Using Factime with an iPhone 4 overseas?

Discussion in 'iPhone Tips, Help and Troubleshooting' started by CosmoPilot, Nov 18, 2010.

  1. CosmoPilot, Nov 18, 2010
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2010

    CosmoPilot macrumors 65816

    CosmoPilot

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2010
    Location:
    South Carolina
    #1
    **Update** please read post #12...I finally got this issue resolved!

    Okay,

    I'm an international pilot, and travel overseas often. One of the features I was stoked about was Facetime. My wife and I both have iPhone 4s. I also have a MBP with Facetime beta installed.

    Sitting in a hotel room with a perfect Wi-Fi signal and the actual phone antenna turned on, my wife's contact information in my phone still doesn't show Facetime as an option. It only has "Text Message" and "Share Contact" listed.

    The funny thing is, I can Facetime her using my MBP...just not my iPhone. What gives?

    I have Facetime turned on (as does my wife back in the states)...still no option to call her via FT.

    Do you have to initiate an normal call first before you can transfer to FT using the iPhones?

    Any help would be appreciated.

    Cosmo
     
  2. Applejuiced macrumors Westmere

    Applejuiced

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2008
    Location:
    At the iPhone hacks section.
    #2
    Not all international carriers support facetime though. With the Mac it uses an email to activate it so you're good.
     
  3. CosmoPilot thread starter macrumors 65816

    CosmoPilot

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2010
    Location:
    South Carolina
    #3
    But I thought FT was a Wi-Fi only app for the iPhones. As such, shouldn't any Wi-Fi connection work regardless of where you are at? If I have the newest iTouch with FT, should work because the carrier is completely removed from the equation.

    I just don't understand how the MBP and iTouches will work using the email address...but the iPhone 4 (the flagship Apple product) doesn't.

    Are we missing anything else?

    I appreciate your response...anyone else know what might be happening?

    Thanks,

    Cosmo
     
  4. Applejuiced macrumors Westmere

    Applejuiced

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2008
    Location:
    At the iPhone hacks section.
    #4
    For the iPhone it works different. It doesn't use email but your phone number and sends a text to a server to activate it. Are you still using your sim in the iPhone while roaming to other international carriers. It could get expensive trying to activate it using international text message fees.
     
  5. Carlanga macrumors 604

    Carlanga

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2009
    #5
    have you ever used FT on your phone before leaving the country? The first time you need to activate it calling someone...
     
  6. CosmoPilot, Nov 18, 2010
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2010

    CosmoPilot thread starter macrumors 65816

    CosmoPilot

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2010
    Location:
    South Carolina
    #6
    Yep, the iPhone4 is different (and in a bad way in my opinion). I think we're on to something here. Overseas, I use my iPhone strictly for text messaging. I have the Network Roaming turned off so I don't get charged an arm and a leg for data usage.

    Now, what I just noticed, is when I go into Phone preferences and turn FT on, it stays on. As soon as I leave the Phone Preferences and go immediately back into it...it's turned itself off! Very Strange... The only thing I can think of is it does in fact use the carriers for some sort of confirmation process.

    Now, if I turn the antenna off (Wi-Fi only). iOS will not let me enter the Phone Preference to turn FT on. In other words, you have to have the antenna on! This is a major step back for the iPhone when compared to FT's easily usable features on the MBP and iTouch using Wi-Fi only....unbelievable!

    The strangest part is, I'm about 90% certain this is all caused by the fact I have Network Roaming turned off. In other words, I think the iPhone doesn't send a text per se' but rather uses data over GSM to register. I hate to turn this feature on to test it and get back to the states to find a $400 data charge on my bill.

    Thoughts?


    Thanks again for everyones help on this...

    **Edit** To answer the above questions, I do have the normal Sim card still installed. Receiving text messages are free and sending is $.50. I can handle that (just limit the amount I send...just updates on where I am...status, etc.)

    I've used FT many times in the states with no issues. This is my first attempt while overseas. I'm still here, but at least my MBP is working, so calling is cheap in that regards :) I just can't fathom how the iPhone doesn't work exactly like the MBP and/or the iTouch. This really limits the FT capability Steve Jobs was boasting about.
     
  7. Applejuiced macrumors Westmere

    Applejuiced

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2008
    Location:
    At the iPhone hacks section.
    #7
    I hear you, its pretty messed up that ipod touch and any mac can facetime thru email but iphone users have to deal with all wireless carrier bs.
    It would be nice if we can just take the sim out and still make facetime calls since its all done thru wifi anyway, hope they change the way it works or doesnt work actually down the road. :)
     
  8. CosmoPilot thread starter macrumors 65816

    CosmoPilot

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2010
    Location:
    South Carolina
    #8
    Well, it's not just that...the iPhone requires BOTH apparently. You need a Wi-Fi connection AND a carrier to use FT with Apple's premier device. Not a problem if you are state-side. But a HUGE deal for international travelers.

