FaceTime is a great tool for connecting with friends and family. It's as easy to use as placing a normal call (easier, even), and has surprisingly good quality, even with slow connections. However, I did notice a problem with it the other day. A friend of mine called me in the morning to go over a presentation she was giving later. She emailed me the presentation and did a FaceTime call with me to go over it. I took the Facetime call on my iPhone, and watched the presentation on my iPad. I hit “next” whenever she said “next slide”. Surely there's a better way, right? According to these patents, there is definitely a better way of doing this, and it could be coming to FaceTime as soon as this fall, with the release of iOS 9.
In my situation, all I wanted was a little FaceTime window that would overlay a view of her display. She wouldn't have needed to send me her sides, and I would have been able to see her give her presentation. Apple's looking into this. A recently reveealed patent shows that Apple is working on combining their collaboration and communication tools. In the future, FaceTime could be used for more than your personal relationships, but also your professional ones as well. Users would be able to share their screen with someone, or even open and work on the same document at the same time, all while maintaining a face-to-face communication link. It's such a simple idea, but it would make collaboration online easier than even actually being face-to-face and fighting over a keyboard. As someone who works from home, this would be an essential tool for connecting with my coworkers on projects.
Just so you know, my friend got an 'A' on her presentation. She likely would have gotten an 'A' without my help, but thanks anyway, FaceTime! In future versions of FaceTime, I might not need two iOS devices or a computer to collaborate with someone, and that's going to make Facetime an incredibly useful tool.