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(Image courtesy of Gizmodo)
The groovy folks at fringland Ltd. have done it again: They were the first to include incoming video chat -- even through Skype -- with their popular, free fring app, and now they’ve leveraged the front-facing camera on the iPhone 4 to do the same with two-way video calls, even over 3G. Take that, FaceTime!
Gizmodo is reporting that two-way video calls over Wi-Fi or 3G is here, and it doesn’t require the (for now) iPhone 4-only FaceTime. fring is a popular free app for staying in touch with friends through their own service as well as a host of others, including Skype, MSN Messenger, GoogleTalk, AIM, Twitter and more. After blazing their own trail with incoming video for fring or Skype calls with a previous version, the developer has kicked things up several notches by adding two-way video calls and more.
The best part is that you can do video calls with any other fring or Skype user, regardless of what device they have -- and that includes fring on Google’s Android, as well as any iPhone. Of course, you’ll both need iPhone 4 or Skype with a webcam in order to see both parties, but it’s far less limited than Apple’s own FaceTime.
That isn’t to say that it’s a perfect experience, unfortunately. Gizmodo claims “there was some lag, voice quality wasn’t perfect and video was sometimes jittery,” but they loved the experience just the same. The good news is that the experience is largely the same over both 3G and Wi-Fi.
The new version of fring also brings multitasking to iOS 4 devices, which means the app is always ready to accept calls, similar to what Skype showed off when iOS 4 was first announced. The app also now offers a Social Stream, giving you one place to go to see all of your Twitter, Facebook, chat and call updates, as well as a smarter address book feature to manage your buddy list and merge contacts.
fring version 220.127.116.11 is a free 13.4MB download compatible with iPhone, iPod touch and iPad (it’s not yet a universal app, unfortunately) and requires iOS 3.0 or later.
Follow this article’s author, J.R. Bookwalter on Twitter