How to optimize FaceTime on your iOS device

FaceTime is potentially one of Apple's best-kept, game-changing products. It provides users with an easily accessible way to video chat with anyone on an iOS device or a Mac. Here are some great tips to get the most out of this great technology.

Apple

FaceTime is potentially one of Apple's game-changing products.

It provides users with an easily accessible way to video chat with anyone on an iOS device or a Mac. Here are some great tips to get the most out of this great technology.

FaceTime is a proprietary, open-source video communications device developed by Apple and released in June 2010. It is, however, not as complete of a product as most Apple-shipped software, especially when organizing a large contact list is concerned.

In a great collection of tips by GigaOm's Geoffrey Goetz, some extra ways to access FaceTime are uncovered.

Because FaceTime is supported in Safari for iOS, creating a quick contact list can be as simple as adding Bookmarks to a list. The issue, as Goetz explains, is that Safari automatically opens FaceTime when a FaceTime URL is visited. So here's the way it works:

  1. Apple has a built-in protocol for Safari that allows users to access FaceTime and call other users. To do so, type in one of the following in your Safari address bar:

    • facetime://YourFriend
    • facetime://YourFriend@Domain.Com
    • facetime://555-867-5309

    Obviously, replace YourFriend with the FaceTime Apple ID, e-mail address, or associated phone number of your contact and you are good to go.

  2. You'll notice that when you do this in iOS, FaceTime opens automatically and your call attempts to connect. To get around this you'll need Safari on your Mac or PC. Open Safari and choose "Show All Bookmarks" from the Bookmarks menu.

  3. Create a "FaceTime Contacts" folder by clicking the "+" symbol on the bottom-left of the Safari window, under the Collections and Bookmarks column.

  4. Highlight your new folder. Now, in the Address Bar, type out the FaceTime protocol that corresponds to one of your contacts. DO NOT PRESS ENTER.

  5. Copy the facetime:// address by highlighting it in the Address Bar and pressing Command + C (CTRL + C on a PC).

  6. Paste the facetime:// address in your new folder by pressing Command + V (CTRL + V on a PC).

  7. Repeat with as many Contacts as you'd like to have. You can also make specific folders to act as groups.

  8. Use iCloud to sync your bookmarks with your iOS device. You can also plug your iOS device into your computer and sync manually through iTunes if you have not upgraded to iCloud.

As Goetz points out, anywhere you paste the facetime:// link in iOS it will become active (because it is recognized by Safari). So, you can create a list of your contacts using the Notes app, keep an e-mail with your list, or add your FaceTime contact to your e-mail signature.

You can also send your own FaceTime URL to anyone who you may want to have access to video chat with you. Quite a handy tip if you prefer to do business FaceTime to FaceTime (yes, that pun just happened).

How do you use FaceTime? Let me know in the comments!

About the author

    Joe is a seasoned Mac veteran with years of experience on the platform. He reports on Macs, iPods, iPhones and anything else Apple sells. He even has worked in Apple retail stores. He's also a creative professional who knows how to use a Mac to get the job done.

     

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