updated 09:50 am EST, Thu February 24, 2011
Free on new MacBook Pros
In tandem with the launch of new MacBook Pros, Apple has brought FaceTime for Mac out of beta. The video calling utility is mainly available through the Mac App Store, where it costs 99 cents. It does however come free on new MacBook Pros.
Users make calls via Address Book contacts, or alternately by turning to Favorites or Recents lists. Incoming calls will ring without launching the app first; alerts also appear on multiple Macs simultaneously in cases where the same Apple ID is being used. Video can be watched fullscreen, or in a normal windowed view.
The primary improvement in the v1.0 app is support for 720p video calling. The option demands a FaceTime HD camera, however, and a 1Mbps symmetrical Internet connection. Normal resolution requires only a 128Kbps connection, and either a standard webcam or a FireWire DV camcorder. The app is limited to Macs running Mac OS X 10.6.6 or better.