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FaceTime for Mac, receiving video calls on your Mac

Another highlight of the keynote has been the long-awaited Mac version of FaceTime with which from today all users of the apple can make video calls between Mac and iPhone or iPod touch 4th generation, a real gem from which we are still recovering in the Apple newsroom after trying it out for the first time and seeing how well it works.

If you’ve already used FaceTime with an iPhone or iPod touch, you’ll know that it’s incredibly simple. FaceTime para Mac

FaceTime for Mac, receiving video calls on your Mac
FaceTime for Mac, receiving video calls on your Mac

You enter an email account where you want to accept calls, select a phone number or email address to call (and a phone number, too), and you’re done. Now you can see the face of the 19 million users of iPhone 4 and 4G iPod touch (or at least everyone who’s upgraded to iOS 4.1) without leaving your Mac.

The beta version is now available for download from the Apple website and after installation takes only 38.9 MB. As I said, its interface is very simple and reminiscent of iOS as a list of favorites, recent calls and the contact list. Here are some screenshots we took while testing it…

Facetime Main Window for Mac

Receiving a call

Chatting in vertical mode…

…or landscape

Application preferences

Who said you couldn’t have missed calls on a Mac?

The first impression of this FaceTime for Mac couldn’t be more positive, although it does raise some questions about how it will coexist with iChat, if it doesn’t end up absorbing it somehow when its final version comes out with Mac OS X Lion.

There is also a way to leave the active application in the background without taking up space in the Dock, perhaps similar to Skype, through a small icon in the menu bar, but in the meantime we always have the option of using the Command + H key combination to hide it.

What did you think of it? What are your first experiences? Any problems or discoveries? Just don’t be too hard on yourself. Remember, it’s a beta.

Update: After fiddling around a bit more with FaceTime for Mac I’ve found that you don’t need to have the application open to receive calls, which is quite interesting on the one hand but scary on the other if your account falls into the wrong hands. I imagine that the first two features of the final version will be a blocking list and a search engine for the phonebook.

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