Topic outline

  • How to use FaceTime

    In this course, you will learn how to use FaceTime - the video chat app that comes pre-installed on Apple devices. If you have an Apple computer, tablet or phone, you can use FaceTime to video call to the other side of the road, or world, for free.

    To get started, we also have a short animated video to watch below on How to make a video call with FaceTime.


    Welcome to 'How to make a video call with FaceTime'. FaceTime lets people make video calls and voice calls to each other using their Apple devices. In this video, Jayna and Sandi will enjoy a video call with each other using FaceTime. It's been so long since they've been able to catch up in person. FaceTime comes already installed on iPhones, iPads, and Apple computers, and works in a similar way on them all. It can also be downloaded for free from the App Store.

    All video calls need the internet, but instead of using mobile data, the friends will use their home Wi-Fi. This means they can chat for as long as they like and not worry about using up their mobile data allowance. To get started, Jayna locates the FaceTime icon on her iPad's Home screen. It looks like a white camera in a green square. She taps on it and the app opens. The iPad's front camera automatically turns on and she can see herself on the screen.

    The app also displays a list of contacts with whom Jayna has recently shared a FaceTime call. Jayna could tap on any of these contacts to FaceTime call them again, but she hasn't spoken to Sandi on FaceTime recently, so she's not on this list. To find Sandi in her FaceTime contacts list, Jayna taps the plus icon on the top right of the Recent Calls list to start a new FaceTime call. The keyboard automatically appears and she starts typing her friend's name. When she sees Sandi's contact details appear, she taps them. If Sandi wasn't saved in Jayna's has contacts list, she could just type her friend's mobile phone number here to call her. Now that she's entered Sandi's contact details, two buttons appear, audio and video. Tapping audio will call Sandi as a voice-only call without video, but Jayna wants to see and hear her friend so she taps on video. When Sandi receives Jayna's call on her iPhone, the front camera switches on and she can see herself. If she had an Android phone or tablet, the call would not work. When her iPhone rings, it sounds just like an ordinary phone call, but the screen lets her know that Jayna is calling via FaceTime video. Just like any other call, Sandi can choose to decline or accept the call. Of course, she enthusiastically accepts. Jayna appears on Sandi's phone, and Sandi appears on Jayna's iPad.

    While the friends catch up, let's look at some of the controls in FaceTime. Flip switches the view from the front camera to the rear camera and vice-a-versa. Sandi presses Flip to change to her iPhone's rear camera to show her friend the view from her garden. She presses Flip once more to return to her iPhone's front camera, so Jayna can see her friend once more. A noisy plane passes overhead so Jayna presses Mute to turn off her iPad's microphone. Sandi can no longer hear any sound from Jayna's iPad. Once the plane has passed, Jayna presses Mute again to allow her friend to hear her once more. When they're done, Jayna presses End to hang up the call. These old friends have recharged with a long, overdue catch-up thanks to FaceTime.