Sunday, March 27, 2016

Bandwidth use over 5 min video call: FaceTime << Facebook Messenger < Skype

As part of my Father longterm care iPad videoconferencing project I compared cellular data use during an approximately 5 minute videoconferencing call made from my iPhone (LTE) to an iPad Air 2 (WiFi). To measure data use I “reset statistics” for Cellular data before, then refreshed the view after concluding the call. I turned microphones off.

The results were:

FaceTime: 7.5MB (repeated, this is correct)s

Messenger: 32MB

Skype: 46MB

FaceTime gave the best image quality. The data use with FaceTime was so low I repeated the measurement with a similar results. Data use can vary with image activity by up to 25%.

I was very surprised by my results. FaceTime had excellent image quality despite exceptional compression. Skype is a real data hog.

The user interfaces were quite similar; names on the left, a details pane on the right. I liked Messengers easy messaging integration, but FaceTime was a 1 touch call from the left side.

My sister and I can do FaceTime, but my brother has an Android phone. I’ll suggest he try Facebook Messenger as he uses Facebook and the data usage was less than Skype.


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