My wife left her Macbook here in the States and her sister has one in India so we tried using iChat today between Houston and New Delhi and it worked incredibly well. My daughter wished me a happy father’s day through iChat, I virtually tickled her (I made my tickle approach from here in Houston while my wife took care of the tickle delivery in New Delhi), and I caught up with my wife for a good hour or so. And my daughter got to see and talk to her Didi (my eldest sister’s daughter), her Bua (my eldest sister), her Fufaji (my brother-in-law), her Dada (my Dad) and Dadi (my Mom). She also got to see her toys at home that she’s been missing. Nicer quality video would have been nice, but that’s just a matter of bandwidth and the video quality was still good. Apart from that, the experience was great. iChat just worked, the way any good product should.
Now I’m curious to try the new iChat features in Leopard to see how they extend a video chat like this in meaningful ways. I think I would have used the new iChat feature that lets you share a photograph or a browser window in your chat session — at one point, Shonali and I were each looking at the same speadsheet of things to do and a calendar that I created in Google Docs and Google Calendar respectively and I think the share-a-window-in-your-chat feature would have been perfect for that.