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Old April 11th, 2011, 01:37 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Is there a phone that's good for cross platform video chat?

Long story short, my sister and brother in law will be hitting the road come mid-June and will be gone for 6 mos or longer. Them I couldn't care less about, but they have two daughters who are 5 and 1 and I absolutely adore them both. I would love to be able to video chat with the kids while they're on the road, but have no idea exactly where to start with this.

I have a DInc. I love it to death. It obviously has no front facing camera. I'm only 9 mos or so into my contract so I'd have to eat some money to upgrade to a new phone. Even then I'm not sure what phone I would want. I don't want the ginormous 4 inch screen, but would like a front facing camera. (Do not recommend an iPhone 4 for me. )

They have crappy flip phones and aren't interested in upgrading. They're also not tech savvy. They do have a MyFi type thing they will be taking with them so I gave some thought to purchasing the kids an iTouch. It has the front facing camera on it, they could connect to their wifi hotspot and they'd be good to go. I have no clue what is compatible with it on my end.

Could I simply get a webcam for my computer and use it to talk to them while I wait out my contract? Does Skype for the iTouch even work with the camera? Would I be able to call them, or would they have to initiate all calls? I'm computer savvy and tech savvy. Neither my bro-in-law or sister are at all. Ideally I would want something that would work on a cheap, easy to operate device for them, a computer and an Android phone. If I can see them, but they can't see me, that is acceptable as well IMO. Both of my nieces are cuter than me anyway.

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Old April 11th, 2011, 04:12 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Well since you mention getting an iPod touch for them, you could do Yahoo video chat between the touch and your webcam/computer.

You could set up the yahoo account before they leave, and nothing left for them to do, so not being tech savvy won't be an issue. And getting a webcam is a lot cheaper than buying a phone off contract.
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Old April 11th, 2011, 04:48 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I've already got GMail. I think GMail know supports video chat. The question then is whether Apple has opened the front facing camera to 3rd party apps. I honestly don't know the answer.
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Old April 12th, 2011, 12:47 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I've already got GMail. I think GMail know supports video chat. The question then is whether Apple has opened the front facing camera to 3rd party apps. I honestly don't know the answer.

iPod touches and iPhone 4 works with Yahoo video chat, that's why I suggested it. I don't think it will work with google chat. They also support Tango, but that doesn't apply unless you get a new phone with ffc.

You can download Yahoo messenger and only use it for video chatting with them, not like you have to start using it over gmail for your email needs.
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Old April 12th, 2011, 10:20 AM   #5 (permalink)
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What about Skype?
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Old April 12th, 2011, 12:20 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Skype doesn't support video chat. They promised that one day it will, but that one day was supposed to be last month...
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Old April 12th, 2011, 12:29 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Dang it. I was looking for something that would work with what I've already got. I guess I need to do some research into what the front facing camera on an iTouch can actually be used for beyond FaceTime. FaceTime only works on Apple products is what I determined which is pretty proprietary for an "open" standard. What do I know though. I'm really, really hating how locked down Apple devices are at the moment.
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Old April 12th, 2011, 01:39 PM   #8 (permalink)
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iOS isn't locked down and limited to FaceTime for video chat. Yahoo and Tango both work on iOS (iPhone 4 and iPod touch). The problem is that YOU'RE limited to using a webcam on the computer, so you're going to have less options. Even if you upgrade your phone, you can't use Skype at this point so you're going to have to download something other than Skype to do what you want to do. And then, it's probably Tango, because I don't think yahoo will do video with Android yet (well, it does, but it wouldn't recognize the front camera last time I checked) and iOS doesn't do Qik. Both platforms have their shortfalls in this area.

What's the big deal about downloading Yahoo messenger to your computer anyway? Takes all of probably 2 minutes to get the program and set up a username.
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Old April 12th, 2011, 02:38 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I have a general dislike for Yahoo. It's a bit snobbish of me (ok, a lot snobbish) but it just strikes me as a place that noobs go. I don't care if they can't see me. Trust me, I'm not worth seeing. They are both incredibly cute and it's them I want to see.
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Old April 12th, 2011, 04:56 PM   #10 (permalink)
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haha hey we all our reasons for liking/disliking something.

But the route you're looking at (getting them iTouch and you using webcam), I don't see any other solution than Yahoo. You could look at it as your fam members are noobs and you have to stoop to that level hah

If you go with a new phone, you can add Tango to the equation. Free app on both Android and App Store, easy to set up on both ends.

