FaceTime is Apple software that allows you to make calls and video calls for free between iOS devices. Let’s find out how to activate, use and make the most of its features.
FaceTime: how to install and use the service? The complete guide

FaceTime is Apple’s app that supports audio and video calls between compatible devices. Introduced in 2010 with iPhone 4, today FaceTime is available on all iOS devices, including iPhone, iPad, iMac, Macbook and iPod. Being an iOS exclusive, FaceTime does not work on Windows PCs and Android devices.

The devices that are called or videocall are not necessarily of the same model or type. To be clear, I can make a FaceTime from Macbook Air to a user who owns an iPhone 8, for example. With iOS 12.1, FaceTime introduced group video calls.

FaceTime works over the internet, so Wi-Fi or mobile data. The advantage of FaceTime compared to normal calls is that you save on the minutes of the rate plan that would normally be used with a voice call; same option for video calls, even if you consume Gigabyte of your monthly data package, unless you use it under a Wi-Fi connection.

What is the difference between FaceTime and WhatsApp video calls? Both services give the possibility to call and videocall other users via the Internet and are particularly useful, for example, to get in contact with those who live abroad. Unlike WhatsApp, FaceTime is already present among the default apps of your iOS device and does not need to be downloaded from the App Store. A limitation of FaceTime is that it can only be used between users with iPhone or other Apple devices.

FaceTime requirements: compatible devices

FaceTime works over Wi-Fi and 3G and 4G cellular networks:

  • On iOS devices (from iPhone 4 onwards, from 4th generation iPod Touch onwards, iPad 2 and above) with iOS 4 or later installed;
  • On Mac with Mac OS X 10.6.6 or later, equipped with a camera

Is FaceTime paid?

No, FaceTime is a totally free service for all Apple customers.

The only costs to bear are those related to the consumption of navigation data WiFi or 3G, LTE.

How to make a FaceTime

To make a FaceTime call first make sure the app is enabled on your device by going to Settings> FaceTime. If the cursor is gray, move the lever to the right to activate it (it will turn green). At this point open the app (represented by a white camera icon on a green background) and search for a contact using a name, an e-mail address or a phone number. Tap the contact to start a video call with the desired user.

For only audio-only calls, open the FaceTime app. At the top of the screen, tap Audio so it is highlighted in blue. Search for a contact, then touch his name to start a call.

If you have deleted FaceTime, but you have changed your mind and want to use it, just go to the App Store and install it.

How to activate FaceTime

The procedure to activate FaceTime on iPhoneiPad and iPod Touch is extremely simple. Here it is summarized in 6 moves :

  1. go to the Settings menu on the Home of all devices;
  2. choose the FaceTime entry in the list;
  3. activate the white lever next to the word FaceTime making it green;
  4. click on ok when a warning will appear for any additional costs;
  5. at this point you will receive an SMS (which may not be free);
  6. choose which contact details to make available to users using FaceTime: phone number, email address, Apple ID.

FaceTime is now ready to be used.

The procedure to activate FaceTime on MacBook is as follows:

  1. start FaceTime thanks to the icon already present in the dock bar of the Launchpad;
  2. select the FaceTime entry in the upper left menu and choose the Preferences item in the drop-down menu;
  3. activate the Enable this account entry;
  4. select within the option You can receive FaceTime calls from contacts to which you can make calls to your account.

How is FaceTime used?

How to use FaceTime on iPhoneiPad and iPod Touch?

  1. connect the device to the internet via WiFi or by authorizing the data connection;
  2. verify that the person you want to contact is equally connected to the internet (the quality of the network score must be good);
  3. click on the FaceTime app icon present in Home;
  4. search for the contact of the person you want to call as in a classic phone book (you can choose whether to contact via video call or audio call);
  5. wait for the contacted person to answer from their device.

How to use FaceTime on iPhoneiPad and iPod Touch using the Phone function?

  1. activate the Phone function found in Home;
  2. choose the Contacts tab;
  3. identify the contact you want to call;
  4. choose the FaceTime entry in the contact card;
  5. choose between audio call (phone icon) or video call (FaceTime icon).

How to activate FaceTime on MacBook?

  1. verify that your MacBook is connected to WiFi;
  2. verify that the person you want to contact is equally connected to the internet;
  3. open the FaceTime app in the bar at the bottom of the MacBook desk;
  4. search for contacts between the person you want to call or videocall.

FaceTime does not work? 6 possible solutions

FaceTime does not work?

Here are 6 attempts that can be made to restore the correct functioning of the service:

  1. check the device update: if FaceTime does not work it could be due to a lack of updates, check in the settings to be in step with the latest iOS system or Mac OS;
  2. verify that FaceTime is activated correctly;
  3. verify that FaceTime is connected to the Apple ID;
  4. verify the correct entry of date and time;
  5. verify the connection to a network and that the quality of the network is good;
  6. if necessary, restart the device and try to launch FaceTime again.


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