Last Updated: April 24, 2014
Apple's FaceTime video calling technology is one of the flashiest features of the iPhone and other iOS devices. In Feb. 2011, Apple debuted a FaceTime app for the Mac OS, allowing users to make video calls between any iOS devices or Macs running FaceTime. But what about PC owners? Can they use FaceTime on Windows?
Unfortunately for Windows users, as of this writing, there is no way to use FaceTime on Windows. There are many options for video calling and video chatting on both Windows and Windows Mobile, but there's no official FaceTime for Windows software that's been released by Apple.
Apple has indicated in the past that it intends to make FaceTime an open standard, meaning that anyone would be able to create software that works with FaceTime. This would throw open the doors to third-party developers creating all kinds of FaceTime-compatible programs, including those that run on Windows (and, presumably, other platforms, like Android). However, this hasn't happened yet (no word on the cause of the delay) and there hasn't been much talk of that standard recently, so it may not be coming.
This means that, at least for the time being, there's no way for someone using Windows to make a FaceTime call to someone using, for instance, an iOS device via the FaceTime app (or for someone on an iOS device to call to a Windows user via FaceTime). I'll update this page if and when that changes.
Alternatives for FaceTime on Windows
Even though FaceTime doesn't yet work on Windows, there are some other programs that offer similar features and that work across many operating systems. If you want to make video calls using Windows, Android, Mac OS X, or iOS, try these programs:
- iMovicha - A free video chat app for iOS, Windows Mobile, Android, Mac OS X, and Windows. Unlike Facetime, iMovicha works over 3G (and 4G) cellular data networks, not just Wi-Fi.
- Skype - One of the most well known, and most widely used, chat apps. Skype works on Mac OS X, iOS, Windows, Android, Linux, and many other platforms. The software and some uses are free. Add additional features from US$0.01/minute to $8.99/month. Download for Windows
- Yahoo Messenger - Another chat program with video features. The free Yahoo Messenger offers video chats to Windows and Mac OS X users. Download for Windows
- Tango Video Calls - This app for Windows Mobile lets you make video calls from your Windows handset. The great part? Tango also has apps for iOS and Android, so you'll be able to chat with your friends almost no matter what kind of phone they have. Download for Windows Mobile ,
- WeChat - Another app for Windows Mobile that also has Android and iOS versions making communication easy. Download for Windows Mobile