How to Use Your iPad or iPad Mini as a Phone

3 ways to place calls on your iPad

What to Know

  • A common way to make calls on an iPad is with Facetime but you can also use your iPhone's cell number or the Messages app.
  • iPhone calls on iPad sync the two devices and rout calls through your iPhone even without an Apple ID.
  • You can also use third-party apps like Skype or Talkatone with Google Voice.

This article explains how to use Facetime, the Messages app, and third-party apps to make calls.

How to Place Calls on Your iPad Using FaceTime

The easiest way to make phone calls with your iPad is by using the video conferencing software called FaceTime. It comes with your iPad and uses your Apple ID to place phone calls to anyone who also has an Apple ID, which is anyone who owns an iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, or Mac computer.

These calls are free, so even if you're using your iPhone, you won't be using your minutes. You can even receive calls on FaceTime by having people contact the email address associated with your Apple ID. These instructions apply to devices running iOS 10 and later.

Here's how to use FaceTime.

  1. Open the FaceTime app.

    If FaceTime isn't already on your iPad, you can download it from the App Store for free.

    An iPad with the FaceTime icon highlighted
  2. Tap the plus sign (+) to choose someone to call from your contacts. You can include multiple contacts in your call.

    You can also start typing the name of a contact on the keyboard, and FaceTime completes it automatically.

    FaceTime on an iPad with the plus sign highlighted
  3. When you've selected everyone you want to contact, press one of the call buttons to make an Audio (voice-only) or Video call.

    FaceTime on an iPad with the Audio and Video call buttons highlighted
  4. FaceTime places the call.

How to Make FaceTime Calls Using Messages

You can also make FaceTime calls to your contacts through the Messages app.

Just like in the FaceTime app, you can only call people whose Apple IDs connect to their phone numbers.


  1. Open the Messages app.

    An iPad with the Messages app highlighted
  2. If you have a conversation open with the person you want to contact, tap that thread. Otherwise, you need to start a new one.

    Messages for iPad with a conversation thread highlighted
  3. Tap the contact's image at the top of the screen.

    Messages on iPad with a contact's email address highlighted
  4. Tap FaceTime to start a video call, or audio to start an audio-only call.

    Messages on iPad with the FaceTime icon highlighted
  5. When your call is over, tap the end button (video) or the red button (audio-only).

Place Calls on Your iPad Using Your iPhone's Cellular Number

As an alternative to FaceTime, you can place "iPhone calls" on your iPad. This feature syncs your iPad and iPhone to allow you to place and receive calls on your tablet as if it were really your phone. 

These calls are actually routed through your iPhone, so you can place calls to anyone, even if they don't have an Apple ID. Here's how you turn the feature on:

Before you follow the instructions below, make sure to connect the iPhone and iPad to the same Wi-Fi network and that you're signed in to both using the same Apple ID.

  1. Open Settings on your phone.

  2. Find the Phone settings.

    Settings and Phone on an iPhone
  3. Tap the Calls on Other Devices heading and flip the switch to on/green at the top of the next screen.

  4. When the list of devices shows up, enable the ones you want to route calls to. Compatible devices include other iPads, iPhones, and Macs.

    Calls on Other Devices heading and toggle switches on an iPhone
  5. With this setting active, you can make and receive calls on any device you're signed in to with your Apple ID.

Other Ways to Use Your iPad as a Phone

If you want some options other than the standard ones on your iPad, you can also look into third-party internet calling apps.


Skype is the most popular way to place internet calls, and unlike FaceTime, it isn't restricted to people using an iOS device. Skype on the iPad is a relatively simple process, though you need to download the Skype app.

Unlike FaceTime, there could be fees involved with placing calls through Skype, but Skype-to-Skype calls are free, so you only pay for calling people who do not use Skype.

Talkatone With Google Voice

FaceTime and Skype are great, both offering the advantage of placing video calls, but what about placing a free call to anyone in the U.S. regardless of whether or not they use a specific service? FaceTime only works with other FaceTime users, and while Skype can place a call to anyone, it's only free to other Skype users.

  • Talkatone in conjunction with Google Voice has a way of placing free voice calls to anyone in the U.S., though it's a little more confusing to set up.
  • Google Voice gives you one phone number for all of your devices. But voice calls you make use your voice line, and you can't do that on an iPad.

Talkatone is a free calling app that extends the Google Voice service by allowing calls over the data line, which means you can use it with your iPad. You need both the Talkatone app and the Google Voice app.

Go to your Google Voice account and add your Talkatone number as a forwarding phone number. After you do this, outgoing calls show from your Talkatone phone number. Google Voice doesn't allow you to forward text messages to linked numbers, though, due to potential spam issues.

  • How do you do split screen on an iPad?

    To make a split screen on an iPad in iOS 15, start by opening an app. Tap the three dots at the center of the screen near the top and select the Split View icon. Then select the second app.

  • How do you take a screenshot on an iPad?

    To take a screenshot on an iPad that doesn't have a Home button, simultaneously press the Power and volume up buttons. If your iPad has a Home button, simultaneously press it and the top button.

  • How do you connect an Apple Pencil to an iPad?

    To connect a second-generation Apple Pencil to an iPad, attach the pencil to the iPad's side. Tap the Connect button that appears on the screen. If you have the first-generation Apple Pencil, plug the pencil into the iPad's lightning port. Tap the Pair button that appears on the screen.

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