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New in iOS 7 is the ability to make FaceTime Audio calls. FaceTime Audio works internationally and works on a Wi-fi network, or on a cellular connection. Using Facetime Audio sounds nicer than actually using the iPhone to make calls. FaceTime Audio sounds deep, and closer to the actual sound of the voice. Another benefit of using FaceTime Audio is that it is associated with your Apple ID and phone number and is built right into the core operating system. For example, while you are texting someone, and you want to make a FaceTime Audio call, you can press the Contact button in blue in the upper right hand corner:

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Pressing the Contact button gives you three different options: an i for info, a video camera and a phone.

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Pressing the i button shows you your contacts card. Pressing the video camera icon will FaceTime that contact so you will see their face. Pressing the phone icon will prompt you with either making a phone call or a FaceTime Audio call.

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Then it will make a FaceTime Audio call.

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You can also use Siri to make FaceTime Audio calls, by saying “FaceTime Audio Mark.”

Since you are using FaceTime Audio, instead of worrying about minutes for the calls you will have to worry about data being used. You are able to track your FaceTime data usage while tracking your device’s cellular usage. When FaceTime is listed it will not break it down: FaceTime audio versus FaceTime classic. Instead, it just gives you the data for all of your FaceTime use. To actually see how much data you are using per FaceTime call, open up the FaceTime app and make sure Recents is highlighted in blue down at the bottom.

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Then tap on the blue i next to when FaceTime was initiated. It will show you how long the FaceTime call was, what type of FaceTime was used, and how much data was actually used.

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There doesn’t seem to be any pattern, or any formula as to how many minutes equals how much data being used when it comes to FaceTime. Regarding FaceTime Audio, in Australia, a spokeswoman for Apple said FaceTime Audio is:

more about the quality of the call and international calls.

This same spokeswomen also mentioned that the amount of data used by FaceTime audio would vary depending on different  factors including the type of network and if there is any congestion in the network. Senior consultant and telecommunications analyst firm Ovum Craig Skinner said Apple added FaceTime Audio to capture market share in the US, since a lot of customers still have unlimited data plans and they try to avoid having high voice plans. He also said,

For Apple [Facetime Audio] is more about locking people into their services and using it to call customers on other iPhones. In the US it is substantially cheaper to make the data call. If you are an iPhone customer calling another iPhone customer it is cheaper, but if you are calling an Android customer you have to pay more.

Source: The Sydney Morning Herald

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19 Responses to “iOS 7 How-to: Make FaceTime Audio calls and check how much data they use”

  1. What I would like is for the iOS and Mac Facetime apps to show which of your contacts actually have Facetime. Now it’s basically trial-an-error.

  2. Hold the fort! I thought FaceTime audio calls were WiFi only! Having it over cellular is HUGE

  3. axsanford says:

    Will FaceTime Audio work when making a FaceTime call on OS Mavericks? – ’cause that would be pretty cool.

  4. Pedro Costa says:

    Can I use FaceTime Audio on the iPhone 4?

  5. Why is everything on your phone GIANT?

  6. Facetime audio calls, aka a phone call. In the days of unlimited minutes, I don’t see huge gain with this option.

    • Well, as they mentioned, it does sound better. But yeah, most people have the “unlimited minute” plans and don’t care about this…but for international calls, this is very very useful. No more having to deal with Skype I guess. I will have to try this out with some of my international customers next week.

      • Alex Gourki says:

        Im a developer and believe it or not this is the most used feature that i’ve used since installing ios 7 back in june. Im from canada and have so many friends in the States that picking up the phone and calling them at anytime is so convenient, and yes the quality is unreal, way better than skype or regular calls. I’ve noticed it roughly uses 35 MB per hour on a good connection and less on a worse connection, but i haven’t see the quality get worse when on worse connection.
        And having it on the iPad is also amazing, I travel quite a bit and people now call me on facetime audio and anywhere i go i buy a local data sim card for the iPad so it is really convenient.

    • Well, for unlimited users, it doesn’t affect you much. But for those with limited minutes (Such as me with 100 minutes a month,) this is HUGE!

  7. I can’t get it to work over 3g. When I try to make a call over cellular it ends the call and tells med to connect to a Wi-Fi network to use FaceTime audio calls. Iv’e got an iPhone 4 and uses swedish Telia. Does it really work over cellular? Does anyone else have this problem? Any idea how to make it work?

  8. i don’t have factime audio icon in my iphone 5.how to fix this problem

  9. VaRey Acob says:

    Is there a way that someone with Ios 7 update can facetime audio an ipod that doesn’t have the iso 7 update?

  10. destiinyyxx3 says:

    On my iPhone 4, when I go to messages to press Contact , it doesn’t give me an option when I press the FaceTime symbol it goes straight to video FaceTime. And when I go to the FaceTime app I have an option but when I click on audio FaceTime it says call failed. I don’t understand why.