Ultimate guide to Apple's FaceTime and video chat apps
The FaceTime app is Apple's HD video and audio calling software, which works over Wi-Fi or a cellular connection. FaceTime's video chat is available for Macs running OS X 10.6.6 or higher, and on iOS devices running iOS 4 or higher. FaceTime Audio is available on any Mac running OS X 10.9.2 or higher, and iOS devices running iOS 7 or higher. There is currently no FaceTime for PC nor FaceTime for Android.
- Who can use FaceTime?FaceTime can only be used by Apple users with an iPhone 4, iPad 2, iPod touch, or Mac running OS X 10.6.6 or higher.
- Can anyone with FaceTime use it over Wi-Fi and a cellular connection?You can use FaceTime over Wi-Fi on an iPhone 4 or later, iPad 2 or later, iPad mini (all models), and iPod touch 4th generation or later. With a cellular data plan, you can also use FaceTime without Wi-Fi on any iPhone 4s or later and an iPad (3rd generation or later).
- How about apps that claim to bring FaceTime to Windows computers and Android devices?You may uncover apps online or in app stores that claim to be FaceTime for a PC or Android device. However, as stated on Apple's website, there is no official app that is available for either of these platforms.
- Does FaceTime support conference calls?FaceTime Audio supports conference calls on devices running iOS 8 and later. But FaceTime does not support video conference calls.
FaceTime is an easy way to place one-on-one video calls between Apple users. But you'll need to use another app if you want to contact friends, family, or colleagues outside the Apple ecosystem or video chat with multiple individuals. Here are our top five favorite FaceTime alternatives.
With Skype, you can group audio or video chat with up to 24 other people on your desktop or mobile devices for free. Calls to non-Skype users cost a nominal fee.
With award-winning OoVoo, you can place clear video and audio calls from your desktop or mobile device. OoVoo also supports group video chat, free screen-sharing, and nonmember calls.
WeChat offers high-quality, free video and audio calls to multiple recipients -- up to nine -- anywhere in the world.
Facebook's popular standalone messaging app enables you to voice and video chat for as long as you want, even with people in other countries -- all for free.
With Hangouts, you can turn any conversation into a free group video call with up to 10 friends. If you'd prefer a one-on-one video conversation, then Google's aptly-named Duo app ( Android, iOS) will get the job done.