The OS X 10.9.2 beta which was distributed to developers recently includes FaceTime audio, a Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) feature that was originally introduced to the iPhone with iOS 7. FaceTime Audio on both iOS and OS X will allow Apple users to be able to seamlessly call one another from any device. It is designed to allow users to initiate voice-only calls with other FaceTime users without turning on the accompanying video feed. Currently Macs which are running Mavericks only have access to the standard FaceTime app, which bundles both video and audio.

Users who are interested in voice-only communications on Macs have to resort to using third-party apps such as Skype or switching to Messages, both of which allow for video chats and voice-only chats. According to the folks over at 9to5Mac, the FaceTime audio feature is “integrated deeply” into both the Messages and FaceTime apps, making voice communication between Apple users on any device easier than ever. With Messages, FaceTime and FaceTime audio on iOS and OS X, Apple will have a complete communication system in place.

After having a simple way to answer telephone calls and chat requests from all devices, Apple’s ecosystem will have little reason to resort to alternative VoIP apps when communicating with other Apple users. FaceTime audio is also a high-quality VoIP choice as it uses the AAC-ELD codec for Full-HD Voice. AAC-ELD is designed to provide CD-like audio quality for voice calls, delivering high speech and audio quality at a low coding delay.

As of right now, we don’t know when OS X 10.9.2 will be released to the general public but OS X 10.9.1 was in development for just over a month before it was distributed earlier this week. Although Apple has been known to remove beta features ahead of the release, it is likely that FaceTime audio will make it to end users as it is already available on iOS.

Is FaceTime audio a feature you are excited to have?

Source: 9to5Mac