What is facetime calling? Everything explained

For the newbies, you may not necessarily know much about facetime and how it works, but you shouldn’t worry as I will provide you with a detailed explanation of facetime and how it works. 

As this brings about the question of the day, what is facetime calling on iphone, ipad or Mac.

Kindly note that when talking about facetime, it is available on iphone, ipad and Mac. You won’t see facetime on ipod or Apple watch.

What is facetime calling?

Facetime calling is a means of receiving incoming calls or making outgoing calls using the facetime application on iphone, ipad or Mac.

If you receive a call on facetime, be it an audio call or a video call, it is a facetime calling. 

However, it is good that you should have a good knowledge of facetime and how it works especially if you’re new or started using an iPhone, iPad or Mac. 

Remember, in order to use facetime on ipad or Mac, you must have an iphone and that which I will explain later in this article.

Don’t Miss:

Facetime overview

Facetime is a video calling application developed by Apple for its devices such as the iPhone, iPad, and Mac.

As it is a video calling application, it is a VOIP software which means that it uses internet connection for its calling feature and not a cellular network service.

FaceTime application uses the device’s front-facing camera to enable users to make video calls to other users who have the Facetime application installed on their devices.

As it is now available for android users, they will have to use the share link to join a facetime video or audio call. 

Facetime uses Apple’s proprietary H.264 video codec and Advanced Audio Coding (AAC) audio codec to compress and transmit the video and audio data, which results in high-quality audio and video calls.

The app also uses a technology called FaceTime HD camera, which is capable of capturing 720p HD video on supported devices.

You can make a facetime calls by using a Wi-Fi or cellular data networks if you don’t have an active Wi-Fi connection within your environment. 

So far, facetime can work with both 3G, 4G, and 5G networks.

I noticed that phones usually get heated up while using the 5G network to make a facetime call especially facetime video call. 

However, the video quality may vary depending on the network strength and speed.

The stronger the network strength, the better the video quality will be especially if you’re using a 5G network. Users can also use the app to make group calls with up to 32 people at the same time.

FaceTime also features a built-in call waiting feature, which allows users to answer an incoming Facetime call while already on another call.

FaceTime users can also switch between the two calls with ease.

Additionally, Facetime also includes a feature called “Memoji” that allows users to create a customized animated emoji of themselves.

So facetime users can also use Memoji to create a personalized avatar that can be used in video calls.

Facetime is integrated with Apple’s messaging app, iMessage, which means that users can initiate Facetime calls from within iMessage. Users can also use Siri, Apple’s virtual assistant, to make Facetime calls.

In terms of security, Facetime uses end-to-end encryption for both audio and video calls.

This means that the calls are encrypted from the sender’s device to the receiver’s device, and the encryption keys are stored only on the devices themselves, not on Apple’s servers.

How facetime works 

FaceTime is a voip service offered by Apple and made available on iphone, ipad and Mac. 

This means that you can only see facetime on iphone, ipad and Mac as it is not available on ipad, iwatch or any other apple devices. 

Before you can start using facetime, you need to first activate your account using your apple ID or phone number. 

Remember, you must activate facetime on an iphone before you can use it on ipad or Mac.

The reason being that ipad and Mac will not give you the option to activate facetime, but rather you have to enter your facetime ID and password.

Now let me show you how you can activate your account on iphone, ipad and Mac. 



To activate facetime on iphone you need to make sure that your iPhone has an active internet connection.

Once you have an active internet connection on your iPhone, facetime just like iMessage will automatically activate on it’s own using your Apple ID and phone number. 

If you don’t a sim card or an active sim card in your phone, facetime will activate using your apple ID. 

Below is a typical example of when facetime gets activated in an iphone.

What is facetime calling

Looking at the above picture, you will see that facetime is enabled as it showsa green button. 

Again, below the option that states YOU CAN BE REACHED BY FACETIME AT, you will see that it showed by number and apple ID (I blurred it for privacy). 

This means that anyone can call me using the Apple ID or the phone number as they both are marked good ✔️. 

I can chose to select my apple if or phone number for incoming facetime calls instead of the two options. 

Where it says Caller ID simply means what will be shown to recipients when you’re making an outgoing facetime call or calling people using facetime app. 

So I set it to use my phone number instead of my apple ID and you should do the same else you will be exposing your apple ID to people. 

Once you have activated facetime on your iPhone, you can start to use it. 

How to make a FaceTime call?

Once you have activated facetime on your iPhone, you can start making and receiving calls. 


To make calls on FaceTime, open the app on your iPhone. 


As it is your very first time, you won’t see any phone number on the homescreen. 

So what you will do is to tap on the option or button that says New facetime as shown below.

What is facetime calling

When you tap on the button, it will give you the option to enter the recipient phone number or Apple ID. 

However, you can select the recipient number if you have saved in your iPhone.

Once you have selected the recipient, it will load for few seconds and add the recipient to the box.

Below you will see a call button and a video icon that says facetime.

Facetime calling

If you want to make an audio call, you should tap on the call icon button, but if you want to make a video call, then you should tap on the video icon that says facetime.

Immediately, the call will be initiated. 

Please kindly make sure that the number you’re calling is using iPhone and facetime else the call won’t go through.


To receive calls on your facetime, please make sure the caller has your facetime phone number or Apple ID if you wish to receive calls using your apple ID especially when you don’t have a sim card in your iPhone. 

