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Old Jun 17, 2010, 09:01 AM   #1
ibanana
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Facetime: Uses Minutes or Data Allowance or Free service?

Just wondering whether FaceTime will use the minutes or Data allowance of my contract, since you are making a call, or will it be free of charge ?


FaceTime:
http://www.zdnet.co.uk/news/mobile-a...look-40089200/
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Old Jun 17, 2010, 09:02 AM   #2
donbenjy
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you can only use facetime over wifi, so certainly not data allowance!

It will cost you voice minutes if you call them first, but the actual facetime videochat should be free.
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Old Jun 17, 2010, 09:02 AM   #3
elfxmilhouse
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im thinking it uses your minutes but since you are on wifi it wont use your data.

plus you will most likely be making a mobile to mobile call so the minutes may be free if your plan has that feature.
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Old Jun 17, 2010, 09:03 AM   #4
ScubaCinci
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elfxmilhouse View Post
im thinking it uses your minutes but since you are on wifi it wont use your data.

plus you will most likely be making a mobile to mobile call so the minutes may be free if your plan has that feature.
It's wifi only. No minutes and no data charge. Pretty simple.
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Old Jun 17, 2010, 09:03 AM   #5
GroundLoop
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No charge as it is just video chat over wifi.

GL
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Old Jun 17, 2010, 09:04 AM   #6
ludawg23
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damn, I'm too slow
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Old Jun 17, 2010, 09:07 AM   #7
elfxmilhouse
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Originally Posted by ScubaCinci View Post
It's wifi only. No minutes and no data charge. Pretty simple.
the video is done over wifi.

im pretty sure during the keynote steve jobs had to call johnny first, then press the facetime video.
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Old Jun 17, 2010, 09:08 AM   #8
slpdLoad
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Since it's iPhone to iPhone only now, that means any minutes it might use would just count on your unlimited mobile-to-mobile minutes.
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Old Jun 17, 2010, 09:12 AM   #9
macslayer118
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Originally Posted by slpdLoad View Post
Since it's iPhone to iPhone only now, that means any minutes it might use would just count on your unlimited mobile-to-mobile minutes.
Not necessarily true... what if I want to factime with my family in Europe?
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Old Jun 17, 2010, 09:14 AM   #10
mackworth
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Yeah, its not exactly clear. Some of the stuff I have read about the technology behind it mention AAC, which would imply that there was some audio being carried.

I am inclined to believe that you don't need to use your minutes or data.
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Old Jun 17, 2010, 09:15 AM   #11
Gav2k
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You can do it one of two ways.

1, place a call then tap FaceTime and it dumps the call switching to wifi for voice and video. This allows you to get the person into wifi range etc.

2, tap the contact and tap FaceTime call. This connects to them like a call but only via wifi.

It'll use minutes depending on how you choose to call in the first place. But once your in a FaceTime call no charges are being made as it's over wifi.
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Old Jun 17, 2010, 09:17 AM   #12
donbenjy
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Apparently you can initiate facetime without being in a voice call, but I haven't seen any proof. Allegedly in the facetime video someone does it. And also wording on the facetime feature page suggests that you can go directly into one from contacts.

If there is no handshake via voice communication though, I'd be interested to know how the phones connect with each other, seeing as we don't have any usernames or anything. There must be a directory somewhere!

Have Apple published the open standard yet?
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Old Jun 17, 2010, 09:17 AM   #13
mackworth
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elfxmilhouse View Post
the video is done over wifi.

im pretty sure during the keynote steve jobs had to call johnny first, then press the facetime video.
On the facetime site, it says you can initiate facetime from the contact screen or from a call that is already present.

So I am wondering if they are doing something behind the scene's with your contacts's phone number/apple's server to work its magic, or if there is more too it.

I can't find any thing that says a 3G/2G signal is required, just that its wifi only.
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Old Jun 17, 2010, 09:20 AM   #14
donbenjy
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Yeah, I'm not sure how it can connect directly through wifi, unless something like when you connect to a wifi network it broadcasts your network address to a facetime directory server with a reference to your mobile number?
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Old Jun 17, 2010, 09:20 AM   #15
gdlcjr
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Logically, Facetime is used only thru Iphone to Iphone. Most of the time you may be calling somebody within your network.

a. within network (phone call)- free call
b. Facetime (video call) thru wifi only - no data charges.

