Facetime is the video calling application built in to Apple’s iPhone 4. Via the iPhone’s internal cameras, users can set up calls with other iPhone 4 users and see the person they are calling as well as just hearing their voice. The handset features both front and rear-facing cameras, and either of these can be used for making video calls with Facetime. The application is now also compatible with the iPad and Mac computers, meaning that users can make video calls between any of these devices.
On the iPhone 4, Facetime is very simple to set up and use. In order to use it, however, the application must first be enabled. Go to Settings, Phone, and slide Facetime to ON. You will be presented with a warning that your carrier may make SMS charges for using the service and then Facetime will be activated.
Making a new call with Facetime
You can set up a new Facetime call by accessing your contacts.
Open up your contacts and select the name of the person with whom you want to set up a Facetime call.
You will see a Facetime button on the contact page. Tap the button.
You will be prompted to select the number for the contact.
Once this is done, the call will initialize. The other user will be prompted to accept the call. When he/she accepts, the call will start.
Note that if you or the other user are not connected to a Wi-Fi network, the call will not initialize. Facetime only works over a Wi-Fi connection.
Switching between cameras
You may want to switch cameras while conducting a Facebook call. If you are out and about, for example, and want to show the other person a landmark or something interesting, then you can simply switch cameras mid-call. To do this while a call is in progress, tap the switch camera icon at the bottom right-hand side of the screen. Tap again to revert to the original camera.
Switching from voice to Facetime call
You may be on a voice call with one of your contacts when he/she suggests that you switch to a Facetime call. To do this, tap the Facetime icon that appears on the screen while your voice call is in progress. The other user will receive an invitation to join your call and then you can continue as a Facetime call.
Tips and points to remember:
There will be a natural tendency to look down at your phone, meaning that the other caller is more likely to get a nice long look up your nose. Hold the phone out, level with your face to give them a more amenable view.
Be wary of bright backgrounds. The iPhone 4 camera is overwhelmed by very bright backgrounds, which will darken your face for the other caller and obscure his/her view.
Your connection may be lost if you keep moving around. It is therefore better to remain still while making a call. Facetime calls can be hard to maintain with a user that is walking along, for example.
You can open another application while using Facetime by pressing the Home button and then selecting it. Remember that the other person will not be able to see you until you tap the green bar at the top of the screen and return to the Facetime call.
Facetime is a great addition to the iPhone and a fun way to interact with your friends. It’s also extremely easy to use and, with the addition of Facetime for Mac, is also a good way to link up with users on their home computers while you are out and about.