Last week a friend of mine was heading back to Italy, so I took advantage of the opportunity and sent my family an iPod Touch. As many of you may already know, my entire family lives in Italy, and I only get to see them once a year – when I go home for Christmas. Since the new iPhone 4 came out with FaceTime, I’ve been wanting to give one to my mother, so I could see her and my family when I talk to them on the phone. Trouble is, she really didn’t want to add an internet plan to her bill, especially considering the fact that she wouldn’t really take advantage of 3G internet on a regular basis.
Then the new iPod Touch came along and it was a perfect fit for the job. Sure I could have used Skype to video chat with my parents, but we have done that only a couple of times in the five years that I’ve been here. Mainly because they either didn’t know where the webcam was, didn’t know how to use Skype, or they had some other issue that’s common to many non tech-savvy users.
FaceTime, on the other hand, is really simple; all my mom had to do was click on the icon and call my number. No thinking involved. No complexity. It just works. In the two days that she’s had it, we’ve already used it three times. I don’t normally talk to my mom that much, but she wanted to show it to my father and grandfather (who initially thought she was showing him just a picture of me on the phone while I was talking). Thanks to the size and the dual cameras, I was able to give them a tour of my place really easily without walking around with my laptop trying to point the camera in the right direction.
Sure, video chat on a phone isn’t a new thing, but one that even my mom could use with barely no instructions definitely is.