Due to the confinement that we have to carry out in Spain to stop the coronavirus, it is not possible for us to be with all our family or groups of friends. However, this does not mean that you cannot see them.
As long as your family and friends have an Apple device, they can use the FaceTime application to make a video call, we will explain how to do it next.
The best thing about FaceTime is that it is completely free. FaceTime calls are free because they use wifi or mobile data (instead of minutes). This means that even if you are using FaceTiming with someone on their iPhone while away from home and not connected to Wi-Fi, you will not have to pay for the call (as long as you have enough data in your contract). All you need is a data connection for the duration of the call.
If you are worried about not looking good at the moment they call you, don't worry! You can use FaceTime Audio to make a simple audio call without having to see each other in video. The advantage is that the audio is much clearer than that of a normal call to a mobile phone.
However, there are some negatives about FaceTime. You can only use FaceTime to call someone if they have a Mac or an iOS device that is compatible with FaceTime (i.e. an iPhone 4 or later with iOS 4.1 or later, an iPod touch with iOS 4.1 or later, an iPad 2 or later , or a Mac with OS X 10.9.2 or later).
There are a lot of Apple devices, so chances are you're covered, but if the other party doesn't have an Apple device, you should use Skype or another alternative to make a video call.
The person you are calling must also be connected to FaceTime and, if you are on a Mac, you must have FaceTime open. FaceTime does not need to be open on an iPhone or iPad to receive a call.
What you need to make FaceTime video calls
Most Macs are equipped to make FaceTime calls. This is what you need:
Both you and the person you want to talk to need to be connected to the Internet. You need an Internet connection of 128 Kbps or better, both upload and download. If you want to make HD video calls, you need a 1Mbps internet connection for upload and download.
You both need a built-in or connected camera. If you want to make HD video calls, you need a built-in FaceTime HD camera. Most Macs come with a FaceTime camera, but if you have a Mac mini or Mac Pro, you may have to invest in a independent web cam.
You need a connected microphone. There is probably one built into your Apple device. If not, you can connect headphones that include a microphone, like those that come with the iPhone.
You both need an Apple ID. If you don't have one, go to Apple website to get it.
How to set up FaceTime on a Mac
We tell you how to configure FaceTime on a Mac:
- Open the FaceTime app (press Command + Space and start tying FaceTime)
- If FaceTime isn't already on, click Turn On.
- Sign in with your Apple ID and password. (If you don't have an Apple ID or have forgotten your password, go to Apple website here).
- Wait while you register.
- To determine how people can contact you, click FaceTime> Preferences. You can deselect any email address you've associated with the account if you don't want it to be used for FaceTime (for example, you may not want people who have your work email address to contact you in this way. ).
- If instead you want to add another email address to this list, open System Preferences (press Command + Space and start linking System Preferences).
- Go to iCloud.
- Click on the Contact tab.
- Here you can add and delete the contact details that will appear later in the FaceTime Preferences.
How to make FaceTime from a Mac to another Mac, iPhone or iPad?
Making a FaceTime call from your Mac to someone else's Mac, iPhone, or iPad is easy as long as you do the following:
- You both need to be connected to FaceTime.
- You also need to make sure that you both have a good enough internet connection (see details above).
- Ironically, you may have to call them first with your cell phone or landline phone before making the FaceTime call – or set a time to call ahead.
- The FaceTiming method for a person on your Mac is the same as if you were taking the call on your iPad or iPhone.
Here we explain how to call from a Mac using FaceTime:
- Open FaceTime on your Mac.
- Sign in to FaceTime.
- You can search for a person by typing their name in the search bar. When you do, FaceTime will search your contacts file.
- You can also add a number or the email address associated with someone's Apple ID in the search bar. That email address number will then appear below the search bar with the option to make an audio or video call to them.
- You cannot call someone using FaceTime if they are not connected to FaceTime with their Apple ID and password. You should also make sure that the number or email address you are using is assigned to your FaceTime account.
- When you're ready to start the FaceTime call, click on the icon that looks like a video camera.
- If you only want to make an audio call, click on (i) and choose the headset icon. You also have the option to send them a message or an email.
- Alternatively, click on the Audio tab and then on the phone icon. (Read about how to make a phone call from your Mac here).
How do I reply to a FaceTime from my Mac?
When someone wants to call you, this is what you have to do:
- Open FaceTime. (The app must be open on your Mac to receive a FaceTime call.)
- Sign in with your Apple ID (Note: FaceTime will not be able to receive calls if you are not signed in).
- Make sure that the person contacting you has the correct details: your mobile number or an email address associated with your Apple ID.
This is what you can expect when the FaceTime call arrives:
- When the person calls you, you will see a notification on your screen, like the one below.
- It should give you an indication of who is calling you (assuming you have your details in your contact file, or perhaps in an email).
- If you want to speak to them, click OK.
- When you want to end the call, click on the red headset icon.
