It’s not often that trendsetting Apple falls behind the times, but Steve Jobs and company are slacking off where video calls are concerned. Just this week Tel Aviv-based Fringland updated its Fring app (free at Apple’s app store or Fringland.com) that allows both voice and two-way video phone-calling via WiFi.
Sounds straight outta Star Trek, right? Well, not if you have an iPhone. The app, which is also available for Android and Nokia devices, can’t be fully appreciated on an iPhone where the camera is located on the back. So if your friend calls you from, say, a Nokia phone, with a front-located camera, and you pick up with an iPhone then you can see him while you both talk, but he can’t see you. That’s cool if you work for the CIA, but then if you want to remain on the DL, why answer your phone in the first place?
Ironically, it was iPhone partner AT&T who debuted its Picturephone, which allowed callers to see one another, back at the 1964-65 World’s Fair in New York. Of course, if iPhone simply moved its camera to the front and with the use of the Fring app, iPhoners could enjoy the experience of video chatting on the go via WiFi. But if you’re AT&T, where’s the fun in that?