What Facetime is and How It Works on iOS Devices

Last updated: April 21, 2017 - 3:42pm EDT

FaceTime is one of the most popularly used apps on smartphones today, because it allows you to connect with friends, family, colleagues, and more – all over the Internet, for free! If you have an Apple device, making use of FaceTime is a must, so in this article, we’re going to explain everything you need to know about it, including how it works, how private it is, what it may cost you if you aren’t careful, and more.

So, what exactly is FaceTime?

FaceTime is a video calling app made by Apple that comes with iPhone, iPad, and Mac devices. The service allows users to call and video chat with their friends and family who also have an Apple device. The service runs using your device’s Internet data or Wi-Fi connection, and is simple and easy to use.

How does FaceTime work?

FaceTime works using your Apple device’s mobile data or a Wi-Fi connection to allow you to make voice and/or video calls to your contacts who also have an Apple device. Just open the app, select the type of call you’d like to make, and type in the name or phone number of the person you’d like to call.

FaceTime video call screen

Check out this tutorial on how to use FaceTime to learn about how to connect with your contacts in more detail.

Is FaceTime free?

Yes, FaceTime is free to use. It comes automatically installed on iPhones, iPads, and Mac computers. You can use it to call your friends and family who also have Apple devices, for free. We would recommend connecting your device to a Wi-Fi network (if possible) before making calls to avoid any data charges. If you need more information to understand how that works, and how you could possibly be charged for your calls, read our article about FaceTime data usage to learn more.

Is FaceTime private?

FaceTime is very private. When you’re calling someone using the app, the only people that can join the conversation are you and the person you’re calling. The calls are also encrypted, meaning that they are safe, private, and cannot be tapped into. You don’t have to worry about anyone listening in on your calls.

Pros and cons of FaceTime

Some awesome things about the service are that:

  • It’s free and easy to use
  • It comes built into Apple devices
  • It allows for both voice and video calls
  • It’s convenient that you don’t have to have cell phone service to use it, as long as you have Wi-Fi or an Internet connection available.

On the other hand:

  • It’s only available on Apple devices
  • It can’t be used to call landline phones
  • It does not offer group/conference calling features

FaceTime alternatives

If you don’t enjoy FaceTime or don’t have an Apple device, there are other apps that you can use instead. One great alternative is Skype. Skype has more features, is free to download and use, and is available for iPhone, Android, PC and Mac. Another app you can use instead is ooVoo. ooVoo is a pretty popular calling app as well, and like Skype, also has more features. To learn about these apps and more, check out this article where we break down other similar apps and services.

 

We hoped you learned something new in this introductory article, but there’s plenty more to come. Be sure to read the rest of the articles in our FaceTime course to learn more. If you have any questions, leave us a comment below.

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