Apple Gives FaceTime a Boost in iPhone 6

The iPhone 6 and 6 Plus are poised to revolutionize video calling.

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Almost every science fiction movie ever has portrayed video calling as the preferred communication method of the future, yet as we move into the future, communication tends to move the opposite direction. Communication via text, through email, text messaging, or social media, seems to be the preferred means of communication.

Although Apple has lead meany in the video chat crowd through its FaceTime platform, the medium has yet to meet widespread mobile adoption adoption on smartphones even though the feature has been available for several years, is is relatively popular on less mobile Apple hardware such as iMacs, MacBooks, and even iPads.

Initially, it was impractical to stream data over 3G speeds, but as networks upgraded to 4G networks, data caps made sending and recieving video for voice chat an expensive proposition.

Going unmentioned at Apple’s keynote last week, but uncovered by Apple Insider, the iPhone 6 and the iPhone 6 Plus both use the H.256 video codec for video chat. H.256, also known as HEVC, or High Efficiency Video Coding, offers the ability for FaceTime to stream the same video quality as previous iPhones, but at half the bandwidth.

Matthew Fleming, signals processing guru, said “This has the potential to give Apple a serious advantage in the mobile video calling domain where bandwidth is at a premium.” Not only will networks be more capable of handling video chat for the new iPhones, but will be able to do it with less of a hit to consumers’ data caps.

Obviously, data networks are always improving, but improvements in efficiencies in devices, software, and networks all work together to constantly enable us to do more from our phones.  From video chat, to cloud storage, to streaming media, enhancements of this type benefit all mobile data use.

With Apple now entering the smartwatch race with the Apple Watch, maybe a future iteration will allow users to to finally be able to recreate their favorite sci-fi moments, while waiting for Apple to invent Hologram Chat.

Source: Apple Insider

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