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First Look: FaceTime for Mac
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First Look: FaceTime for Mac

3:10 /

CNET editor Scott Stein shows you how FaceTime for Mac works.

-Hi, I'm Scott Stein, Senior Associate Editor at CNET.com, and we've got a first look at FaceTime for Mac OS 10. Now, when Apple unveiled the iPhone 4 and the new iPod Touches, the FaceTime video chat feature was very exciting. We were wondering when exactly it will be available for communication with Macs. Well, now it's out there. FaceTime is available as a beta download. What you need is Snow Leopard. You need the latest version of Snow Leopard installed on your Mac, and then you're set to go. The way it connects is either via your iPhone phone number or your Apple ID, the same way you would on your iPhone or on your iPod Touch. We've got Jessica Dolcourt in San Francisco, and we're gonna connect with her via FaceTime chat. So, all you have to do to launch FaceTime is click the icon below on your dock, and it'll launch up just like iChat does. It shows you in portrait mode. It also brings up all of your contacts automatically on the side from your address book. It also has room for Favorites and Recents like on an iPhone 4 or an iPod Touch. So, we're gonna give Jessica a call in San Francisco, and it takes a few minutes to connect, much like an iPhone. You know, it has to wait to receive the signal on the other end, see what happens here. Hey! -Hey, Scott! -How are you doing, Jessica? -I'm pretty good. -So how does it look on your end? -Definitely [unk]. You're not quite as clear as you could be, I mean, you know, using other things. But that's probably---- well, I don't know what kind of camera you've got actually on your Mac. -Well, we're using the---- -You're using---- -Yeah, we're using the built-in iMac camera. And so, right now, it's coming on a little choppy on your end also, certainly more so than on an iChat. -Uh huh. -We can also switch to landscape mode if I hit "command + R", and you can flip your camera also. If you want to go into landscape, it automatically adjusts. So, I should be in landscape, too. -Uh huh. Uh huh. -And you can also go into full screen mode from the menu, which blows it up even more and you can definitely see the resolution limitations. Okay, it was good talking to you. -Okay, [unk]. -Take care out there. You just hit "end" at the bottom. So that's how FaceTime works from an iPhone 4 to a Mac. We still had a few more questions we wanted to address. First of all, how does it work across Macs? Well, we tested it on an iMac, but we also decided to connect to a Mac Mini, and we used a third-party USB camera to boot. Now, to our great surprise and happiness, it works! We got it to connect to our Samsung HDTV. We're able to video chat on it. Now, we're also curious how it differentiates between your Apple ID and your phone number in case you've got your iPhone 4 in your pocket. Well, it's very cool. If you make a phone call to my phone number on FaceTime, it connected to my iPhone 4. Now, when we tried placing a phone call to my Apple ID, it connected through to all Macs that I was logged into with that Apple ID. So actually, both the iMac and the Mac Mini rang at the same time. I picked which one I wanted to connect with. So, that's FaceTime right now. It's a pretty simple and pretty good program. Steve Jobs says there are 19 million FaceTime users currently on iPhone 4 and iPod Touch. We expect that number's gonna grow quite substantially as it's available across Macs as well. I'm Scott Stein, and this has been a first look at FaceTime for Mac OS 10.

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