FaceTime for Mac has been in Beta and allowed to be downloaded for free for a while now, ever since it was available on the new iPhone 4 really. But now Apple has relased the "full" commercial version. But ... Is asking you to pay for it. This review will weigh up the pros and cons of purchasing the app from the Apple Store at $0.99 or £0.59.
To start off, if you don't know what FaceTime is, it is an application that is mainly used on the iPhone for free video calls. It is also possible to use this technology on a Mac now, allowing for iPhone(or iPod touch)-to-Mac, as well as Mac-to-Mac video calls totally free of charge. It uses the built in iSight camera on Macbook's and iMac's or external webcams on other Mac's. To begin using FaceTime you will need you Apple ID (or any other email address) to connect with, then with just one click you can make your call. FaceTime makes it really easy to organize your contacts, with a little help from Address Book, as well as letting you favourite the people whom you call most often. When making a call you can either enter the persons email or phone number if they have it on their iPhone. The app looks great, just like any other Mac applications nowadays. Once in the call the window and playback controls that you see will fade away. When tested the video was smooth, but a little pixilated when calling from a mobile device, but the transition from the rear to the back camera on the iPhone was actually surprisingly smooth. One other great feature is the ability for you to receive FaceTime calls on your Mac even, if you have forgotten to open the application. Your computer will automatically detect the incoming call and start the app for you.
Thats really all there is to say if you are familiar with the iPhone version. Same portrait display, same "accept" and "decline" incoming call options and a similar look, feel and function of the original app for mobile devices. If you are currently using Skype or iChat on your Mac, this is certainly no replacement for that, and you may actually be disappointed with the quality of some of the calls, despite the fact that up to 720p is supported on intel based Mac's, this rarely happens unless two supported Mac's and calling on another. Overall, worth a purchase if you find yourself calling family and friends often on the go, but stick to Skype or even iChat for those Mac-to-Mac calls.