Technology Apple

How to FaceTime on the iPhone or iPod touch

Last Updated: April 24, 2014

FaceTime, Apple's video- and audio-calling technology, is one of the most exciting features that the iOS has to offer. It's fun to be able to see the person you're talking to, not just hear them—especially if it's someone you haven't seen in a long time or don't get to see often.

In order to use FaceTime, you need:

  • A Mac running Mac OS X 10.6 or higher with the FaceTime app installed
  • Connection to a Wi-Fi or 3G/4G network.

Using FaceTime is fairly easy, but there are a few things you need to know in order to use FaceTime on iPhone.

Difficulty: Easy

Time Required: A minute or less

Here's How:
  1. Begin by ensuring that FaceTime is turned on for your iPhone. You may have enabled it when you first set up your device.

    If you didn't, or aren't sure you did, begin by tapping the Settings app on your home screen. What you do next depends on what version of the iOS you're running. On some versions of the iOS, scroll down to Phone and tap it. In other versions, tap the FaceTime option. When you're on the correct screen, make sure the FaceTime slider is set to On/green.
  2. On that screen, you also need to make sure that you've got a phone number, email address, or both set up for use with FaceTime. If you don't, tap Add an Email and follow the instructions. Phone numbers are only present on the iPhone.
  3. When FaceTime debuted, its calls could only be made when the iPhone was connected to a Wi-Fi network (phone companies blocked FaceTime calls over their 3G cellular networks), but that's no longer true. Now, you can make FaceTime calls either over Wi-Fi or 3G/4G LTE. So, as long as you have a network connection, you can make a call. If you can, though, connect your iPhone to a Wi-Fi network before using FaceTime. Video chats use a lot of data and using Wi-Fi won't eat up your monthly data limit.

  1. Once those requirements are met, there are two ways to FaceTime someone. First, you can simply call them as your normally would and then tap the FaceTime icon when it lights up after the call begins.
  2. Alternatively, you can browse through your iPhone address book, the FaceTime app built into iOS, or your Messages app. In any other those locations, find the person you want to call and tap on their name. Then tap the FaceTime button (it looks like a small camera) on their page in your address book.
  3. If you're running iOS 7 or higher, you have another option: A FaceTime Audio call. In that case, you can use FaceTime for just a voice call, which saves you from using your monthly cell phones minutes. In that case, you'll see either a phone icon next to the FaceTime option or will get a FaceTime Audio pop up menu. Tap them if you want to call that way.
  4. Your FaceTime call will begin just like a regular call, except that your camera will turn on and you'll see yourself. The person you're placing the call to will have the chance to accept or deny your call by tapping an onscreen button (you'll have this same option if someone FaceTimes you).

    If they accept it, FaceTime will send video from your camera to them and vice versa. Both a shot of your and the person you're talking to will be on screen at the same time.
  5. End a FaceTime call by tapping the red/End button on the bottom of the screen.

NOTE: FaceTime calls can only be made to other FaceTime-compatible devices, including iPhones, iPads, iPod touches, iPads, and Macs. If the FaceTime icon has a question mark on it when you place your call, or if it doesn't light up, it may be because the person you're calling can't accept a FaceTime call. Learn about the many reasons FaceTime calls don't work and how to fix them.

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