Apple's FaceTime video calling technology is one of the flashiest features of the iPhone 4, 4th generation iPod touch, and iPad 2. And, in Feb. 2011, Apple debuted a FaceTime client 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 will 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).
This means that, 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. Download for Android
- 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
- Yahoo Messenger - Another chat program with video features. The free Yahoo Messenger offers video chats to Windows and Mac OS X users. Download
Last Updated: July 11, 2011
Got a tech support question? Ask it in the discussion forums.
Want tips like this delivered to your inbox every week? Subscribe to the free weekly iPhone/iPod email newsletter.