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  • Save Some Face (Time, That Is)
Technology Articles > Cell Phones > iPhone > Save Some Face (Time, That Is)

FaceTime is a Mac service available to download on any Mac computer, iPhone 4, the new iPod Touch or iPad 2, and is only 99 cents to purchase. As the name suggests, it is a way to turn phone calls, into face-time with friends and contacts.

Voice chat is a wonderful way to keep in touch with friends and family, but there is nothing quite like the connection that is achieved when you can look into the eyes of someone you care about. Unfortunately, time and distance can make it impossible to meet up for a face-to-face conversation. FaceTime solves this problem, by providing an easy to use video chat service.

Getting Started

FaceTime, like many Apple products, is incredibly easy to set up and use. An email address and Apple ID is all that's required to get started. All contacts stored in Apple's Address Book application are automatically transferred to the FaceTime service. To make a call, simply find the person you wish to call in the contact list.

Use a phone number for the iPhone, or email address for the iPad, iPod Touch, or Mac. If the person on the other end has FaceTime, a video call invitation will pop up on his or her screen, and if accepted, the call can begin.

Receiving Calls

Whether or not the FaceTime application is running on the computer or mobile device, any incoming FaceTime calls will ring. This function is easily disabled for when users don't want to be disturbed. When calls are accepted, the window frame and controls disappear, for a clean, intimate video chat experience.

The person on the other end of the connection will appear in a large window, while the user's image will remain in a small window in the lower right or left corner. This feature allows users to see what their contact is seeing, in case hair or make-up needs to be adjusted.

Stay in Touch

One of the most important functions of the internet, is helping to connect people around the world. As few as twenty years ago, if a person wanted to keep in touch with someone in another country, he or she had to make very expensive phone calls, or communicate through the very slow process, known as snail mail. A lot has changed over the last two decades. With FaceTime, people can have real-time, face-to-face conversations from across the planet.

There is so much to be gained from human interaction, whether it be getting a friend's advice on an important decision, comfort from one's mother, or simply learning about different cultures and ways of life. This kind of rich connection is limited if the interactions are limited to text exchange. FaceTime can help bring more enjoyment and intimacy to online and long-distance relationships.


The FaceTime service uses the built-in iSight camera, included with all Mac computers, and most of the mobile devices. The technology for video chat was not possible with the early iPad, iPod Touch and iPhone models, but can be used with the iPad 2, new iPod Touch and iPhone 4 versions. Although FaceTime is compatible with all Mac computers, the highest video quality is reserved for the newer versions of the MacBook Pro and the iMac.