iPhone Friday: Are you getting the most out of FaceTime?

As the highest touted feature of iPhone 4’s release, its a shame how little people take advantage of FaceTime.  Video calling is just fun technology, and unlike a traditional cell phone call, it takes no minutes!  You don’t even have to have a “phone” to use it!  In our situation, it’s used almost daily!

With all our children’s grandparents at least 8 hours away, FaceTime has become a vital way for them to connect with our children between visits.  There use to be this awkward, “getting to know you” phase for the first day of every visit, now, our three year old just jumps in where they left off from their FaceTime call the day before!  Not to mention, our parents don’t have to miss out on any adorable stages of our babies’ development!

Now that my oldest is a little more mature, I love to use “calling grandma” as a great alternative to Sesame Street when I need him distracted long enough to fold the laundry.  My mom “walks” him around the house while they practice his shapes and colors and vocabulary.

Critics of FaceTime like to talk about alternatives, such as Skype, that have been available to PC users for YEARS, but never has the technology been as intuitive as it is on the iPhone or iPod.  Sometimes, form is as important as function.  On the night we learned the news about Steve Jobs death, my then 2 year old, had absconded with my iPod when I wasn’t looking and dialed and started FaceTiming with his GREAT grandma, all on his own!  I mean, isn’t that what we’ve always loved about our Apple products?

Did you know you and your friends can take pictures of each other when you FaceTime?  Just push the lock and home button at the same time to get a quick screen capture!  My dad took the pic of us above, and, as silly as it is, it’s one of my favorite family snapshots!  When you FaceTime, you’re already doing your best to fit everyone in the frame for a nice composition, you’re usually sporting a natural conversational smile, and you get a lovely candid effect, because there’s no way to know when the person on the other line is actually snapping their screen shot!  If I want, I can use a little Photoshop or Instagram magic to make it look more like a regular photograph, later!

Have fun!



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