Can You Use FaceTime on Windows?

FaceTime for Windows
Can Windows users get FaceTime?. FaceTime icon copyright Apple; Windows logo copyright Microsoft

Apple's FaceTime video calling technology is one of the flashiest features of the iPhone. In Feb. 2011, Apple released a FaceTime app for the Mac OS, allowing users to make video calls between any iOS devices and Macs running FaceTime. But what about PC owners? Can they use FaceTime on Windows?

Related: If you're an Android user, you may be asking: Can I use FaceTime on Android?

Unfortunately for Windows users, there is no way to use FaceTime on Windows (as of this writing, at least).

There are many apps that support video calling and video chatting on both Windows and Windows Phone, but there's no official FaceTime for Windows app that's been released by Apple.

FaceTime As Open Standard?

In 2010, when he introduced FaceTime at the company's Worldwide Developers Conference, then-Apple CEO said "We're going to the standards bodies, starting tomorrow, and we're going to make FaceTime an open industry standard." That plan would have meant that anyone would be able to create software that is compatible with FaceTime. This would have opened the doors to third-party developers creating all kinds of FaceTime-compatible programs, including those that run on Windows (and, presumably, other platforms, like Android).

Since then, though, there's been very little discussion of making FaceTime an open standard. Given that Apple hasn't done that yet and that it may view FaceTime as something that's unique to the Apple ecosystem in a world of many video-calling platforms, it seems likely that FaceTime will never become a cross-platform standard.

This means that there's no way for someone using Windows to make a FaceTime call to someone using an iOS device via the FaceTime app (or for someone on an iOS device to call to a Windows user with FaceTime). I'll update this page if and when that changes.

Alternatives for FaceTime on Windows

Even though FaceTime doesn't work on Windows, there are some other programs that offer similar features and that work across many operating systems.

If you want to make video calls using Windows, Android, Mac OS X, or iOS, try these programs:

  • Glide - Glide puts an interesting twist on video calling. Sure, you can use it to chat with friends via video, but you can also record short video clips and send them to friends to watch later. Add in the ability to have a group chat with up to 50 people and to send texts and you've got a compelling app. Works on Android, iOS, and Windows.  Download for Windows
  • iMovicha - A free video chat app for iOS, Windows Phone, Android, Mac OS X, and Windows. Like Facetime, iMovicha works over 3G and 4G LTE cellular data networks, not just Wi-Fi. Download for Windows
  • Skype - One of the most well known, and most widely used, video chat apps. Skype works on Mac OS X, iOS, Windows, Android, Linux, and many other platforms. The software and some uses are free; you can even record Skype calls, for example. Add additional features range in price from US$0.01/minute for some calls to $8.99/month for certain plans. Download for Windows
  • ooVoo - Another video chat app that works on all the major mobile platforms: Android, iOS, Windows Phone. So, if you have a friend with a smartphone, there's a good chance they can run ooVoo.  Download for Windows Phone
  • Viber - Viber claims to have over 500 million users worldwide, so if you need to connect with people internationally, it could be a good bet. It doesn't have ads and supports dozens of languages. Download for Windows Phone
  • WeChat - Another app for Windows Phone that also has Android and iOS versions making communication easy. WeChat is huge in China, so if you communicate with people there, this could be a good option. Download for Windows Phone 
  • Yahoo Messenger - Another chat program with video features. The free Yahoo Messenger offers video chats to Windows and Mac OS X users. Download for Windows