FaceTime audio calls coming to Mac through next OS X update
Earlier today Apple seeded OS X Mavericks 10.9.2 beta 1 to developers. Those who used the beta build reported that the company has quietly added a new feature in its FaceTime and Messages app, its homegrown VoIP solution, that will allow users to make audio calls via FaceTime on their Mac. It is said that the VoIP solution is seamlessly integrated in the apps and that it has its own graphical user interface which makes it easier to search for contacts and initiate calls.
The GUI itself is pretty simple, there’s an indicator which displays audio levels, one that shows the talk time and there are buttons for initiating FaceTime video calls, muting the audio and ending the call. In the beta build, the feature can only be accessed through the FaceTime and Messages apps, in the latter, a phone icon is displayed next to the icon for FaceTime video calls, allowing users to easily choose between an audio or a video call.
This feature showing up in the first beta build of OS X Mavericks 10.9.2 is a good sign, its highly likely that FaceTime audio calls will make it into the final build. When Apple intends to release it though, is something of a mystery right now.