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What is FaceTime?

The FaceTime logo is displayed on the screen of an iPad, on January 29, 2019 in Rome. The people on the right are involved in a FaceTime call. VINCENZO PINTO/AFP via Getty Images

This FaceTime isn’t about having quality time in front of your boss; FaceTime is a video chat application developed by Apple. Apple developed it into an open standard, which means that technically (no pun intended), FaceTime can be used on a variety of platforms, and other manufacturers can take advantage of the FaceTime protocol. However, in reality, FaceTime is still available only for users of Apple products. Specifically, you can use FaceTime from your iPhone, iPad, or Mac computer, and you’ll also need to communicate with someone on one of these devices.

The app comes built into your device. Simply access it by going to Settings and searching for FaceTime on your phone or tablet. You will need to enter your Apple ID . For your Mac computer, launch the FaceTime app.

You can use FaceTime video (the standard way) which will show you and the person you’re talking to on video. You can even make a group FaceTime call that way. There’s also a FaceTime Audio setting that puts the call in audio-only mode.

To make a FaceTime call, simply open the app on your device and tap the “+” button on the FaceTime option and choose “Video” (or “Audio”).

To do a group FaceTime, open the FaceTime app and tap the “+” button at the top of your contact list. In the “To” field, start typing the name or number of the first person you want to call. As you type, suggestions will appear. Only names in blue can be added (gray names mean the contact hasn’t been upgraded to OS 12.1 and therefore can’t support group FaceTime). To add another person, start typing their name or number as well in the “To” field. Once you have added all the people, tap on the “Video” or “Audio” button to start the call. Each person in the chat receives a notification about the call.

As we said before, FaceTime only works between callers who are in the Apple universe. You cannot make a FaceTime call to an Android user, and Android users do not have access to FaceTime. If you need to video call an Android user, you’ll need to use a third-party app like WhatsApp or Skype.

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