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Old Jun 28, 2010, 09:57 PM   #1
BigOrangeSU
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Facetime Free with International Calls

Hey-
You guys know how facetime doesn't use any minutes? So if I directly initiate a facetime call through the contact list to an international number does that mean the facetime call will be free? I know that if I call them and then initiate the facetime, I will be charged with the cost of the call. But what about directly initiating the facetime call through contacts? Sounds like it will be free, can anyone confirm?
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Old Jun 28, 2010, 10:06 PM   #2
Briview
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Hello... yes, it doesn't use any minutes. I emailed Steve Jobs about this just this morning because a few of my contacts live in the UK and I'm in the US, so I was also concerned about this.

His response was that "FaceTime works over WiFi and does not use cellular minutes. Both parties need to have WiFi coverage."
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Old Jun 28, 2010, 10:09 PM   #3
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I've heard an SMS is sent.

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Old Jun 28, 2010, 10:13 PM   #4
Briview
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arn View Post
I've heard an SMS is sent.

arn
Yes, I have heard that you need to have text messaging enabled for FaceTime to be activated, but that you may turn it off afterwards (just a note to sync with Apple Servers, perhaps)...

I haven't tried FaceTime personally because I cancelled AT&T's contract, but am keeping the i4 for "glorified iPod touch" usage and possibly T-Mobile pay-as-you-go through the upcoming unlock.
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Old Jun 28, 2010, 10:15 PM   #5
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FaceTime is a VOIP service, so no charges will be made.

Also, you can initiate a FaceTime call with someone and then hit the Home Button and all you will get is just audio, then you can plug in your headphone with mic and freely walk around the house without using minutes.
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Old Jun 29, 2010, 08:34 AM   #6
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I made an international facetime call yesterday to a friend in the UK, I initiated it directly from the addressbook, the whole 20 minutes I had my fingers crossed that it was free and knew if I were charged I had a pretty goood argument.. but I believe its free as long as you dont call them first.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BigOrangeSU View Post
Hey-
You guys know how facetime doesn't use any minutes? So if I directly initiate a facetime call through the contact list to an international number does that mean the facetime call will be free? I know that if I call them and then initiate the facetime, I will be charged with the cost of the call. But what about directly initiating the facetime call through contacts? Sounds like it will be free, can anyone confirm?
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Old Jun 29, 2010, 08:38 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kayno View Post
I made an international facetime call yesterday to a friend in the UK, I initiated it directly from the addressbook, the whole 20 minutes I had my fingers crossed that it was free and knew if I were charged I had a pretty goood argument.. but I believe its free as long as you dont call them first.
nice how was latency?
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Old Jun 29, 2010, 08:44 AM   #8
kayno
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nice how was latency?
Oh, I forgot to add that part. So my friend claimed that when he used skype on his wifi there were alot of latency issues, skipping, delays and such but he was suprised that doing the same on a mobile phone with less power than a pc resulted in a rather perfect video conversation.

There were no latency issues, it was like a facetime call made in the same state, city, or room.
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Old Jun 29, 2010, 08:52 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arn View Post
I've heard an SMS is sent.

arn
FaceTime use an Apple implementation of Peer-to-peer VOIP, so and SMS is sent to the other phone in order to request its IP address and establish the p2p connection. (I know this because i work for a SmartGrid company and that is the same way that Smart meter initiates theirs calls).

So in some cases an international SMS charge will apply (since those are not included on some SMS packages), but I still think it is a pretty good deal.

just my $0.2...
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Old Jun 29, 2010, 09:00 AM   #10
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You could try putting it in flight mode, then switch the wifi on to initiate the chat.

But there must be something sent to the phone number of the other person to initiate the p2p chat.
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Old Jun 29, 2010, 09:03 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maturola View Post
FaceTime use an Apple implementation of Peer-to-peer VOIP, so and SMS is sent to the other phone in order to request its IP address and establish the p2p connection. (I know this because i work for a SmartGrid company and that is the same way that Smart meter initiates theirs calls).

So in some cases an international SMS charge will apply (since those are not included on some SMS packages), but I still think it is a pretty good deal.

just my $0.2...
Does this mean I have to keep my SMS option alive? I had it restricted but just enabled it to activate Facetime. Planning to restrict SMS again but need assurance Facetime will work.
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Old Jun 29, 2010, 09:50 AM   #12
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So is wifi always running in the background if your iPhone is on standby locked mode??


E.g. I use Skype a hell of a lot to call my folks in Europe, my dad has an iPhone also but he needs to be logged into Skype on his iPhone 3G and also wifi enabled and iPhone active (not locked). Standby kills skype and wifi

If we both had iPhone 4 and roaming around the house with out iphones in our pockets would we be able to receive facetime calls without setting up a time to both be logged in and iphones active
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Old Jun 29, 2010, 01:08 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nowstime View Post
Does this mean I have to keep my SMS option alive? I had it restricted but just enabled it to activate Facetime. Planning to restrict SMS again but need assurance Facetime will work.
Yes you will need the SMS option alive. at least until it is open to use the Cellphone network, at that point the request can be make thought the network, which at this point it is not posible.
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Old Jun 29, 2010, 01:26 PM   #14
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It may look like a text message but it is not. It's a message like you can send to a lost iPhone through mobile me. It's done by apple and costs nothing.

