Apple’s Facetime has been an enormously popular feature. Scores of iPhone customers use the feature and Apple did indeed make it known to the world.
While Facetime on iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch is great, it has one missing feature which almost always gets mentioned by people who like it a lot. Audio-only Facetime. With iOS 7, that becomes possible.
In iOS 7, Apple brings an added feature to Facetime. You can make audio-calls without having to enable video streaming. Not only does this save a lot of bandwidth but it also makes it so much more powerful and possibly a preferred solution over other VoIP solutions like Skype and Viber.
Here’s how you’ll be able to make voice-only FaceTime calls on iOS 7:
- Open the FaceTime app
- Tap on Contacts to find a friend you can call over FaceTime
- Tapping on the contact’s name, you will scroll down to the FaceTime field.
- Right across Facetime, you’ll find a video icon and a phone icon.
- Tap on the phone icon to initiate an audio-only FaceTime call.
That’s it. You will not see any video but you can speak over Facetime now.
In case you want to switch on the camera to turn the audio-only call into a regular Facetime call with video, tap on the ‘Facetime’ icon during the call (in the call interface). You can also mute the mic, switch on the speaker and browse through contacts during a call.
Also, you’ll find labels like ‘Facetime Audio’ on top of an iMessage conversation that can initiate a Facetime audio call.
Insofar, we’ve had to switch to Skype or Viber to make voice calls over the internet. Facetime, while being a perfect solution for video calls to other iPhone/iPad/Mac users, has been limiting in terms of being a VoIP app. With this change, I think things can get a bit tough for any other app that wishes to be a replacement. May be the Android expansion will reduce this effect. But I digress.
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