Time to Get Up Close and Personal with FaceTime

FaceTimeFaceTime Basics

Making video calls is nothing new.  Companies like Skype have been around for years.  Today, there are many options available.  Apple provides its own video call software called FaceTime, which allows video calls between Apple devices.

FaceTime uses the built-in camera on the front of your iPhone, iPad, iPod, or Macintosh computer.  The image from the camera and the audio from the built-in microphone is used to create a video phone.  When you connect with another FaceTime user, you see and hear them while they see and hear you.  Everything in integrated rather well and is very easy to use.  So easy in fact, my three year old son became rather proficient at initiating (unexpected) FaceTime calls with family and friends.

Initiating a FaceTime call is a little different on an iPhone than an iPad.  On the iPhone, open your Contacts, find the person you want to video call, and touch the FaceTime button.  While this also works for the iPad, the iPad has a dedicated FaceTime app from which to start video calls.

Before you use FaceTime, you need to make sure your device is setup properly.  This is a very simple process.

  1. Open the Settings app
  2. Select FaceTime from the list on the left
  3. In the right side of the window, slide the FaceTime toggle switch to “ON”‘ and enter your Apple ID.

Once you enable FaceTime, you don’t have to do this process again.  FaceTime will be ready to use whenever you want it.  It is very convenient to have friends and family available at the touch of a button.

FaceTime only works with other Apple devices.  So you can’t use it to connect with someone on a Windows PC or some other type of smartphone.  Additionally, FaceTime will work over a wireless network or through your cellular data plan.  Most people won’t have an issue with the amount of data used for video calls.  But, if you regularly use FaceTime on your cellular data, you may want to monitor your data usage on your monthly bill to make sure you are not exceeding the data limits on your plan.