Thoughts on FaceTime Audio

Discussion in 'iOS 7' started by Michael CM1, Sep 20, 2013.

  1. Michael CM1 macrumors 603

    Feb 4, 2008
    FTA has potential to really steer everybody toward VoIP. iMessage got my mom texting and, in my opinion, moved carriers in the US toward the mobile share plans with "free" unlimited text messages. Otherwise, I think iMessage or something similar may have killed traditional text messaging if it had gone cross-platform.

    FTA has some of the same benefits. It comes with every iPhone using iOS 7. It's also very nicely built in to the OS and reacts mostly like a telephone call. I tried it out a few times once I got my parents' iPhones upgraded. The audio quality is about what Skype is, but the one major drawback is there is about a two-second delay between both parties. I'm not sure if that's a data connection speed thing or just unavoidable lag by using the Internet instead of standard voice connections. But it's a thing.

    I'd love to hear thoughts from others about experiences with it. I can't stand the crappy call quality of standard phone calls, so I might start using this a lot. The problem is it won't work with people using Android devices unless Apple were to release an Android version. Chances? Not good.
  2. MagnumOP, Sep 21, 2013
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2013

    MagnumOP macrumors regular

    Jul 5, 2010
    I used FaceTime voice for the first time yesterday. It was AMAZING! Seriously the best phone call I ever had. The voice clarity will make you hate AT&T, Verizon, etc. I will be using FaceTime Voice as much as possible, not because I care about cellular minutes but because of the experience.

    EDIT: I guess it's really called FaceTime Audio.
  3. jmmo20 macrumors 65816

    Jun 15, 2006

    I'm now using it every day with my family oversees and the quality is amazing. No delays for me so far, and I've been calling both over wifi or over cellular network (3G only for now).

    Until recently I had been using viber or a MobileVOIP application with the MegaVOIP provider and FTA has considerably better audio quality than both.
  4. BvizioN macrumors 601


    Mar 16, 2012
    Manchester, UK
    I would probably never use it and I don't see much point on it. It's like VOIP but will only work with Apple devices. At the moment I use Skype for international calls with non iOS users, facetime with iOS users, Viber for international audio calls and unlimited mobile phone network free minutes for national calls.
  5. rtomyj macrumors 6502a


    Sep 3, 2012
    It really is a great service… I use it when I play games and talk to people instead of Skype.

    Hope they add three-way calling though…
  6. ziggie216 macrumors 6502

    Jul 14, 2008
    Quality is amazing. Been using it since beta and loved it. Actually quality is so clear that I had to turn down the volume since certain sounds can be too sharp.
  7. gordon1234 macrumors 6502a

    Jun 23, 2010
    I'm hoping Apple gives us an option to make this the default calling method (when possible). The quality is fantastic, even when I called my parents and they answered over their rural, barely-qualifies-as-3G cellular network. Very impressive, although their is a noticeable by not terrible delay compared to the circuit-switched network (no worse than I get with Skype though).

    This is a big deal simply because it's baked into every iOS 7 device. I'm not going to be able to get my parents, family, friends, etc to create Skype accounts and keep it running in the background all the time just so I can call with higher quality (and at least on my phone, Skype in the background reduces my battery life by about 25% over the course of a day), this is built-in and largely seamless.
  8. paulbennett95 macrumors 6502a


    Aug 30, 2012
    Long Island, NY
    Just used it now to call my mom's iPad 2 from my 4S, worked really well. And it switched to video really easily too, so I enjoy this a lot. I'd use it more if my mom had better internet connection in her room, but otherwise it's a great feature, and considering almost everyone I know has either an iPod, iPhone, or iPad, it's worthwhile to use.

    I give it a 10/10, would bang.
  9. DirtySocks85 macrumors 65816


    Mar 12, 2009
    Wichita, KS
    Good to hear about the sound quality. This was one of those "meh, I don't go remotely close to using my cell minutes" kinds of things, but now that I hear the call quality is so good I'll try using it for calls to other iPhone owners and see what I think.

    As stated above, it would be nice if this became the default when available, much like iMessage.
  10. Michael CM1 thread starter macrumors 603

    Feb 4, 2008
    That's definitely the main drawback. Skype is neat and cross-platform, but it's nowhere near as easy as FTA in iOS 7. If you tell Siri "FaceTime John Appleseed," it will use FTA to call John Appleseed.

    The key behind FTA and Skype is they can turn an iPad mini with cellular into a phablet. If Apple were to figure out a way to buy FTA-to-landline minutes like Skype does with the ease of iTunes purchases, boo yah on a gold mine.

    I'm hoping it works a little better when I get a 5S. I'm also hoping it doesn't eat up my data.
  11. LincolnsiPod macrumors 6502a

    Nov 20, 2009
    I'm curious about how much data FaceTime audio uses. Anyone monitor the cellular usage to calculate how much data say, 30 minutes of FT audio uses?
  12. Wbutchart macrumors regular

    Aug 20, 2013
    I used it at work the other day, it seems to use about 500mb per minuet from what I could see. The battery takes a bit of a hit over 3G my 15 min call took about 10% of my battery so if there would be any problem it would be that! I imagine over wifi the drainage would be much less.

    I've used it several times and have been fairly impressed, a few dropped calls but seems to becoming more reliable as time goes on. Its great in the uk if you know people on 02 cause their network seems to be imaginary and you can still call them if they are in a wifi area.
  13. rdy0329 macrumors 6502

    Mar 20, 2012
    You can actually see the duration and data usage by pressing the "i" button on the recents inside the phone or facetime apps.

    Mine came to 14 mins (12mb) - over wifi
    16 minutes (8mb) - over 3G
  14. LincolnsiPod macrumors 6502a

    Nov 20, 2009
    Pretty good data usage there, I may give this a regular try while traveling and utilizing wifi hotspots.

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