Instant Messaging Using Facetime
Facetime is an application developed by Apple to be used in its various products such as iPhone, iPad and also MacBook. It allows users of Apple mobile devices to connect and communicate seamlessly with other users. It allows video calling via your contact email or also your mobile phone number. Basically, it is a video telephony as well as Voice over Internet Protocol (VOIP). Before iOS 6, Facetime requires Wi-Fi connection to work but after the release of iOS 7 and onwards, people can also use Facetime over cellular networks such as 3G or LTE. However, unfortunately, Apple does not support any installation of Facetime on a PC. As any other Apple products, most of their software are proprietary and only let the product being used within Apple’s product and ecosystem. This is one of Apple’s way in controlling and keeping its products under one close environment. It does not allow much freedom for integration with other outside system. And if you also are wondering if you can use an emulator such as other Android Emulator in the market such as Youwave or Bluestack to emulate Facetime in your PC, it cannot be done at the moment.
In terms of cost of purchasing it, it does not cost anything as the app is already pre-installed in your Apple devices and it can use Wi-Fi connection as well as cellular network. The only cost of money you have to bear is the subscription of your cellular network for your devices that normally covers also data coverage and also your internet bills. However, Facetime can also work on Wi-Fi devices only. If you wondering on the standard data usage of Facetime, Facetime uses three megabytes of data per minute of conversation. So, if you subscribe to an unlimited data connection it should be no problem as you are paying a fixed amount of cost regardless how long you use Facetime. However if you are having an internet or data subscription that bills you by the minutes or hour, the cost to your internet or cellular data bill will very much depend on how long you are using Facetime. If you have a below 1GB of data plan per month, you need to keep an eye on the usage of Facetime as it is a video application and therefore it will consume and transfer a lot of data. The best way if you subscribe to below 1GB plan is to just use Wi-Fi. So far, most of the world cellular network provider supports Facetime. And if you really want Facetime to not cost you anything, just find any free Wi-Fi connection and log in to your Facetime to connect with someone. However, the smooth connection of the communication using Facetime very much depends on the speed of the Wi-Fi and internet connection. So, do not expect much out of that connection.
Facetime does not use minutes as normal mobile phone minutes coverage plan. The video communication is done through the cellular data network via 3G or LTE. This data plan are normally covered by the Cellular Data Network by measuring how many usage of data that you used per month. You can check with your mobile phone operator on the data subscription. Normally, there will be the unlimited data plan in which you can upload and download as many data through the internet as you can and you only pay a fix amount per month. There is also the fix data plan such 1GB, 5GB and so forth in which you also will pay a fix amount per month. However, with this plan, once the data usage exceeded the allocation, it will start to charge you by the data usage that was used. So, please note that each time you use Facetime for video calling, about 3 to 5MB will be used every minute. So, if you do not have the unlimited plan, please check with your network operator on how much they charge per MB of data usage. Even though Facetime uses phone numbers to connect to others, it does not affect your mobile phone minutes as Facetime only uses the phone numbers as contact address in the network. Facetime also identify email address as the contact address. So, you do not have to worry of any charges of minute’s usage in your cellular phone bill as it only will affect the data plan that you subscribed. As Apple devices and products becomes much faster and also a lot cheaper in the future, Facetime would definitely here to stay and change the way we communicate with others.