Once the caller has your phone number linked to your facetime account or Apple ID, definitely you will receive the call.

All you have to do is to tap on the slide the button and tap on the Join Button to receive the facetime incoming call on your iPhone.

Remember, you must have an active internet connection to use FaceTime on your iPhone.

The active internet connection I’m talking about can be a Wi-Fi network or a cellular data.

Without these, you can’t make or receive facetime calls.

Activating facetime on ipad & Mac

Set up Facetime on Mac

  • Open the FaceTime app on your Mac. You can locate it in the Applications folder.
  • If ‌FaceTime‌ is off, click the Turn On button.
  • Log in with your ‌Apple ID‌ and password.
  • You have to wait for a few seconds while you’re signed in.
  • From the menu bar at the top of your screen, select FaceTime -> Preferences.
  • In the Settings tab, kindly tap and select any email addresses that you don’t want to be associated with your ‌FaceTime‌ account.
  • Tap on the box next to Calls from ‌iPhone‌ if you want to use your ‌‌iPhone‌‌’s cellular number to make and receive calls when it’s nearby and connected to the same Wi-Fi network as your ‌Mac.
  • Select an email address to Start new calls from: using the associated dropdown menu.
  • Then you can choose a ringtone for incoming ‌FaceTime‌ calls from the Ringtone dropdown menu.
  • Lastly, you can select your correct Location though I don’t fancy that at all.

Set up Facetime on ipad

  • Get started by opening the Settings app on your ‌iPad‌.
  • Now kindly scroll down and tap FaceTime.
  • You have to enter your Apple ID if the space is empty, then tap Enter.
  • If you have already signed in with your Apple ID, enable facetime on your iPad by sliding on the button. 
  • Turn on the button next to Calls from iPhone if you want to use your ‌iPhone‌’s cellular number to make and receive calls when it’s nearby and connected to the same Wi-Fi network as your ‌iPad‌.
  • Under the section titled You Can Be Reached By FaceTime At, select the email address that you want people to be able to use to reach you on ‌FaceTime‌.
  • Under the section titled Caller ID, select the email address that you want to use as your Caller ID.
  • If you want to let people be able to take Live Photos during ‌FaceTime‌ calls, turn on the switch next to FaceTime Live Photos.

Once you have successfully setup facetime on your iPad or Mac, you can make and receive facetime calls on from your iPad or Mac.

Here’s the fun part.

Even if your iPhone is dead flat or switched off, you can receive facetime calls on your iPad or Mac as long as the same apple ID is connected in these devices.

This entails the main question being asked on what is facetime calling. 

Do you need a SIM to use FaceTime?

You don’t necessarily need a sim to use FaceTime as you can use your apple ID to make and receive facetime on your iPhone, ipad and Mac.

However, I always recommend that you should use both a sim and apple ID to connect or activate facetime and iMessage. 

Someone might not have your apple ID but rather your phone number. 

So use both sim and apple ID for FaceTime and iMessage.

Do FaceTime calls need data?

FaceTime calls do need data, and which is Wi-Fi or cellular data. 

If you don’t have a Wi-Fi, then you can use a cellular data for your facetime audio and video calls. 

Can I FaceTime an Android phone?

Yes you can facetime an android phone using the create link option and sharing it with the android phone user.

To get started, open your facetime and you will see the Create Link option on the homescreen.

Facetime create link

It will create a link for you. 

You can add name to the link, afterwards share it with the android user using Whatsapp, Skype, Facebook messenger, sms, email, etc. 

When the person receives the link you shared, it is left for the person to tap on the link.

The person will have to create a facetime name and hit on the continue button.

Can I FaceTime an Android phone?

The next step the person should take is to tap on the Join Button as shown below.

Can I FaceTime an Android phone?

At your end you will receive a notification that someone the requested to join, you should first tap on the join button on your facetime.

Same time you will see the 1 person waiting on your screen, please tap on the detail icon and accept the request. 

Can I FaceTime an Android phone?

Tap done and you’re good to go with the facetime call to an android user.

Can FaceTime call a phone number?

FaceTime can call a phone number but only if the number is connected with facetime. 

If the phone number is not connected with facetime, then facetime cannot call the number. Instead the call will go through as a cellular call if you have minutes on your plan or airtime balance.

Is FaceTime same as phone call?

The answer is no. Facetime is not as the same as phone call because phone calls uses the cellular network service and minutes, while facetime is a voip services that uses internet.

You will not be charged by your network service provider when making a facetime audio or video call.

To get facetime all for free, kindly use it with Wi-Fi if available than cellular data.

Related Questions

Is FaceTime only for iPhone?

The answer is no. Firsr is available on iphone, ipad and Mac, as well as on android or web browsers. 

Does all iPhone have FaceTime?

The answer is yes. All iphones do have facetime and also iMessage. 

However, some iphone users might decide not to use FaceTime and have it disabled or turned off on their phone. 

Can you still FaceTime if your phone is off?

Yes you can still facetime if your phone is off but it will require using ipad or Mac. 

As long as your apple ID is connected to your iPad or Mac, you can use FaceTime on these devices even when your phone is off or dead. 

And with this, I come to the conclusion of this post on what is facetime calling and how it works. 

About Kennedy

I'm Amaechi Uchenna by name, a mobile tech enthusiast who love writing articles about tips and tutorials especially relating to gadgets.

Leave a Comment