For a few years now I’ve mostly used Apple devices to get stuff done, and for personal use. If you know a lot of people with Apple devices one thing to look into if you haven’t already is FaceTime. It’s been around since 2010.

All things related to Apple involve Apple ID’s, you can use them in place of mobile phone numbers to help with the setting up of calls. The experience of making a call is super easy. Just like using the normal phone dialler. One thing to note is that Apple grabs the number or contact that you try to call, and figures out whether or not it’s an Apple device, and it won’t let you make a FaceTime call if the ‘other end’ can’t support it. For example if you try to FaceTime someone who has an Android phone.

Doing a call is easy…

Inside a call that’s also super-easy. The idea is that you hold the device facing you, and then the front-facing camera will send your video to the caller, and, the device will send the video to you. It’s pretty good quality, and you can also see a little image of yourself on the screen so you know what the other person is seeing.

Apple have made several changes to FaceTime over the last few years. They’ve included extra features, most notably the group calling facility. And if the mood takes you, you can invoke camera effects.

A really good feature of this is that you can make and receive calls on your iPhone, your iPod, your iPad, or any of Mac-like desktop/laptops!

One of the things to remember here is that conversation that you’re having will be using your data. All good if you’re on Wifi, but if you’re using your mobile data plan then it’s worth considering that the call will use some data. You can also see an overall picture of how much mobile data (not Wifi) has been used by FaceTime by going to Settings, then Mobile Data, and scrolling down to FaceTime.

You can see how much has been used by an individual call by looking in the list of calls:

And then you click on the info button at the right hand side of the call, to see this:

As you see when receiving a call I’m also using data. There are articles on the internet which say that the data used is quite variable; sometimes it will be as we see in my screenshot (about 25-30 Mb per minute) other times it’ll be 10-15 Mb. From what I’ve read this is down to the connection quality, in other words if you’ve got a fast connection (lots of signal bars, or good Wifi) then more data will be used and of course the picture quality will be much better.