How to Make a Video Call with FaceTime on Your iPhone 4

Using FaceTime on your iPhone 4 is as easy as making a regular call on that iPhone. Plus, FaceTime comes with at least two major benefits, besides the video:

  • FaceTime calls don't count against your regular AT&T minutes.

  • The audio quality on FaceTime calls is superior to a regular cell phone connection.

But FaceTime also has a couple major caveats:

  • Both you and the party you're talking to must have an iPhone 4. FaceTime doesn't work with older models of the iPhone or any other devices.

    Apple is pushing to make FaceTime a video standard that the entire tech industry can embrace, allowing you to someday (and maybe even by the time you read this) make FaceTime calls from iPhone 4 to other handsets and computers, perhaps machines compatible with the iChat video feature on Macs.

  • Both you and the caller at the other end have to access Wi-Fi. The quality of the experience depends on a solid connection.

If you meet the requirements, here's how to make FaceTime happen:

  1. The first time you make a FaceTime call, dial the person's regular iPhone number, as usual.

  2. After your iPhone establishes a regular call and you've broached the subject of going video, you can tap the FaceTime button.

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  3. A few seconds later, the other person can Decline or Accept the FaceTime invitation by tapping the red button or the green button, respectively.

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    If the answer is Accept, you'll need to wait a few seconds before you can see the other person.

You can easily make a FaceTime call to someone you've already had FaceTime with:

  • Search for any FaceTime calls you previously made by tapping an entry for that call in Recents. The iPhone knows to take the call straight to video, though of course the person you're talking to has to accept the invitation each time.

  • You can do FaceTime also by tapping a pal's listings in Contacts.

In a FaceTime call, not only are you seeing the other person, but the quality of the video is also typically good. You also see your own mug in a small picture-in-picture (PiP) window, which you can drag to a corner of the screen. The PiP image represents what the other person sees, so it's a good way of knowing, short of the other person telling you, if your face has dropped out of the frame.

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Here are some neat FaceTime tricks:

  • You can use FaceTime in portrait or landscape mode. You might find it easier to bring another person into a scene in landscape mode.

  • If you want to mute a FaceTime video call, tap the microphone icon with the slash running through it. The caller can continue to see you but not hear you.

  • To block all FaceTime calls, tap Settings from the Home screen, tap Phone, and make sure FaceTime is off. (If you can't find the FaceTime button or wonder why you're not getting FaceTime calls, go back into Settings and make sure this option is turned on.)

  • If you want to momentarily check out another iPhone app while on a FaceTime call, press the Home button and then tap the icon for the app you have in mind. At this point, you can still talk over FaceTime, but you'll no longer see the person. Tap the green bar at the top of the screen to bring the person back in front of you.

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