Facetime: how to make free video calls on Apple devices

If you've got an iPhone, iPad or Mac, you can make free video calls.

Happy couple wave to their friends using FaceTime

If you've got an iPhone, iPad or Mac, you can make free video and audio calls using Apple's FaceTime app.

FaceTime is available for free on most of Apple’s recent devices:

  • iPhone 4 or later
  • iPad 2 or later
  • iPad mini
  • Mac computers (OS X Lion or later)
  • iPod touch (4th generation) or later.

It is also available for older Mac computers, for $1.29, from the Mac App Store.
 

How to get started

The first step is to enable FaceTime. On iPhone, iPad or iPod touch you can do this by opening up ‘Settings’ on your device and tapping ‘FaceTime’. Once here, turn on FaceTime by tapping the on/off slider. You may now sign in with your Apple ID, and if you own an iPhone you may choose to use your phone number to receive FaceTime calls. 

Now navigate to the FaceTime app on your device and open it. You may be asked to sign in with your Apple ID again, after this is completed you will now be able to make and receive FaceTime calls from other users. If you can’t find the app, try searching for it in the “Finder” if you’re on a Mac, or “Spotlight” if you’re on an iOS device. 

How to make your first call

Now that you’re set-up, you need someone to call! If you know for a fact that any of your friends or family are using Apple devices, you can try calling them. To do this open up the FaceTime app and select someone on your contact list to call. If you succeed in making your call then they must have FaceTime enabled, otherwise you’ll be told that they are “not available for FaceTime”.

If this is the case, you’ll have to ask them to enable it. Why not teach them how to do this, now that you know?

You can also choose people to call from your iPhone or iPad’s address book. To do this, open the “Contacts” app and select a contact. From the following screen there will now be a FaceTime option and from it you will be able to video or audio call someone, by selecting the corresponding icon.

FaceTime is free to use, but it will use internet data, so before you make any calls check that you are either on a wifi network or that you’ve got plenty of mobile data left to use.

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