we are still waiting for Jobs' promised open standard!
This CNET article also misconstrues "open industry standard" as "open source" and also blames VirnetX:
Not Apple's fault. See other replies in this thread that it was killed by a patent troll.
To be clear, the patent in question is reaaaaaaally generic so there's really nothing they can do to get around it while still keeping a video-calling system that allows people to call with an Apple ID.
Apple could offer every shareholder ten times the market value and end the problem.
A third one would be that they require a phone number?
Cross platform like whatsapp, duo or signal still win here
I don’t know exactly what that means. Seems like not much and Duo is still a priority. But all the deprecating and switching of Google products makes them a non win for me. It’s hard for me to get friends to try a new service. If it disappoints, the next time is that much harder.
I would assume something similar with Duo. It'll probably change look and get merged into Meet, but it'll probably still be more or less the same app.
Duo is huge in India and I use it a lot with family, so I can vouch that the call video and audio quality is amazing.
Switching apps ( like the whatsapp to signal ) is always painful though.
Duo: owned by a company that makes money invading your privacy.
Signal also got distracted with a cryptocurrency scheme . That shot their credibility in many circles.
I don't love the cryptocurrency stuff either. I'm not defending it. But "shot their credibility" is an overstatement.
These micro payments will be handled by a third party which uses a crypto currency in the exchange.
The feature itself is good imo. Though I'm prolly never gonna use it because of the crypto intermediary.
But that's probably not a problem in day to day communication with family and friends.
You're mixing privacy and anonymity. Signal offers privacy from snooping, they have never claimed or tried to provide anonymity. Two very different use cases.
Also, you might in some cases want to share knowledge or evidence without disclosing your identity, and phone numbers miserably fail for that use case.
Not really needed when your IME is spying on you. Signal in such an arrangement becomes security theater. They acknowledge this is a problem on their support site but never make any attempt to educate new users to the app: https://support.signal.org/hc/en-us/articles/360055276112-In... . It is arrogant to dismiss concerns about commonly-used IME's when people rely on this app for their own protection.
This was discussed previously on HN if anyone's interested in reading about the response, or lack thereof to the criticism: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=25758995
>free and open source
Want to also point out that months go by without server code being published: https://www.xda-developers.com/signal-updates-public-server-...
Also, when users protested reliance on Google's store, analytics, and play services, Moxie chose to attack the forks and made us wait for years to get a direct APK without the requirements available off their site. I acknowledge that there's legitimate reasons why this was done, but all we get are excuses and silence for long periods of time when these problems crop up. It is not in the spirit of opensource/free software development to attack your own community.
This is not a signal issue. Literally every single app that gets user input from a keyboard suffers from this issue. Saying this is a signal issue is like saying flat tires are a ford issue.
> >free and open source
> Want to also point out that months go by without server code being published:
Is there some unwritten rule that a open source project must publish code every x days to be considered open source? All of signals code has always been open source and always will be.
> Also, when users protested reliance on Google's store, analytics
Analytics? Care to show me where they ever used them? 99% sure they have never used them.
> Moxie chose to attack the forks
It takes a lot of money and man hours to maintain the servers and infrastructure for signal, why should OWS pay for other projects to use it? Signal is 100% open source, if someone thinks they can create a better replacement... They are free to take all of signals code and make their own app. But don't expect OWS to pay for the infrastructure and let them leech.
> Not really needed when your IME is spying on you.
Users can choose an open source keyboard on Android, such as AnySoftKeyboard or the default Android Keyboard (on AOSP installations). I don't know of any open source keyboards on the App Store for iOS, but the lack of an open source keyboard on iOS does not justify compromising encryption keys for Apple Messages users in certain regions.
Signal is not responsible for the security of the rest of the user's system, and if a user is using a keyboard that leaks information, then that also affects Apple Messages and any other app they are using, not just Signal.
> Want to also point out that months go by without server code being published
The Apple Messages server and clients are completely proprietary, so Signal is still preferable even though it had previously released server source code with a delay.
> Also, when users protested reliance on Google's store, analytics, and play services...
Apple Messages is only available as an app on iOS, iPadOS, and macOS, with no option to fork because it is closed source. FaceTime is the same, but now also has a web app with limited functionality. On Android, Signal is still preferable in this area because it is fully available, can be used without Google Play Services, and can be distributed independently of an app store.