How to stop receiving FaceTime calls on my Mac
You can choose to stop using FaceTime if you no longer want to receive these video calls.
- Open FaceTime.
- In the menu at the top of the screen, click FaceTime> Preferences and then Sign Out.
To make or receive calls again, you must log in again.
If you receive non-routine FaceTime calls, you can block the call. Below we explain how:
- Find the person you want to block.
- Right-click on his number and choose Block this call.
How to do FaceTime with an email address
If you want to call someone via FaceTime, you do not need to have their mobile number, as long as you have configured your FaceTime to accept calls from their email address (see above how to do it).
Just enter the email address in the search bar; If the email address is not associated with an Apple ID, it will not work.
How to change your mind on a FaceTime call
You don't have to limit your video call to a small window on your iMac's 27-inch screen (or any other screen you have). You can change the view in several ways, here we explain how:
- Click on the green circle in the upper left corner. This will make the image of the caller fill the screen – if they are on a Mac then you should automatically get a landscape view. To return to normal view, press escape.
- If they are on an iPhone or iPad and the view is vertical, you can ask them to rotate their iPhone or iPad so that you can see a landscape view.
- You can also move the window from image to image (where you can see yourself) from the right corner so that it does not cover any detail you want to see. Just click on the small window and drag it to a new corner of the FaceTime window.
- Although you cannot change the orientation of the caller – if they are in portrait but you prefer to see them in landscape you will have to ask them to rotate their device – you can choose the orientation in which you are seen. Just hover over the image in the image window and click the rotate icon that appears, or rotate with your fingers if you have a trackpad.
- You can prevent the video call window from being hidden by other windows. Click on Video> Always on top.
How to pause or mute a FaceTime call
You can temporarily hide the video call window, this is how:
- Click the yellow button at the top left of the window. This will minimize the window and stop the video – although the audio will continue.
- When you want to continue you just have to click on the FaceTime icon in the Dock.
Alternatively, you can mute yourself:
- To mute yourself, hover your mouse pointer over the call window.
- Click the mute button that appears.
- In both scenarios you can continue listening to the other person.
If you want to change the call volume, you can turn the volume up or down on your Mac.
How to delete recent calls
If you don't want someone to see who you've been doing FaceTiming you can clean up your story. Here's how to clear the recent calls list:
- Open FaceTime.
- Click on Video or Audio.
- You can delete a specific call by right-clicking and choosing Delete from Recent, or by clicking Delete All Recent at the bottom of the list.
How to change the ringtones in FaceTime
You don't have to stick with the default ringtone. You can change the ringtone
- Go to FaceTime> Preferences
- Click on Settings
- Click the box next to Ringtone to open the Ringtone pop-up menu
- Choose a new ringtone
You can also assign a certain ringtone to a specific person. Here's how:
- Open Contacts (press Command + Space and start tying Contacts).
- Find the person you want to assign a ringtone to.
- Click Edit.
- Scroll to the ringtone and click the arrows to select a new one.
How to take a live photo of a FaceTime call
During a video call you can take a live photo of the person you are talking to.
Just click on the white circle.
The other caller receives an alert that you took a photo.
Can I use FaceTime from my Mac to my iPhone?
Yes, you can use FaceTime from any of your Apple devices to another Apple device using the same Apple ID.
So, for example, if you left your iPhone at home, you can FaceTime from your Mac in the office.
Why can't I do FaceTime?
If you're having trouble with FaceTime or it doesn't work on your Mac, try these tips:
- Check that you and the other caller are connected to the Internet.
- Verify that your Apple ID is valid by visiting appleid.apple.com.
- Make sure you've selected the check boxes next to the email addresses and phone numbers that other people can use to call you on FaceTime.
- Verify that your email address is verified in FaceTime> Preferences. Look for the verification email if not and follow the instructions,
- Exit and re-enter your Apple ID in FaceTime> Preferences.
- Click the box next to Enable this account in FaceTime> Preferences to turn FaceTime off, and then click Turn FaceTime on to turn it back on.
- Check that the correct location is configured in FaceTime. Go to FaceTime Preferences and next to Location, choose the correct country.
- Check that the date, time, and time zone are set correctly. Go to System Preferences> Date and Time> Configure Automatically. Click on Time Zone and choose the nearest city. It needs to have the correct location: The region where your FaceTime account is registered must correspond to the location on your Mac, or an incorrect phone number format may be used.
- Check that you have not blocked the caller, and that they have not blocked you.
Make sure the person you are calling has done so:
- The software correct installed
- An active broadband Internet connection.
- No FireWall – if you or they have a Firewall they may need to enable certain ports. There is more information on this here.
- Make sure that your phone number or email address has been activated for FaceTime (following the guide above)
- Check that the caller has not blocked you.
If you have problems with your WiFi, this guide can help you: How to solve the problem of WiFi when it doesn't work on your Mac.
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