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Built into all iOS devices with front facing cameras is a feature called FaceTime, which is a video chatting feature that lets you and the person you're calling both see and hear each other. It's a great way to have a face-to-face conversation, to show someone where you're calling them from, or just to see a friend's expression when you share some cool news with them. Now in order to use FaceTime, both callers have to be on an iOS device with a front facing camera, and both callers need to be connected to either a Wi-Fi network, or in the case of the iPhone, FaceTime also works over cellular connections, as long as your provider has allowed it.
Currently in the US, Verizon and Sprint both allow FaceTime over cellular at no extra charge, while AT&T only allows it if your device is part of a shared plan. The video will generally look much better over a Wi-Fi connection though. But other than making sure you have a device with a front facing camera and an Internet connection, no set up is required to use FaceTime. It's available by default, but you might want to go into your Settings to FaceTime and just make sure the FaceTime switch is turned on. One way to make a FaceTime call is to first make a regular phone call.
I'm going to dial my friend Nick from my list of Favorites here. Hello. Hey Nick, it's Garrick, can you hold on a second? Okay. All right. So now Nick has answered the call. I know he has an iPhone 4S and we're both connected to our own Wi-Fi networks, so I'm going to tap the FaceTime button. Now, the person you're calling has to tap Accept on their end in order for the FaceTime call to connect. That prevents someone from just seeing your camera by tapping FaceTime on their end.
All right. So, Nick has accepted my FaceTime invite, and now we're both looking at and hearing each other pretty much in real time. How is it going Nick? I'm pretty good. Sounds good. Now, you and the person you're calling can rotate the phone to either landscape or portrait orientation. So if Nick rotates his orientation, you can see what that looks like on his end. You can see it just automatically shifts here. I can do the same thing with mine. So as you just saw, FaceTime defaults to the front facing camera, but you can switch cameras at any point during the call, which is great if you want to show something to the person you're talking to.
For example, maybe I want to show Nick this conveniently placed group of snacks here at the end of my table. I'm sure Nick looks super impressed by that. He can do the same thing on his end. I can see Nick is sitting outside. He's got his nice lynda.com mug there. All right, let's switch back to our front facing cameras. Now, we can do other things during a FaceTime call. We have a Mute button here. So when I tap that I can still see and hear Nick, but he can't hear me.
He can still see me though. I'll turn off Mute. You can also run other applications while on a FaceTime chat. For instance, I'll press the Home button there. Now we won't be able to see each other like this, but we can still hear each other. This might be useful if you need to look up a contact or an address to share with the person you're talking to. When I tap the green bar at the top of the screen, we can now see and hear each other again. All right, so I'm going to hang up on Nick for a second here. I'll talk to you in a second. So I hit End. So, initiating a FaceTime chat is simply a matter of tapping the FaceTime button during a call.
You can also initiate a FaceTime call right away by going into your contacts, and you notice here there's a FaceTime button, tapping that immediately sends a request to your contact. There he is again. I'm going to hang up on you again. All right, so that's how to initiate a FaceTime call. Let's see what it looks like when you receive a FaceTime call. All right, so I see the message that Nick wants to start a FaceTime chat. I'm going to hit Accept, and there he is again.
So that's pretty much all I wanted to show you there. So, thanks Nick. No problem. See you. So that's what it looks like when you receive a Facetime call. In addition to working with iOS devices, FaceTime also works with Mac's running OS X Snow Leopard or later. It's built in all new Macs and you can also purchase FaceTime for $.99 from the Mac App Store if you have an older Mac. Once it's installed, you will be able to call your friend's iOS devices as well as other Macs from your computer. Calls to and from your Mac are tied to your Apple ID and any email addresses you've associated with your FaceTime account.
You can also associate email addresses with your FaceTime account on your iOS device, so whenever someone attempts to FaceTime with you, both your Mac and your iOS device will ring and you'll have the choice of answering ether one. On your device, go to Settings, FaceTime again and here tap Add an Email to add the email address you associated with your FaceTime account on your Mac. Friends using FaceTime on their Macs will be able to use this address to contact you. That's the FaceTime feature available on all iOS devices with the front facing camera and on any many Mac with FaceTime and a camera.
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