iPad and iPad Pro For Dummies
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We bet you can come up with a lengthy list of people you'd love to be able to eyeball in real time from your iPad mini. Maybe it's your old college roommate. Maybe it's your old college sweetheart. And maybe it's your grandparents, who've long since retired to warm climates somewhere.

That's the beauty of FaceTime, the video-chat app. FaceTime exploits the two cameras built into the devices, each serving a different purpose. The front camera lets you talk face to face. The back camera shows what you're seeing to the person you're talking to.

To take advantage of FaceTime, here's what you need:

  • Access to Wi-Fi or cellular: And the people you're talking to need Internet access, too. On an iOS device, you need Wi-Fi or a cellular connection. If you want to go with the cell connection, you need at least a third-generation iPad running iOS 6.

    Using FaceTime over a cellular connection can quickly run through your monthly data allotment and prove hazardous to your budget. However, you can now do an audio-only FaceTime call, which can cut down significantly on your data usage.

  • FaceTime: On your conversation partner's own iPad mini, iPad 2 or later, on an Intel-based Mac computer (OS X 10.6.6 or later), on a recent-model iPod touch, or on an iPhone 4 or later. (FaceTime first appeared on Apple's prized smartphone.)

When you use FaceTime for the first time, after you tap the app's icon from the Home screen, you're required to sign in to FaceTime using your Apple ID, which can be your iTunes Store account, iCloud ID, or another Apple account. (You may have previously supplied this info during setup of your iPad mini.)

If you don't have an account, tap Create New Apple ID to set one up within FaceTime. You also must supply an e-mail address or phone number that callers use to call you from their own FaceTime-capable iPads, Macs, iPhones, or iPod touches.

If this is the first time you've used a particular e-mail address for FaceTime, Apple sends an e-mail to that address to verify the account. Tap (or click) Verify Now and enter your Apple ID and password to complete the FaceTime setup. If the e-mail address resides in Mail on the iPad mini, you're already good to go.

If you have multiple e-mail addresses, callers can use any of them for FaceTime. To add an e-mail address after the initial setup, tap Settings-->FaceTime-->Add Another Email. And phone numbers (for your iPhone) work too with iOS 6.

In fact, it's often a good idea to allocate separate e-mail addresses for FaceTime, assuming you have more than one Apple product that can take advantage of it. That way, a call to you when you're on your Mac, for example, won't ring on the iPad mini instead.

You can turn FaceTime on or off within Settings, but if you don't turn it off, you don't have to sign back in when you launch the app.

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