    I know most people were pissed that it was a Wi-Fi only app. Eventually, it should break the bonds of being Wi-Fi only and be useable on cell towers. However, I need my device to work using either/or (especially when traveling abroad). Most overseas travelers plan on doing all their data usage around Wi-Fi hotspots anyways...and I haven't stayed in a hotel in years that doesn't offer Wi-Fi. So when traveling, using Wi-Fi is a large part of the consumers data consumption...didn't Apple realize these folks might want to FT too?

    Imagine this commercial. Two dudes walk into an overseas hotel lobby. One whips out an iPhone 4...the other whips out an iTouch. They both try to FT...iTouch wins...dude gets the girl...other guy stands looking at his iPhone like WTF? Steve jobs walks in and says..."yeah, you really should carry both devices!"

    Amazing this wasn't hashed out by Apple.

    Cosmo
     
  9. soLoredd macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2007
    Location:
    California
    #9
    Hopefully Skype gets updated for video calls (even if its just over wi-fi). That would alleviate a lot of headaches with FaceTime.

    I just got my iPhone 4 but have yet to use FaceTime. From reading this thread it sounds like you can't be in Airplane Mode (but have wi-fi connected) and use FaceTime. Is this true? Wasn't there a video awhile back of a guy on a plane using FT to call someone on the ground?
     
  10. soLoredd macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2007
    Location:
    California
    #10
    Ok, I just tried having Airplane Mode on and Wi-Fi on, FaceTime works. I am able to dial out to my wife's phone via FaceTime in the Contact.

    Something seems not right with your setup for whatever reason.
     
  11. CosmoPilot thread starter macrumors 65816

    CosmoPilot

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2010
    Location:
    South Carolina
    #11
    Are you state-side? I believe your iPhone 4 gets "registered" or "acknowledged" while on the AT&T cell network, whereas mine doesn't when overseas.

    I'm at a loss though on how when you turn Airplane Mode on, you still have access to Phone Preferences under Settings. In fact, when I turn Airplane Mode ON, my Phone Preferences under Settings grays out with a title next to it "Airplane Mode."

    Does yours do the same?

    This is interesting because Phone Settings is where you turn Facetime on. Perhaps your phone is registered before you turn Airplane Mode on, thus it's ready to Facetime. Overseas, my phone will not allow me to turn Facetime on. When I do, it stays that way. However, as soon as I exit Phone Settings and go immediately back into Phone Settings, it has turned itself off again.

    Try this:
    1. Turn Facetime Off
    2. Turn Airplane Mode On
    3. Turn Facetime back on (can you do this)?

    I honestly believe, the phone gets acknowledged via small data packages sent over AT&T's network to the Apple Servers. Once the device is registered/acknowledged to be "online" it can now Facetime.

    In my situation, my phone is off the AT&T networks for 8 to 10 hours while flying overseas. Once I turn the phone back on, it has to be "re-discovered" by the Apple Servers so it knows I'm back online ready to Facetime. However, since I'm now overseas on international cell towers...it just doesn't do it.

    My MBP, registers (or gets acknowledged as online) using Wi-Fi only! That is why it has no issues calling or receiving FT sessions when overseas.

    I'm 99.9% certain there is nothing wrong with my settings, etc. Facetime is pretty straight forward with very little interaction from the user.

    Of course, I'm not prone to doing something wrong...thus I'm asking for any guidance you all might have. Fortunately, I do have my MBP with me, so I can call for free back home to my family using it....just frustrating I can't get the iPhone to do the same. Using it would would be much faster than whipping out the computer to "call" home.

    Cosmo
     
  12. CosmoPilot thread starter macrumors 65816

    CosmoPilot

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2010
    Location:
    South Carolina
    #12
    **UPDATE**

    Okay, don't ask me why...but it started working. What I did was the following:

    1.) Settings/Carriers...changed from Automatic to manually selecting a different carrier (I have 3 different carriers available).
    2.) Went into Phone settings and turned Facetime back on. Exited Settings, and went back into settings....It was Turned Off again.
    3.) Cntrl/Alt/Delete...Decided to shut the phone down and re-start it.
    4.) Went back into Phone Preferences, and turned Facetime back on. This time, it stating..."activating Facetime" after 10 seconds or so, it said..."your device is now being shared with other Facetime users."
    5.) Went to contacts...and low and behold! It's now available.


    I've been jacking with this thing for 8 hours now. I've restarted my phone several times. Not sure if manually selecting a different carrier had anything to do with it, or the combination of manually selecting a different carrier in conjunction with a restart...but something caused it to work.

    Sorry for this lengthy thread. But I certainly appreciate everyones help concerning this matter. Looks like Facetime does in fact work overseas with the iPhone.

    Next round of beers is on me!

    Cosmo
     

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