>Users can choose an open source keyboard on Android
Then they should be made immediately aware of this in using Signal on Android. The IME issue is not going to be well-known outside the tech bubble.
Does any messaging app do this on any platform? You're demanding something that, as far as I'm aware, no messaging app currently does. Signal at least published the FAQ page, which you linked earlier, even though it's not their responsibility to ensure that the user's device is free of third-party spyware.
This entire discussion is about FaceTime and Apple Messages, which is why Signal is being compared to both. And Signal is superior to these services for privacy and security.
I'm not saying that Apple is somehow abusing your privacy in ways you don't know, but I am saying you don't really know one way or the other and largely cannot verify that their software is doing what they claim it does
Signal is open source, by the way.
Was this recent? I was able to buy a new Mac just a few weeks ago without giving any information.
If I had any choice I would decline to join a whatsapp or signal call.
These days even most email providers require phone number authentication to register.
This is a good first step though, and given I know people who only have Duo to video chat with their non-iOS contacts, this is going to be a blow to some competitors when that's no longer needed.
So an Apple user creates a facetime call and sends the invite link to Android & Windows user. They then join on to the call using their browsers.
Non iOS devices wont be able to make a call. The web interface is just a way to join a call.
Unless of course they made additional statements somewhere I'm unaware of (and maybe could you provide some source to further explain).
The green/blue distinction is very meaningful. It tells you whether your chats are encrypted, which is not a default to SMS technology. In fact it would be more honest or accurate for Apple to display a padlock to inform you that you're secure; instead we have colors.
They predate iMessage being end-to-end encrypted, and predates Apples current privacy push. Additionally Apple senior leaders have got up on stage and joked about how people with green bubbles are second class friends.
All of that together makes me think the bubble colours are primarily there to gently nudge people into getting their friends and family to buy iPhones. Which is also the reason why iMessage doesn’t have an Android app, as stated in an internal Apple email made public in the Epic games lawsuit.
I don't think anyone can argue with a straight face that the color-coded messages aren't at least partially motivated by creating an in-crowd and out-crowd dichotomy, but its a stretch to say that they are there _primarily_ to get Apple users to bully their friends into switching platforms. Like many others have pointed out, there are a variety of reasons why one would want an obvious distinction between SMS and iMessage messages.
the obvious reasons:
- knowing when your communication is encrypted
- knowing when your going to incur outrageous fees from your service provider (cheap text messaging is not ubiquitous across the modern world)
- knowing who you can communicate with without a cell signal (eg during flights, in remote areas, etc)
but also it serves a useful purpose for less advanced/savvy users to reduce confusion on feature discrepancies. There are a lot of niceties/features in iMessage that modern users might not realize aren't common to SMS messages. The average iMessage user might not be aware that they can't just send a huge video file over SMS, or a PDF, or send messages with the 'effects' Apple offers, or have named group chats that people have the option of joining or leaving, etc.
The 'cool kid' dynamic that the color coding creates is definitely not an accident, but there are obvious benefits to it that aren't nefarious in nature.
But IMO the solution there wouldn't be to remove the red/blue distinction, which as noted in this thread serves as important security and feature indicator — the solution would be to compel Apple to serve their customers better by not having them caught in the crossfire in their marketplace battles with Android.
I also noted that it would be more accurate for Apple to display a padlock to display the security status of a chat, but that would actually be even more derogatory. It's basically saying "this chat is unsafe."
I really hope Apple at least announces iMessages for the web, and a native client for Android. A lot of households are multi-ecosystem.
This is important between fully iOS users too if data isn't available, to signify it sent via SMS.
There was a time when iMessage was not end-to-end encrypted? I thought it launched like that on day 1.
Also, MMS is terrible.
Right now we're in a weird spot where sending a text from android -> Android is usually encrypted (via RCS), and Apple -> Apple is encrypted, but between the platforms they're not.
I assume Google and its users would love if Apple opted to support RCS, and I assume Google would also love if Apple built iMessage for Android. Apple's chosen to do neither, despite the fact it would give its users a richer messaging experience and a way to encrypt more of their communications.
It's their choice, but it boggles my mind that people defend it.
Using the normal screen sharing feature of most video conferencing apps simply doesn't work and shows a black screen instead of the video. The workaround that people I know have been using during the pandemic is the torrent the media and play from a local file which works fine, however it would be nice to have more legitimate means of doing it.
