Making a FaceTime Call on Your iPad

By Edward C. Baig, Bob LeVitus

You can use your iPad to make a video call. (You’ll notice the use of the words “video call” because you can now also make FaceTime audio calls.) Follow these steps:

  1. Start the FaceTime app from the Home screen or by asking Siri to open the app on your behalf.

    You can check out what you look like in a window prior to making a FaceTime call. So powder your nose and put on a happy face.

  2. Tap the Video tab.

    Alternately, tap the Audio tab to make an audio-only FaceTime call.

  3. Choose someone to call:

    • Your contacts: Tap the + icon to choose the name, and then tap the email address or phone number that the contact has associated with FaceTime.

    • Someone new: Tap the field in which to enter a name, email address, or number, and then tap the appropriate number in the list that appears. If this is the first time you’re entering a number, you’ll have the option to create a contact or add the number to an existing contact.

  4. If necessary, move the picture-in-picture window.

    When a call is underway, you can see what you look like to the other person through a small picture-in-picture window, which you can drag to any corner of the video call window. The small window lets you know if your mug has dropped out of sight.

  5. (Optional) To toggle between the front and rear cameras, tap the camera icon.

  6. Tap the End Call button when you’re ready to hang up.

    Callers can see each other in FaceTime.

    Callers can see each other in FaceTime.

While you’re on a FaceTime call, the following tips will be handy:

  • Rotate the iPad to its side to change the orientation. In landscape mode, you’re more likely to see everybody at once.

  • Silence or mute a call by tapping the microphone icon. Be aware that you can still be seen even though you’re not heard (and you can still see and hear the other person).

  • Momentarily check out another iPad app by pressing the Home button and then tapping the icon for the app. At this juncture, you can still talk over FaceTime, but you can no longer see the person. Tap the green bar at the top of the iPad screen to bring the person and the FaceTime app back in front of you.

Through the Split View feature added to the iPad through iOS 9, you can conduct and view a FaceTime video call while engaged in other activities on the iPad, provided you have an iPad Air 2, iPad mini 4, or iPad Pro.

Caller ID on FaceTime works just like caller ID on a regular phone call. You can choose the email address or phone number you want to display to someone when you call that person via FaceTime. Just tap the designated number under Caller ID in FaceTime settings.