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Making Video Calls on the iPhone

written by: luis84•edited by: Simon Hill•updated: 8/4/2010

Imagine face to face conversations with friends and family from across town or across the world, all using your iPhone 4. Learn how video calling can make this dream a reality and learn how to troubleshoot it too.

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    Video Calling Made Reality

    Video calls have been a dream for many decades. There have been many different attempts on many different types of phones andFace Time (iPhone 4) networks to successfully implement video calling. The most widely received and optimistic response to video calling has been achieved by the iPhone.

    iPhone video calling is a feature which functions between two iPhone 4 devices. iPhone video calling is referred to on the iPhone as Face Time. iPhone video calling enables two different people to talk in real time and look at each other in real time. Face Time functions over Wi-Fi data networks and can utilize both the front and back camera of the iPhone for video calling.

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    How to Video Call

    Now that you know what iPhone video calling is, you're probably quite excited to give it a try. iPhone video calling will require you to have a friend or contact who also owns an iPhone 4. In addition your friend or fellow contact will need to be connected to a Wi-Fi network just as you will need to be. iPhone video calling does not function over cellular data networks (unless your iPhone is Jailbroken) and it does not work on previous iPhone models before the iPhone 4.

    1. Select a contact. Select the "Contacts" application from the iPhone home screen. Select a contact from your address book by tapping the contact's name.
    2. Send Face Time invitation. Select the "Face Time" option from the list. The iPhone will send an invitation to your contact.
    3. Wait to begin. Wait patiently while your contact accepts the iPhone video calling invitation. Upon acceptance by your contact, Face Time will launch and you will be face to face with your contact.
    4. Change cameras. Change cameras by selecting the icon in the bottom right corner of the screen. Tapping this icon will switch to the rear camera and tapping it again will switch to the front camera.
    5. Mute volume. Tap the icon located in the bottom left corner of the screen to mute the volume of the video call.
    6. Rotate the screen. Enjoy both landscape and portrait mode inside the iPhone video calling application (Face Time) by rotating your screen as normal. Rotate the screen back to the upright position to return to normal viewing mode.
    7. End the call. End the call by selecting the "End" button located in the bottom center of the screen.

    Note: If you are already on a call and the person whom you are talking to is the intended recipient of the Face Time invitation, do not hang up the call. Move the iPhone 4 away from your face and locate the "Face Time" button on the call screen. Tap the "Face Time" button to send an invitation for iPhone video calling. The iPhone video call will initiate once the other party accepts the invitation.

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    Troubleshooting iPhone Video Calling

    Should you experience problems with iPhone video calling there a few steps you can take to troubleshoot. Problems with iPhone video calling are typically related to the data connection or to the compatibility of the service with your existing contacts. Here are a few steps to help troubleshoot your iPhone video calling problems.

    1. Check Wi-Fi connection. Verify the Wi-Fi settings by tapping the "Settings" icon from the iPhone home screen. Select "Wi-Fi" and choose your network. Enter a password if necessary. Verify the connection is functioning by opening a web page in Safari.
    2. Verify recipient compatibility. Contact the person you wish to use iPhone video calling with. Call them or send them a text message and verify that they have an iPhone 4 and are currently connected to Wi-Fi. Ensure that these requirements are met and try the video call again.
    3. Turn on Airplane mode. Tap "Settings" from the home screen. Change the slider next to "Airplane Mode" to "On". Retry the iPhone video calling feature when the iPhone is in Airplane Mode. Several users have reported success when placing the iPhone in Airplane mode.
    4. Restart the iPhone. Hold down the Power button and the Home button at the same time. Wait fifteen seconds or until the iPhone reboots. Try launching Face Time and using the iPhone video calling feature after the reboot.

    (Image courtesy of Apple, Inc)