FaceTime for the iPhone 4 is a pretty awesome tool that lets you make video calls to other iPhone 4 users. Unfortunately there are a few limitations. Both you and the person you’re calling have to be on WiFi, since FaceTime doesn’t currently work over 3G. You’ll both need to have iPhone 4 devices, obviously. And the way things work right now, you actually have to start a normal phone call and then transfer to FaceTime.

But what if you just want to know if your contact is available to talk at a glance? Or what if you want to start a video chat without first making a phone call? While desktop video chat apps like Skype offer a buddy list that shows you who’s online or off, FaceTime doesn’t have that feature.

That’s where FacePlant comes in. It’s a third party app that basically functions as a buddy list for FaceTime. You register for an account with your name and iPhone 4 phone number. And if your friends all do the same thing, FacePlant can tell you who’s online. You can tap on the name for your online contacts to start a voice of FaceTime call.

FacePlant isn’t available in the App Store yet, but it should be coming soon.

Brad Linder

Brad Linder is editor of Liliputing and Mobiputing. He's been tinkering with mobile tech for decades and writing about it since...