Dec 13, 2017 in Computer Technology

Facetime: Its Portrayal by Different Media Sources

FaceTime is an Apple application that allows for video calls over WiFi networks. The application can be used on just about any of the Apple products, including the iPad, iPhone, iPod touch and Mac. The application has come in handy as a futuristic communication channel, and many critiques have argued that it will revolutionize the way people communicate through their Apple products. In fact, it its caption goes “Be in two places at once”. Several media sources have critiqued the application. While such articles can offer a wide pool of information, it is necessary to filter the truth from lies. This article reviews the objectivity of three media articles  that discuss the Apple application, FaceTime. Media article to be compared are The New York Times’ “Is This the Right Time for FaceTime?”, The Wall Street Journal’s “Apple’s Data-Hogging App” and “Musings on Video Conferencing and iPhone’s FaceTime” written on the Palm Beach Post’s blogspot.

In an article titled “Is This the Right Time for FaceTime?” posted on The New York Times, Jenna Wortham offers her views of FaceTime  (Wortham). The August 11, 2010 article details the pros and cons of FaceTime. The article was written when FaceTime was still a relatively new application in the app store. Jenna Wortham talks about the difficulties of communicating with other people using FaceTime. She laments that she has had the iPhone 4 for over a month, and yet she had never used the application in all that time.

Wortham’s concern was centered on the difficulty of knowing which friends had the iPhone 4 in order to make the video call over the chat. At the time, iPhone 4 was the only device on which the application could work. Things have changed much since then. The FaceTime application has been developed to work on many different Apple devices, including the iPad, iPod touch and even the Mac computers. As such, Wortham’s claims no longer hold any ground. Wortham also criticizes the video quality of the front facing camera, describing it as unflattering.  

Yet another point of criticism on which Wortham bases her argument is the fact that the application, at the time of writing the article, could make video calls only over a WiFi connection. However, Wortham has injected objectivity into her argument by mentioning that there is a chance that the application will be able to make use of cellular networks in future. As of now, users of the application can, indeed, make video calls over cellular networks.

Wortham tries to depict the application as objectively as she possibly can. This is evident in her obvious praise of the video chat she has had with her ‘calling companion’, her pet cat. She goes on to say that she has had a glimpse of what communication will be like in the future. This is, of course a praiseful statement. However, she expresses very strong sentiments against the timing of the application, stating categorically that the FaceTime application has not come of age. While her views seem a little skewed towards discrediting the application, she has, for the most part, maintained a fair deal of objectivity in demonstrating the pros and cons of the app.

In an article in the online version of The Wall Street Journal on June 20, 2012, Thomas Gryta makes a commentary on the data consumption of FaceTime (Gryta). In the article, entitled “Apple’s Data-Hogging App”, Gryta casts a dark cloud over the data-consuming capabilities of the Apple app, especially when it begins using cellular networks under the new iOS platform. He gives figures of the increased data needs for people using the app.

Gryta states, quite objectively, that people who subscribe to one gigabyte every month  could use up all that data just by making one five-minute call every day of the month. To put things into perspective, he goes further to say that  networks that had been dominated by subscribers with unlimited data were slow to accept the application to run on their networks. The reason he puts forth is FaceTime’s extraordinary data consumption ability.

Based on figures detailed in the article, Gryta comes to the conclusion that FaceTime can use up one gigabyte of data in between two hours fifteen minutes and eleven hours. He makes the conclusion that many people will continue to make video calls from places with WiFi coverage in order to avert using their network data.

Gryta’s article bases most of its conclusions on solid facts, and it therefore qualifies as an objective piece of writing. He does not give his own views unnecessarily, and when he does, he does it after presenting facts. Gryta’s way of depicting the app lends credence to his article. It makes the article more believable than if he had presented too much of his own views. The objectivity in the article gives the reader the freedom to make a rational and unbiased judgment on his article.

The third article written on the FaceTime is done by Graig Arganoff on a post in the Palm Beach Post blogspot (Arganoff). In the article, Craig gives the introduction of Facetime a light touch. He mentions that humankind has longed for a way to revolutionize communication so that people who are far apart can hear as well as see each other in real time. He says that FaceTime is an app that seeks to fill the missing link. He explains his amusement with the FaceTime app for its ability to link people at any time of their convenience.

The article, however, seems to lay excessive emphasis on the shortcoming of this new technology. Arganoff points out that the FaceTime app has been excessively marketed to the baby boomers. The marketing point has been that the baby boomers need to communicate with their grandchildren.  While the author recognizes this as a commendable feature of the app, he is quick to note that it may not always be convenient. The first reason is that both participants in the conversation need to have the technology for it to function. One alone is not enough to make the application work.

The second shortcoming that Arganoff notes as a hindrance of the application is the fact that while a person can make an ordinary call over the mobile device, people are not always ready to make video calls because of circumstantial issues. He is quick to note that people can make mobile calls even in their underwear without minding. However, it is different for video calls. People wishing to make video calls over the phone need to be prepared for the call sot that it does not catch them unawares.

Arganoff’s tone seems to persuade the reader that while it is good for people to embrace the technology of FaceTime, the technology might not quite have come in the right time. Therefore, he seems to have a condemning attitude towards the entire topic.

These three articles have all tried to portray FaceTime as objectively as they could. However, as it were, some of the sources have appeared to depict the topic as objectively as conceivably possible while others seem to have cast doubt in the customer’s eye by their tone. Indeed, it is true that objectivity is an important part of any important argument. If the author of the argument should lend credence to his or her work, he (or she) must appear to be as objective as he possibly can get.

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