Everything You Need to Know About FaceTime for the iPhone or iPad

FaceTime on iphone 3GS or 3G?
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FaceTime is the name for Apple's video-calling technology. It supports both video and audio-only calls between compatible devices. FaceTime was originally introduced by Apple on the iPhone 4 in 2010, but it now works on a number of Apple devices, including the iPad, iPod touch, and Macs.

FaceTime Video

The core functionality of FaceTime is to let you make video calls to other FaceTime users. FaceTime uses the user-facing digital camera on compatible devices to show the caller to the receiver of the call, and vice versa.

Calls can be made between any FaceTime-compatible devices, i.e. from iPhone 8 to iPhone X, from Mac to iPhone, or from iPad to iPod touch.

Unlike some other video-calling programs, FaceTime only supports person-to-person video calls, not group calls.

FaceTime Audio

In 2013, iOS 7 added support for FaceTime Audio. This lets you make voice-only phone calls using the FaceTime platform. With these calls, callers don't see each other, but you also don't use the monthly minutes allotted under your phone contract. These calls still use data, though, so they count against your monthly data limit

FaceTime Requirements

  • On iOS: iOS 4 or higher, a supported device
  • On Mac: Mac OS X 10.6.6 or higher, a compatible camera, the FaceTime app (pre-loaded on most Macs, and available for US$0.99 at the Mac App Store for those it's not pre-loaded on).

FaceTime Compatibility

FaceTime works on the following devices:

  • iPhone 4 and higher
  • 4th generation iPod touch and higher
  • iPad 2 and higher
  • Macs with cameras

FaceTime does not work on Windows or other platforms as of this writing.

FaceTime History

At its introduction in June 2010, FaceTime only worked on iOS 4 running on the iPhone 4. Support for the iPod touch was added in the fall of 2010.

Support for the Mac was added in February 2010. Support for the iPad was added in March 2011, starting with the iPad 2.

Originally, FaceTime only worked on Wi-Fi, not on cellular networks. This limitation on the service was imposed by phone carriers due to their concerns that video calls required too much bandwidth and would produce slow performance and high data bills.

With the introduction of iOS 6 in 2012, that restriction was removed. FaceTime calls can now be placed over 3G and 4G networks.

Using and Troubleshooting FaceTime

To learn how to use FaceTime and solve problems with it, check out: