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Definition: FaceTime


Apple's video and phone calling application for the iPhone, iPad, iPod touch and Mac. Launched in 2010 for mobiles and 2011 for the Mac, FaceTime is similar in function to Microsoft's Skype. However, FaceTime is initiated on Apple products only, whereas Skype and Zoom are started on every major platform. Group Facetime allows up to 32 participants to have a videoconference.

FaceTime to Android and Windows
Starting in 2021, Apple users can initiate a call to Android and Windows users by sending a link that is opened in a browser. However, Android and Windows users cannot initiate a FaceTime call.

Initially Wi-Fi, Later Cellular
FaceTime was introduced with the iPhone 4 in 2010 as a service only over Wi-Fi to the Internet. As of iOS 6 in 2012, video calls can also be made over the carrier's cellular network, which consumes many bytes in one's data plan. In 2013, a voice-only option was added (see FaceTime Audio).