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Facetime

How does Facetime work?

Facetime is a Voice over IP software. VoIP technology uses the Internet protocol to make phone calls - images and sound are sent and received over the network. A big advantage is that, unlike a phone call over the analog network, there are no phone charges.

For a phone call, chat or video call via the Facetime app, you either need a telephone number or the email address of your contact registered with Facetime. From iOS 12, group video chat is possible with the app: Up to 32 participants can dial in and try out numerous functions such as animojis, filters and effects.

What are the costs of using Facetime?

Facetime is a free app: There are no charges for a phone call over the data network. However, you need a WLAN or a mobile data connection and pay the corresponding internet fees for it. If you use Facetime on the go, you should be careful, especially when abroad, and find out about the conditions of mobile data usage in advance.

How to enable Facetime

To activate Facetime you have two options:

  • Start the application on your iPhone, iPad or Mac and sign in with your Apple ID.
  • Enter your Apple ID under "Settings" under "Facetime".

If you are using an iPhone, your mobile number will be registered automatically. In the settings of the app you also link your email address with Facetime.

On the iPad, the linking of the email address also works via the settings of the app: Go to "Settings" → "Facetime" → "Use Apple ID for Facetime" and log in with your Apple ID.

Make calls using Facetime on Mac

From iOS 8 you can also use Facetime on the Mac. Your iPhone and Mac must be connected to the same WiFi network to do this. Another requirement: Both devices are registered with Facetime and iCloud with the same Apple ID. Turn on Wi-Fi calling on both Mac and iPhone to make calls using Facetime.

Many programs such as Safari or Mail offer the option of communicating via Facetime: Simply click on a telephone number on the respective website or in an email and select "Call" from the pop-up menu. In some programs you will find the option under "Info".

Set up iPhone for use with a Mac

  • On the iPhone, open the Settings in the Facetime app, then "Phone" → "Wi-Fi calls on iPhone".
  • If "Add WiFi calls for other devices" is displayed, you can activate calls here to devices that are not in the same WiFi network as your iPhone. This is true even if your iPhone is turned off once. This option is not available with all providers.
  • If "On other devices" is displayed, you can click on this option to make Facetime calls with your other devices that are in the same WLAN as the iPhone.

How do I prepare my Mac for use with the iPhone?

  • Navigate to "Facetime" → "Settings".
  • Click on "Calls from iPhone".
  • If your provider supports calls while your iPhone is turned off or connected to a different Wi-Fi network, the option "Expand to Wi-Fi calling" appears.

To make a call using Facetime from your Mac, open the Facetime app. Enter a phone number or email address in the search box and select "Audio". Alternatively, open "Contacts", select the relevant person and click on the phone icon. With "Video" you start a video call. It is also possible to switch between audio and video calls during a call.

Does Facetime also work on Android?

Facetime is not available for Android, but there are some attractive alternatives.

  • Google Hangouts: This app enables chats, phone calls, video calls and group video chats. It is available for smartphones with the Android operating system and as a desktop version.
  • Skype: Individual and group calls to other Skype users with or without picture transmission via the app are free of charge. Calling a phone number on Skype is chargeable.
  • WhatsApp: works on all smartphones. A desktop version of the popular app is also available.
  • Viber: A good alternative as the application can be installed on any smartphone. Chats, calls and video calls are possible on both the iPhone and Android.

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