It wouldn’t make any sense any other way, given you can sync TV to TV.
US7418504B2 - 2021-08-05
US6839759B2 - 2019-10-29 (expired)
US7490151B2 - 2022-01-24
I'm guessing rearchitecting to circumvent the patents means they're not going to unrearchitect just to open it up. If I'm understanding things correctly, instead of p2p it gets tunneled through a server to avoid the patents. Since FaceTime launched, most services realized with more than 2 people you'd want to go through a server anyway (and you also get benefits of re-encoding for lower bit-rates). If you rely on Apple's servers to tunnel your call I imagine they're not going to open it up.
"Now, FaceTime is based on a lot of open standards — H.264 video, AAC audio, and a bunch of alphabet soup acronyms — and we're going to take it all the way. We're going to the standards bodies starting tomorrow, and we’re going to make FaceTime an open industry standard."
Will non-Apple device owners be able to start FaceTime chats? TBD perhaps. Will non-Apple account holders be able to connect to FaceTime rooms? Maybe. Will they be able to create chats? Almost certainly not.
It's unfortunate that the real spirit of creativity & innovation that Apple once believed in & knew has come to this. This is "progress", but such a narrow, corporately provided & limited window of progress, to me. I'm expecting friends will start expecting me to have an Apple account now & be willing to use their proprietary communications systems, now that the barrier is a bit lower, but I'd really rather not.
Unless you expect others to be happy with an in-browser call experience while there are clearly other options available which are cross platform and superior. Yes, superior as well.
No option is universal (not one of my kids' friends uses WhatsApp or Instagram, for example), although Zoom is near-universal in my family's world. FaceTime is a great option for friends/family who use iOS, and I'm glad to see Android and Windows support. It wouldn't surprise me to see it join Apple Music and Apple TV as an Android-native app.
I think the difference is those are paid subscription services - so the rare Android user who decides they want to pay for either of those services can - and the iOS user who is already paying with a family plan can share it with their kids' or SO's Android phones.
With FaceTime, it's a free service; and supporting it on Android would just be a cost sink.
My two cents. :)
Jitsi - heard of it once ages ago, never used it
Zoom - for business
Discord - gamers/teens?
They can carry on "killing it", but I'm not going to ask my mom to install and signup for Discord. I'll FaceTime her or send her a link she can 1-click join.
My parents use Zoom now, and my distant non tech literate cousin in a developing country used Zoom to broadcast a funeral from abroad during COVID to all the extended family members around the world.
One issue I have with group FaceTime that I noticed during the pandemic is that it crops off the sides of the video to make it square, so when you're video chatting with a bunch of people (like, say, your family all sitting in front of an iPad) you can't see everyone in frame even though the camera is capturing them. With group FaceTime portrait/landscape mode doesn't make any difference to even attempt to address this, like it can for 1-1 FaceTime calls.
* Broken contact list (it's worse than Skype!).
* Broken screen orientation.
* Ringing on every Apple device you own under the sun.
With their A-Team now on the case I'm sure that it'll get fixed.
You can control which device(s) ring:
What's wrong with ringing all your Apple devices?
Ringing: because I have three Apple devices (MBA, MBP, iPad) and it doesn't automatically ring on the device I'm using. Again, that would be fine for someone else, but I expect more from Apple.
It's like I don't get mad if a junior developer in my team makes a mess in PHP, but I would if a senior did. I have the same feeling for Apple vs MS/Facebook et al. Apple have shown that they can do awesome (the entire Macbook experience, the wifi, instant sleep which alway works.. fantastic hardware) so it hurts when they don't live up to their high standards.
The two are much more similar in iOS 15.
In short, unlike most every other app which seems to actually use the orientation APIs, Facetime fakes it. This works fine on your phone, but if you’re trying to airplay the call up to your TV so you can see people a little larger, nope. You’re stuck in portrait mode forever. You’re better off asking the other person to rotate their phone.
I know a guy that never set up iMessage on his iPhone - when I asked him why he didn't, he just told me he only uses SMS for OTP which he reads from the notification, so it never occured to him to open the Messages app at all.
BTW outside of the US, Whatsapp is (AFAIK) the most popular messenger. At least in the Western world. I don't know about China.
I think Whatsapp and other E2E encrypted chat apps are banned.