Facetime: Uses Minutes or Data Allowance or Free service?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by ibanana, Jun 17, 2010.

  1. ibanana macrumors 6502

    Aug 23, 2007
  2. donbenjy macrumors 6502

    Oct 15, 2008
    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.
  3. elfxmilhouse macrumors 6502a

    Oct 15, 2008
    Northeast USA
    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.
  4. ScubaCinci macrumors 65816


    Jul 11, 2008
    Cincinnati OH
    It's wifi only. No minutes and no data charge. Pretty simple.
  5. GroundLoop macrumors 68000


    Mar 21, 2003
    No charge as it is just video chat over wifi.

  6. ludawg23 macrumors 6502

    Jun 11, 2010
  7. elfxmilhouse macrumors 6502a

    Oct 15, 2008
    Northeast USA
    the video is done over wifi.

    im pretty sure during the keynote steve jobs had to call johnny first, then press the facetime video.
  8. slpdLoad macrumors 6502a


    Jun 10, 2009
    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.
  9. macslayer118 macrumors 6502

    Oct 6, 2008
    Dallas, TX
    Not necessarily true... what if I want to factime with my family in Europe?
  10. mackworth macrumors member

    Aug 4, 2008
    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.
  11. Gav2k macrumors G3


    Jul 24, 2009
    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.
  12. donbenjy macrumors 6502

    Oct 15, 2008
    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?
  13. mackworth macrumors member

    Aug 4, 2008
    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.
  14. donbenjy macrumors 6502

    Oct 15, 2008
    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?
  15. gdlcjr macrumors regular

    Dec 3, 2009
    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
  16. dagomike macrumors 65816

    Jun 22, 2007
    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.
  17. donbenjy macrumors 6502

    Oct 15, 2008
    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!
  18. iPhonedHome macrumors 6502

    Jun 10, 2008
    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.

  19. mackworth macrumors member

    Aug 4, 2008
    From Apple's site:

    It can be started not in a call.
  20. donbenjy macrumors 6502

    Oct 15, 2008
    probably by a greyed out facetime button?;)

    I assume that when you are available for facetime, your iphone registers itself with some apple server?
  21. Gav2k macrumors G3


    Jul 24, 2009
    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.

  22. Steve686 macrumors 68040


    Nov 13, 2007
    US>FL>Miami/Dade>Sunny Isles Beach>Condo

    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....
  23. waznuf macrumors newbie

    Jun 8, 2010
    we can test this by putting the phone into airplane mode then turning on just wifi and see if a FaceTime call goes through.
  24. grantsdale macrumors 6502a

    May 11, 2008
    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.
  25. grantsdale macrumors 6502a

    May 11, 2008
    It will.

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