Anyone with mobile me can confirm the message function.
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Old Jun 29, 2010, 01:30 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gav2k View Post
It may look like a text message but it is not. It's a message like you can send to a lost iPhone through mobile me. It's done by apple and costs nothing.

Anyone with mobile me can confirm the message function.
I never said "text" message, I said SMS .... you are 100% right, that's why i said in "some" cases.... it may not cost like that one that mobileme use, however the connection on mobileme is not p2p it is a proxy connection.
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Old Jun 29, 2010, 03:52 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kayno View Post
Oh, I forgot to add that part. So my friend claimed that when he used skype on his wifi there were alot of latency issues, skipping, delays and such but he was suprised that doing the same on a mobile phone with less power than a pc resulted in a rather perfect video conversation.

There were no latency issues, it was like a facetime call made in the same state, city, or room.
interesting to know- i wonder how they have done it. normally video calls to other countries are pathetic. good apple
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Old Jul 3, 2010, 10:27 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by BigOrangeSU View Post
Hey-
But what about directly initiating the facetime call through contacts?
So I did my first FaceTime call today and it was really great! I want to FaceTime friends and family overseas, but I don't want to have to call first. How do I get the Facetime button to show up in my contacts list? Not even the people that I have already FaceTimed with show up there... Only after I make a call...
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Old Oct 13, 2010, 09:06 PM   #18
lansun
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No Charge, its free

I have been using Facetime for about 2 months to call friends and family in UK and India. I haven't been charged anything for SMS or call. its all free! it's just amazing how clear these calls are... I can now see my family when i talk to them everyday, Kudos Apple! Dont initiate a regular voice call to make a facetime call, just go into the contact details and tap on Facetime, volla.

And jailbreak your iphone, you can make these calls over 3g and the quality on 3g facetime is just as good as a facetime initiated on wifi.
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Old Oct 13, 2010, 09:33 PM   #19
Haxoware
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Facetime DO NOT USE SMS It use Apple Push Service in 4.1 now you can use the email add to call ipods i call my Wife in japan For the last 4m and no charge

And i have block sms on my family plan
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Old Nov 4, 2010, 02:50 PM   #20
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Re:

I think I just wet my pants.
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Old Nov 4, 2010, 08:57 PM   #21
conorjay
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Question?

I understand how it works over WiFi connections and both phones have to be iPhone 4G, but my question is how do you connect for the FIRST TIME internationally? Do you have to make a normal phone call first and then each phone will record it's unique serial number with that contact? I talked to an Apple Store employee and they explain to me how it works. If both phones are connected to the internet, there has to be some kind of unique identifier to find each other. Cell number?
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Old Nov 4, 2010, 10:56 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by conorjay View Post
I understand how it works over WiFi connections and both phones have to be iPhone 4G, but my question is how do you connect for the FIRST TIME internationally? Do you have to make a normal phone call first and then each phone will record it's unique serial number with that contact? I talked to an Apple Store employee and they explain to me how it works. If both phones are connected to the internet, there has to be some kind of unique identifier to find each other. Cell number?
OK, your VERY FIRST FaceTime 'call' from your iPhone to any number starts as a cell call so the system can register your number and add it to the Apple servers. After that, all FaceTime 'calls' are free. SO instead of making your very first FaceTime call to someone overseas, call someone locally or sign up for one of the many free FaceTime services that are available online. That way, you aren't having to pay for an international cellphone call.
After your first call, it doesn't matter whether your subsequent calls are international. local or otherwise.
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Last edited by Doctor Q; Nov 29, 2010 at 05:24 PM. Reason: edited quote
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Old Nov 4, 2010, 11:02 PM   #23
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FaceTiime works worldwide for absolutely no charge with iPod Touch and Mac which are not SMS-capable, so I strongly doubt there's any charge at all just because you use an iPhone.

Edit: Oh,Mliii's post above explains it all, I guess. It's because the iPhone is identified by the phone number rather than an email address.
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Old Nov 4, 2010, 11:24 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by Mliii View Post
OK, your VERY FIRST FaceTime 'call' from your iPhone to any number starts as a cell call so the system can register your number and add it to the Apple servers. After that, all FaceTime 'calls' are free. SO instead of making your very first FaceTime call to someone overseas, call someone locally or sign up for one of the many free FaceTime services that are available online. That way, you aren't having to pay for an international cellphone call.
After your first call, it doesn't matter whether your subsequent calls are international. local or otherwise.
That's what I thought. There's a central Apple server, but the Apple Store employee did not believe me.
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Old Nov 4, 2010, 11:48 PM   #25
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Quote:
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That's what I thought. There's a central Apple server, but the Apple Store employee did not believe me.
Some of the Apple Store employees are not the sharpest knives in the drawer!
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Last edited by Doctor Q; Nov 29, 2010 at 05:24 PM. Reason: edited quote
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