Apple FaceTime

Best Free and Open Source Alternatives to Apple FaceTime

Apple, Microsoft, Alphabet (Google’s parent), Amazon and Facebook dominate the tech landscape. Their dominance is so broad they account for more than 20% of the S&P 500.

There are many things to admire about Apple’s hardware and software. Apple make great looking (albeit expensive) hardware. Over the years key successes include the iPhone, iPad, iPod, and the MacBook Air. The company designs its own hardware and software. This gives them the power to make an operating system and suite of apps that are tailor-made and optimized for their hardware. Apple also operates the Apple Music and Apple TV media distribution platforms.

macOS is Apple’s proprietary operating system for its line of Macintosh computers. Its interface, known as Aqua, is highly polished and built on top of a BSD derivative (Darwin). There’s a whole raft of proprietary applications that are developed by Apple for their operating software. This software is not available for Linux and there’s no prospect of that position changing.

In 2020, Apple began the Apple silicon transition, using self-designed, 64-bit ARM-based Apple M1 processors on new Mac computers. Maybe it’s the perfect time to move away from the proprietary world of Apple, and embrace the open source Linux scene.

Apple FaceTimeFaceTime is a proprietary videotelephony product. It works by establishing a connection between two supported devices.

FaceTime forces many to stay locked into a proprietary world. Its end-to-end encryption doesn’t let in Linux users. What are the best free and open source alternatives?


1. Jitsi

Jitsi is a set of open-source projects that allows you to easily build and deploy secure videoconferencing solutions. It’s privacy focused, compatible with WebRTC, and supports advanced video routing concepts such as simulcast, bandwidth estimations, and scalable video coding.

Jitsi


2 Element

Element (formerly known as Riot and Vector) is a free and open-source software instant messaging client implementing the Matrix protocol. It offers end-to-ed encrypted messaging with voice and video support.

Element
Click image for full size

3. qTox

qTox is an open source chat, voice, video, and file transfer IM client using the encrypted peer-to-peer Tox protocol. It follows the Tox design guidelines. Tox is a peer-to-peer instant-messaging and video-calling protocol that offers end-to-end encryption.

qTox


4. Wire

Wire is a cross-platform, encrypted instant messaging client. It allows users to exchange text, voice, photo, video and music messages. The application also supports group messaging.

Wire
Click image for full size

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Alternatives to Apple's Products
Apple GarageBandGarageBand is a line of digital audio workstations for creating music and podcasts offering a complete sound library.
Apple FaceTimeFaceTime is a videotelephony product for making video and audio calls. FaceTime forces many to stay locked into a proprietary world.
Apple PhotosPhotos is a photo management and editing application. Organize your collection into albums, or keep your photos organized automatically with smart albums.
Apple Final Cut ProFinal Cut Pro is a series of non-linear video editing software programs. Log and transfer video, edit, process the video, and output to a wide variety of formats.
Apple MotionMotion creates and edits motion graphics, titling for video production and film production, and 2D and 3D compositing for visual effects.
Apple SafariSafari is a graphical web browser which uses the WebKit and Nitro engines. It's the default web browser for Macintosh computers.
Apple MessagesMessages is instant messaging software for sending messages, images, videos, and documents. There's location data and stickers.
Apple PagesPages is a word processor that's part of the iWork productivity suite. It's marketed as an easy-to-use application that allows users to quickly create documents.
Apple NumbersNumbers is a spreadsheet application which uses a free-form “canvas” approach that demotes tables to one of many different media types placed on a page.

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3 comments

  1. FaceTime requires that the person you are calling has a Mac or iOS device. And from their own website Apple may be recording or storing information when you use FaceTime. And how do we know they can’t decrypt the data?

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