The FaceTime video calling feature is one of the flashiest and most exciting features of the iOS 4 platform. As Apple likes to demonstrate, it’s as simple as tapping the FaceTime icon when making a call and suddenly you’re looking at the person you’re talking to.
But what if it's not working? What are some common causes of FaceTime not working?
There are a few reasons the FaceTime icon might not light up as active or show up as an option when you make a call.
- FaceTime has to be turned on - In order to use FaceTime it must be enabled. Do this by tapping the Settings app. Scroll down to Phone and tap it (in iOS 5, Facetime has its own item; tap that). Slide the FaceTime slider to On.
- Facetime calls have to be on WiFi – AT&T and Verizon do not currently allow FaceTime calls over their networks (presumably because a video call would require a lot of bandwidth and, as we know, AT&T’s got something of a bandwidth shortage). If you’re not connected to a WiFi network when you place the call, you won’t be able to use FaceTime. Summer/Fall 2012 Update: This is not true if you're running iOS 6. Starting with iOS 6, FaceTime works on 3G/4G, too.
- Calls must be between two compatible devices – If you’re calling someone on an older iPhone or other kind of cell phone, you won’t see the FaceTime icon. Only iPhone 4, 4th generation iPod touch, iPad 2, and Mac OS X users can place and receive FaceTime calls, since those models have a user-facing camera to allow the person you’re calling to see you and run the correct software.
If you meet those requirements on your call, you should be able to have a video call in no time. If not, you may have other issues with your phone or network connection that need to be investigated.