How to Use FaceTime: Setup and Compatibility
Updated: September 10,2022
If you're looking for an easy way to keep in touch with friends and family, look no further than FaceTime. This program makes video chatting straightforward, and it's compatible with a wide range of Apple devices. In this article, we'll provide step-by-step instructions on how to use FaceTime and its various features. Whether you're new to FaceTime or just need a refresher course, read on!
Setting Up FaceTime
FaceTime is installed automatically on all Apple devices, so you don't need to do anything special to set it up. If you want to use FaceTime on a PC or Android device, however, you'll need to get a FaceTime link from someone who created it on an Apple device.
Once you've installed the app, open it and sign in with your Apple ID. If you don't have an Apple ID, you can create one for free. Once you're signed in, the app will ask permission to use your camera and microphone. Make sure to grant these permissions, or you won't be able to use FaceTime.
FaceTime Compatible Devices
FaceTime is compatible with a wide range of devices, including:
- iPhone 4 and later
- iPad 2 and later, Pro (all versions), and mini
- iPod touch (fourth generation) and later
- Macs running Mac OS X 10.9 or later
- Windows PCs with the Google Chrome or Microsoft Edge browsers
- Android devices with the Google Chrome browser
In addition, FaceTime can be used with AirPlay and Bluetooth on specific devices.
Making a FaceTime Video Call
You can quickly initiate a FaceTime video call by tapping the FaceTime app on your device and selecting the person you want to call. If they're not already signed in to FaceTime, they'll be prompted to do so.
FaceTime’s video calling feature can also be initiated through a number of other apps and services, including Messages, Mail, and Calendar. Simply open the app and select the person you want to call.
Once your call has been initiated, the front camera on your device will activate, and you'll see the person you're talking to. During a call, you can switch between the front and rear cameras by tapping the camera icon in the top right-hand corner of the screen. You can also mute or end the call by clicking on the clearly labeled buttons.
Making a FaceTime Audio Call
If you want to talk to someone without turning on the camera, you can make a FaceTime audio call instead. The main advantage of using FaceTime audio instead of a standard phone call is that you can use it on Wi-Fi or cellular data. Because it uses a higher-quality codec, the sound quality is usually better on FaceTime than regular calls.
The easiest way to use FaceTime’s audio call feature is through the FaceTime app, or set up Favorites in the Contacts app and then access it through the Phone app on your iOS device.
As with video, you can make an audio-only FaceTime call from several other apps, including Messages, Mail, and Notes. Simply open the app and tap on the Audio button in the top right-hand corner of the screen. You'll then be able to choose the person you want to call.
At the start of a FaceTime audio call, both parties will see an incoming call notification. The person who answers first will be put into speakerphone mode, and the other party can then join the call by tapping on the Join button.
Creating a FaceTime Link
Starting from the iOS 15 version, FaceTime supports a Zoom-type feature, in which you can create a link that other people can join immediately or at a scheduled time for a meeting, as FaceTime Link integrates directly with the Apple calendar.
To create a link, open the FaceTime app and tap the "Create Link" option. You can then enter a name for the link, add a description, and choose whether to make the link public.
You can also share the link by copying it to your clipboard and sending it to someone in a message, or you can post it on social media.
When someone joins the meeting, they'll see a live video stream of the person who created the link, and they'll be able to join in by talking or typing. The link creator can also choose to share their screen. This is also how Android and Windows users can access FaceTime calls, but more on that later.
By using the Group FaceTime option in the app, you can chat via audio or video with up to 32 people simultaneously.
To start a Group FaceTime, open the app and select the "New Group" option. You can then add people by searching for their name or email address, or scanning a QR code.
Once you've added everyone you want to chat with, tap on the "Start Conversation" button and begin talking.
You can also join an ongoing Group FaceTime by tapping on the "Join" button in the top right-hand corner of the screen.
During a Group FaceTime call, everyone will see each other, and they'll be able to talk or type. The person currently speaking will have a green border around their video, and the person who is listening will have a blue border.
Group FaceTime is available on all the devices that support FaceTime, but older models like iPhone 5s, iPhone 6, and iPad mini (second generation) don’t support video calls, and users can only join the call via audio.
Using FaceTime on Android and Windows
There is no official FaceTime app for Android or Windows, but since the iOS 15 update, users with devices with either OS can join a call through a FaceTime link. Android users should update their software to at least the Lollipop OS version. As mentioned, since there’s no app, you’ll be joining the call through Chrome or Edge browsers, but you can participate in both Group FaceTime calls and one-on-one conversations.
There it is: The complete guide on how to use FaceTime and its various features, from making a standard call, to creating a FaceTime link or joining a Group FaceTime. As you can see, it's easy to use and compatible with most devices, so go ahead and give it a try.
Frequently Asked Questions
To use FaceTime, both you and the person you're calling need to have:
- an iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, or Mac with a FaceTime camera, or an Android device or Windows PC with the Chrome or Edge browsers
- a valid Apple ID
- iOS 7 or later installed on your device (or Mac OS X 10.9 or newer)
- a Wi-Fi connection or cellular data plan
There is no official FaceTime app for PCs, but you can join a call through a FaceTime link on the Chrome or Edge browsers.
There is no official FaceTime app for Android, but users of Android devices can join into a call through a FaceTime link for Chrome or Edge.
Yes, all FaceTime calls are free to make. You only need a Wi-Fi connection or cellular data plan.
The video quality depends on the device you're using and how good your network connection is. Generally, FaceTime provides high-quality video calls.
Yes, you might be able to see the person you're calling before they’ve accepted the call, due to a bug. However, generally, the answer is no. They will see an incoming call notification. The person who answers first will be put into speakerphone mode, and the other party can then join the call by tapping on the Join button.
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While Damjan started his career in humanities, his interests quickly moved on to the tech and IT world. VPNs, antiviruses, firewalls, password managers - cybersecurity is what he knows best. When Damjan’s not losing hair over the dwindling of our collective sense of tech safety, you’ll find him looking for solace in 100-hour-long RPGs and rage-inducing MOBAs.