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Built-in to all iOS devices with front -facing cameras like the iPhone 4 and later and the 4th generation iPod touch, 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, show someone where you're calling them from or just to see your 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 a Wi-Fi network. Other than that, there's no set-up required, although you might want to go into Settings>Facetime and just make sure Facetime 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 favorites list here. So, now Nick has answered the call. I know he has an iPhone4 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. If Nick had tried to initiate the Facetime call with me, I would see a message in which I could choose to Accept or Decline his invitation.
Alright, so Nick has accepted my call. Now, we're both looking at and hearing each other pretty much in real time. 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 how his image rotates on my end, and I can do the same thing here. So as you 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 chess board sitting here.
So, I'll tap my Camera Rotate button and Nick can do the same thing on his end. If he switches to his main camera, I now see what he's looking at. Now, we can do a couple of other things during a Facetime call. We have a Mute button, I'll go ahead and tap that. So, I can still see and hear Nick but he can't hear me, he can still see me though. I'm going to turn off Mute. You can also run other applications while on a Facetime chat. I'll press the Home button and from here I can run another app.
We won't be able to see each other but we can still hear each other. This might be useful if you need to look up a contact or 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 if I switch back to my front-facing camera. Now, as long as you and the person you are Facetime chatting with stay connected to your respective Wi-Fi networks, you can keep seeing and hearing each other. But bear in mind that once you start a Facetime chat, your conversation is happening entirely over your internet connections and not through your wireless carrier's network.
So, if one of you walks out of range of their Wi-Fi signal, the Facetime chat will get cut-off and end. Alright, so I'm going to say goodbye to Nick. 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 could see here we have a Facetime button and tapping that immediately sends a Facetime request to your contact. So, that's how to initiate a Facetime call. Let's see what it looks like when you receive a Facetime call. So, I see the message that Nick wants to Facetime and I need to tap the Accept button.
It'll take a moment to connect and now we're looking at and hearing each other again, and that's all I really wanted to show. Now, in addition to working with iOS devices, Facetime also works with Mac's running iOS X Snow Leopard or later. It's built-in to all your Macs and you can also purchase Facetime for 99 cents from the Mac App Store. Once it's installed, you'll be able to call your friends' iOS devices as well as other Macs from your computer. Calls to and from your Mac are tied to your Apple ID and in the e-mail address that you've associated with your Facetime account.
You can also associate e-mail 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 either one. On your device, go into Settings>Facetime and then here tap Use your Apple ID for Facetime. Then, enter your Apple ID and your password. Friends using Facetime on their Macs will be able to use this address to contact you. And that's the Facetime feature available on all iOS devices with a front-facing camera, and on any Mac with Facetime and a camera.
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