You’re most likely already aware that Apple released an update to its OS X Mavericks operating system this week. 10.9.2 got plenty of notoriety because it plugged a serious security hole known as GoToFail. But along with that fix, 10.9.2 also brought a number of improvements and a few new features. One of those new features is the ability to make FaceTime Audio calls on your Mac.
FaceTime, Apple’s video and audio communications service has been available on iOS for quite some time. The ability to make a FaceTime video call has been available on a Mac as well. FaceTime Audio made its debut with iOS 7 on Apple mobile devices, and now is available for the Mac as well.
FaceTime allows users to connect and communicate without using cellular voice minutes. It is Apple’s proprietary technology that has competitors such as Skype, WhatsApp and Google Hangouts.
Here’s how to use FaceTime Audio on your Mac.
First make sure you’ve updated to OS X 10.9.2. Hit the Mac App Store and check for updates if you haven’t already. (Note, you should do this update to fix the GoToFail security flaw regardless of whether or not you want to use FaceTime Audio.)
Next, open FaceTime. You’ll see your iSight camera activate and you’ll see your face looking back at you in the left pane and a list of your contacts in the right pane.
Next to your contacts for those you are able to connect with via FaceTime you’ll see two icons. One is a phone the other a camera. To connect via FaceTime audio choose the phone icon and away you go.
You’re using FaceTime audio to talk via your Mac. Of course you contact has to have FaceTime on and running for you to connect this way.
Of course you can choose the camera if you want to use FaceTime video as well. FaceTime includes the ability to Block callers if you wish and also a call waiting feature. If you don’t want to receive calls you can close the application or use the Turn FaceTime Off item in the FaceTime menu.