Other than that, I don't know what to tell ya...maybe someone else can chime in with other options
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Old April 12th, 2011, 05:01 PM   #11 (permalink)
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I'm with VZW. It's looking like the only new phone they've got with a front facing camera is the Thunderbolt. I'm not entirely sold on the Thunderbolt. I'm not sure I want the bigger size and I'm not sure I want the bad battery life and I've got a DInc already.
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Old April 12th, 2011, 10:46 PM   #12 (permalink)
 
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I just know Skype and Yahoo Messenger can work on iPod Touch 4 and Android. You can get one to install.
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Old April 12th, 2011, 11:01 PM   #13 (permalink)
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The video on the itouch version of skype works, so they could be on that and you on your computer.
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Old April 12th, 2011, 11:05 PM   #14 (permalink)
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The video on the itouch version of skype works, so they could be on that and you on your computer.
But with an iTouch they will need wifi to use skype. Do they have wifi?
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Old April 13th, 2011, 02:16 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Skype doesn't support video chat. They promised that one day it will, but that one day was supposed to be last month...
Skype video chat is for HTC Thunderbolt only. For now.
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Old April 13th, 2011, 07:47 AM   #16 (permalink)
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But with an iTouch they will need wifi to use skype. Do they have wifi?
I'm assuming that they will at least have wifi some of the times since he said he was already considering buying them an iTouch. I'm just confirming that Skype for it does have video.
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Old April 13th, 2011, 08:25 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Yes, they have a MyFi type thing that they'll be bringing with them. My sister is now saying she's thinking of buying the kid a laptop for her to use on the road so getting a webcam on that would be easy enough.

I still see no other phones with VZW that have a front facing camera on them besides the Thunderbolt. I haven't seen any upcoming HTC phones that have front facing cameras coming out for VZW or am I wrong? I'm not eligible for a discounted upgrade until 2/20/12.
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Old April 13th, 2011, 04:13 PM   #18 (permalink)
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You have a few options that are mentioned here. It depends on what you're willing to buy and where you're willing to chat.

If you are ok with chatting on your computer, then Yahoo Chat or Skype should work. Them on their iTouch and you on your computer with a webcam.

If you want to chat on an Android phone, then I think Tango is your only option. Skype and GTalk have promised video chat but who knows when they'll deliver

It's a pretty frustrating ordeal to try to mix and match platforms. On iOS, you have video chat with facetime, yahoo, skype and tango. On Android, you only have tango. With PC, you have yahoo, skype, and gtalk. Fring is out there, but nobody uses that :-)
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Old April 13th, 2011, 04:36 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Ok, there is some misconception here. The OP said he would be willing to use his computer with a webcam. If he did this, Skype WILL INDEED do video chat on an iTouch. Skype video chat has been released to the iOS crowd. It is Android that gets to keep on playing the waiting game...
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Old April 13th, 2011, 05:19 PM   #20 (permalink)
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I should've been a little more clear now that I re-read my post.

What I have - DInc and computer.
What she has - Nothing.

Now, in an ideal perfect world, I'd love to do video chat with them from my phone to whatever device the kid is using. I'm not eligible for an upgrade until February and honestly, I don't see any VZW phones on the market right now or coming to the market in the future that I'm interested in. The Thunderbolt has a battery issue worse than the DInc. I really don't want a 4 inch screen. On my end I'll probably have to settle for a web cam on my computer. At least until February.

My big question I guess is what I should suggest/buy for them. A wifi only solution will work which is why I thought about the 4th gen iTouch. Now that my sister has mentioned getting the kid a laptop, a webcam solution possibly works as well. My next phone (in February) will have a front facing camera so I would love a solution that will work on an iTouch, a computer and Android and be simple enough that my computer illiterate sister and 5 yr old kid can figure out how to use it. If the setup is such that I can see them, but they can't see me, I'm ok with that.
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Old April 13th, 2011, 10:20 PM   #21 (permalink)
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Quote:
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My big question I guess is what I should suggest/buy for them. A wifi only solution will work which is why I thought about the 4th gen iTouch. Now that my sister has mentioned getting the kid a laptop, a webcam solution possibly works as well. My next phone (in February) will have a front facing camera so I would love a solution that will work on an iTouch, a computer and Android and be simple enough that my computer illiterate sister and 5 yr old kid can figure out how to use it. If the setup is such that I can see them, but they can't see me, I'm ok with that.

Tango or Yahoo for iOS to Android. Yahoo, unless they get/got the bug worked out, only recognizes the rear camera. Tango will work with front and rear.

iOS to your computer, Skype will work as mentioned or yahoo

If they go the laptop route, pc-pc will be yahoo, skype, google. PC to your android...maybe ONLY Yahoo? Unless Tango works with PC as well, don't know.
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