A FaceTime call from a Mac computer
|Initial release||February 24, 2011|
|Stable release||2.0 / July 25, 2012|
|Operating system||Mac OS X 10.6.6 and later|
|Available in||English, Chinese, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Swedish|
|License||Commercial proprietary software|
A FaceTime call from an iPhone 4
|Initial release||June 24, 2010|
|Operating system||iOS 4 and later|
|License||Commercial proprietary software|
FaceTime is a videotelephony software application and related protocol developed by Apple Inc. for supported mobile devices running iOS, in addition to Macintosh computers running Mac OS X 10.6.6 and higher. FaceTime is supported on any iOS device with a forward-facing camera (that is, all iOS devices released since the iPhone 4) and on any Macintosh computer equipped with a FaceTime Camera (formerly known as an iSight Camera).
FaceTime was announced by then-Apple CEO Steve Jobs at his keynote speech on June 7, 2010 at the 2010 Worldwide Developers Conference in conjunction with the iPhone 4. Support for the fourth-generation iPod Touch, the first iPod Touch to be equipped with cameras, was announced in conjunction with this device's release on September 8, 2010.
FaceTime for Mac OS X was announced on October 20, 2010 at the "Back to the Mac" Media event on the Apple Campus.
On February 24, 2011, FaceTime left beta and was listed in the Mac App Store for $0.99 (£0.69). Apple claims that it intended to provide the application free of charge, but was prohibited by the Sarbanes–Oxley Act of 2002 from providing an unadvertised new feature of an already-sold product without enduring "onerous accounting measures." However, the free beta is still available for download from the Apple servers. It is, however, included free in Mac OS X Lion.
On March 2, 2011, FaceTime support was announced for the newly introduced iPad 2, which gained forward- and rear-facing cameras.
FaceTime works by connecting an iPhone 4 or newer iPhone, a fourth generation iPod touch or newer iPod touch, a second generation iPad or newer iPad, or a computer with Mac OS X to another similar device; the previous generations of iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad are not currently supported. FaceTime is not compatible with non-Apple devices or any other video calling services. The early 2011 revision of the MacBook Pro introduced high-definition FaceTime which may only be used with devices that have a HD FaceTime camera.
On the iPhone, FaceTime works in the Phone application instead of being a separate application. It can be activated when in the Phone application by placing a call, and pressing the FaceTime button. The FaceTime button replaced the Hold button (which is now available by pressing and holding the Mute button). The icon resembles a camcorder. FaceTime calls may be initiated via call history or through the Contacts application.
Since iOS 6 the FaceTime implementation for the iPhone and iPad with cellular does support FaceTime calls over 3G (UMTS/HSPA, EVDO) provided your carrier does allow FaceTime over 3G. In iOS 5 and earlier attempts to make a FaceTime call from a Wi-Fi device to a stock 3G device not using Wi-Fi (such as from an iPod touch to an iPhone) gives no indication to the 3G device user that a call is being attempted—only showing a missed call immediately after the caller gives up.
There are third-party applications that enable FaceTime calls over 3G for jailbroken iOS devices, which work by fooling the phone into believing that it is connected via Wi-Fi. These programs are only available on jailbroken iPhones via the Cydia Store. At the moment there are no free-of-charge solutions to unrestrict FaceTime, though there is a possibility to manually edit certain files on the iPhone to allow Facetime 3G calls. FaceTime uses about three megabytes of data per minute of conversation. Cellular talk time/minutes are not used after switching from a voice call to a FaceTime call.
FaceTime on first generation iPad is also possible by porting the FaceTime application for the iPod touch 4th gen to iPad.
You can place FaceTime calls from supported devices to any phone number or email address that is registered to the FaceTime service. A single email address can be registered to multiple devices and a call placed to that address will ring on all of the devices simultaneously.
On iPad, iPod touch, and FaceTime for Mac, you need to add a person as a contact using the FaceTime or Contacts app before you can call them.
On June 11, 2012, Apple announced that iOS 6 will support FaceTime over 3G on the iPhone 4S and the third-generation iPad. iOS 6 also supports FaceTime over LTE with the iPad (third and fourth generation), iPad mini, and iPhone 5.
The FaceTime protocol is partly based on numerous open industry standards.:
- H.264 and AAC – video and audio codecs respectively
- SIP – IETF signaling protocol for VoIP
- STUN, TURN and ICE – IETF technologies for traversing firewalls and NAT
- RTP and SRTP – IETF standards for delivering real-time and encrypted media streams for VoIP
Upon the launch of the iPhone 4, Jobs promised that Apple would immediately start working with standards bodies to make the FaceTime protocol an "open standard." As of November 2012[update], it is not yet known to have been ratified by any standards body, and the extent of work by Apple with regard to this promise is unclear as Apple has not released technical specifications for the service. FaceTime is not currently supported on any non-Apple devices.
While FaceTime is based on open standards, Apple's FaceTime service requires a client-side certificate. In other words, while the protocol might become an "open standard", access to Apple's FaceTime service is controlled by Apple.
Limited availability 
As of October 2010[update], FaceTime is not enabled on devices bought in United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia possibly due to regulations in these countries which restrict the use of IP-based communications technology. Devices bought elsewhere continue to support FaceTime . Although Egypt, Jordan, Qatar & Kuwait once disabled FaceTime on the iPhone 4, they re-enabled the feature through a carrier update for existing phone owners and made it pre-enabled on any newly purchased iPhone.
- "Our name". Learn More. FaceTime Communications. Retrieved 2010-06-07. "Apple has announced that it will use 'FaceTime' as the trademark for its new video calling application. Our agreement with Apple to transfer the FaceTime trademark to them comes as we are rebranding our company to better reflect our capabilities. We will be announcing (sic) a new name in the coming months."
- Macgasm. "Apple charges for FaceTime". Retrieved 24 Feb 2011.
- "Internet Utilities", Mac, Softpedia, link within last sentence "The page provides access to FaceTime 0.9 Build 92 version".
- Sarah Jacobsson Purewal (August 3, 2010). "Jailbreak Your iPhone and Use FaceTime Over 3G". Today @ PCWorld. PCWorld. Retrieved November 25, 2011.
- Nosowitz, Dan (August 2, 2010). "Reason to Jailbreak Your iPhone: Use FaceTime Video Chat, Anywhere You Want". Fast Company. Retrieved November 25, 2011.
- Reid, Ben (November 16, 2011). "How To Enable The Hidden FaceTime Over 3G Feature In iOS 5". Redmond Pie. Retrieved January 2, 2012.
- Eric Zeman (August 2, 2010). "iPhone 4 Jailbreak Unlocks 3G FaceTime Calls". InformationWeek. Retrieved November 25, 2011.
- Brian Purkiss (2011-02-15). "iPad FaceTime now possible with hack". 9 to 5 Mac.
- Daniel Eran Dilger (2010-06-08). "Inside iPhone 4: FaceTime video calling". AppleInsider. Retrieved 2010-06-09.
- Wright, Josh (2010-07-09). "part 3: Call Connection Initialization". Special Look: Face Time. Packetstan. Retrieved 2011-03-06.
- Ray, Bill (19 October 2010). "Apple wipes smile off FaceTime in the Middle East". The Register. Retrieved 19 October 2010.