In short it will not cause any minutes or data. Except if you are calling outside the network, then it will be used on your minutes
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Old Jun 17, 2010, 09:21 AM   #16
dagomike
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Facetime works inside of a phone call. So, you're supposed to be able to call someone, and hit the Facetime icon and go into a video chat. I guess it depends whether it kills the voice call or keeps it active in the background. I would assume people may want to switch back to a call, so it's probably active using minutes.
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Old Jun 17, 2010, 09:22 AM   #17
donbenjy
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I disagree - I see the majority of facetime usage to be long distance. I'm not gonna facetime with my friend who lives 5 minutes from my house, but I might with my fiancée if I'm away somewhere. That place could just as easily be abroad than intra network. Plus you're forgetting that outside of the US there are multiple networks carrying the iphone!
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Old Jun 17, 2010, 09:32 AM   #18
iPhonedHome
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Yes ... another FaceTime post. Curious about a few things.

Just curious as to everyone's thoughts on the following:

1) I wonder if we will be limited to using FaceTime by having to use the phone app. It would be nice to use/access the FaceTime functionality outside of the phone app.

2) The thing that really puzzles me is how are we going to know if the person we're talking to is on wi-fi. Just by asking them whilst on the call? I hope it's more than that. What would be nice is if there were some way we could "know" if a contact was wifi available by some sort of symbol next to their contact name.

Discuss
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Old Jun 17, 2010, 09:33 AM   #19
mackworth
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dagomike View Post
Facetime works inside of a phone call. So, you're supposed to be able to call someone, and hit the Facetime icon and go into a video chat. I guess it depends whether it kills the voice call or keeps it active in the background. I would assume people may want to switch back to a call, so it's probably active using minutes.
From Apple's site:

Quote:
FaceTime works right out of the box — no need to set up a special account or screen name. And using FaceTime is as easy as it gets. Let’s say you want to start a video call with your best friend. Just find her entry in your Contacts and tap the FaceTime button. Or maybe you’re already on a voice call with her and you want to switch to video. Just tap the FaceTime button on the Phone screen. Either way, an invitation pops up on her iPhone 4 screen asking if she wants to join you.
It can be started not in a call.
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Old Jun 17, 2010, 09:34 AM   #20
donbenjy
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probably by a greyed out facetime button?

I assume that when you are available for facetime, your iphone registers itself with some apple server?
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Old Jun 17, 2010, 09:37 AM   #21
Gav2k
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Once your in a wifi network your phone registers it with apple. So if someone goes into there contacts and finds someone with an iphone4 it'll either grey out FaceTime or it'll be available depending on your status.

Simple
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Old Jun 17, 2010, 09:40 AM   #22
Steve686
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Odd.

When on WiFi and sending a text or MMS message, are you not docked messages against your account?

I would think the VOICE part of the call is still routed through cellular towers and the video is what is put through WiFi somehow?

Yet to see exactly how it is utilized....
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Old Jun 17, 2010, 09:44 AM   #23
waznuf
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we can test this by putting the phone into airplane mode then turning on just wifi and see if a FaceTime call goes through.
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Old Jun 17, 2010, 09:47 AM   #24
grantsdale
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Originally Posted by stevetim View Post
Odd.

When on WiFi and sending a text or MMS message, are you not docked messages against your account?

I would think the VOICE part of the call is still routed through cellular towers and the video is what is put through WiFi somehow?

Yet to see exactly how it is utilized....
Nothing is routed through cell towers. (Once the switch is made, if you switch from a voice call to FaceTime) It is done over the internet.

Messaging is done through cell towers.
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Old Jun 17, 2010, 09:47 AM   #25
grantsdale
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Originally Posted by waznuf View Post
we can test this by putting the phone into airplane mode then turning on just wifi and see if a FaceTime call goes through.
It will.
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