FaceTime is Apple’s popular video chatting service that allows iPhone, iPad and Mac users to chat with each other over video. It’s a cross-platform service as well, so you can easily FaceTime with someone on your iPhone while they’re using an iPad or a Mac. It’s a really simple app to use, but setting it up can be a bit complicated if you’re not sure what to do.
FaceTime uses WiFi or a data connection in order to make and receive calls, so the video and audio quality is fairly outstanding, and the ability for FaceTime to be used with a data connection allows you to video chat with anyone from anywhere (as long as there’s a good data connection, of course).
In order for FaceTime to work across all of your Apple products, you have to make sure it’s set up on each device, which can get pretty complicated when you have a MacBook, iPhone, iPad, and maybe even an iPod Touch. Luckily, we’ll show you how to set it up so that you can be up and running in no time.
Before we dive, though, you’ll need an Apple ID account in order to use FaceTime. You’ll most likely already have one or you signed up for one when you set up your new iPhone, iPad or Mac, so you should be good to go either way. Nonetheless, you’ll want your Apple ID information ready.
Setup on iPhone
When you set up an iPhone, FaceTime will set itself up automatically, but if you’re not sure if you have it enabled, just open up the Settings app and tap on FaceTime. From there you can see if FaceTime is enabled. Scroll down and you’ll see a list of different ways that you can be contacted through FaceTime, with your phone number and your main email address most likely toward the top, along with your iCloud and Me.com email addresses.
Scroll down further and you’ll see the Caller ID section. Make sure you have your phone number selected for this; it’s important for your phone number to be the Caller ID on all of your Apple products in order for all of your devices to ring at the same time when you receive a FaceTime call, that way you can answer on any of your devices.
Setup on iPad
Setting up FaceTime on an iPad is pretty much identical to the iPhone, save for some differences in the user interface, obviously. When you set up your iPad, FaceTime will automatically set itself up. You can go into Settings and tap on FaceTime to make sure.
Again, the interface is identical to the iPhone, so just make sure that FaceTime is enabled and that your phone number is selected as the Caller ID.
Setup on Mac
Setting up FaceTime on a Mac is a bit different than on an iPhone or iPad. Unlike on iOS, FaceTime doesn’t automatically set itself up during the OS X setup process. So after you get all set up, you’ll need to set up FaceTime separately.
Newer Macs will come with FaceTime by default, since Apple began including the app with OS X starting with version 10.7 Lion, but you may need to download and install it from the Mac App Store if you don’t have it installed. It’s $0.99, but what’s a dollar?
Once you have FaceTime installed, open up the app and sign in using your Apple ID username and password. Then go up to the menu bar on your Mac and click FaceTime > Preferences. You’ll see a settings pane similar to that of the iOS FaceTime app, where you’ll see your phone number and email addresses. Again, make sure that your phone number is selected as the Caller ID.
Once you have FaceTime set up on all of your devices, you can now begin using it to video chat with friends and family who also have an Apple device.
It’s a pretty simple app to use, and all you have to do to call someone is tap on their name in the contact list and it’ll call them. Wait for them to pick and you can begin chatting away face-to-face.
You can also use FaceTime Audio, which is essentially FaceTime, but without the video. FaceTime Audio is better if you don’t want to use up all of your data, as you won’t have the video feed to bog down your connection.
You can also block certain numbers from contacting you in FaceTime, if you ever need to go that route. We’ve all had someone that we never want to hear from, so this feature can be extremely helpful at times.