Apple has quietly added a very practical new feature to your iPhone, iPad, and Mac. It’s called FaceTime Audio, and I’m pretty sure you’ll like it. FaceTime Audio is a new way to call friends over a wireless network. And because it’s audio only, it functions as you would expect: like making a normal phone call. What does this mean? Well, you can “call” anyone who has an Apple device—iPhone, iPad, or Mac—with FaceTime Audio.
And now for the obvious question. Why would someone want to use FacTime Audio instead of making a normal call? Without geeking out too much, I’ll simply say that the audio quality of FaceTime Audio is worlds better than making a normal phone call. It has less static and more volume. It sounds like you're in the same room as the person. How does it do this? In addition to your devices’ noise-cancelling microphones, FaceTime Audio sends a wider audio spectrum than a normal cell call, thereby making voices so much easier to understand.
Another great thing is that while you're connected to a wifi network, FaceTime Audio won't use your carrier's data plan. Similar to Skype, calling is free. Do keep in mind, however, that you are using cellular data when not connected to wifi. (Connecting to wifi.)
To use FaceTime Audio on any Apple device, pull up a person’s contact information and look for the phone icon next to “FaceTime”. Tap the phone icon, and you’ll immediately hear ringing to indicate that the call is now being placed.
Apple now has three methods of communicating with others: FaceTime Audio, FaceTime Video, and iMessage. Each of these services are accessible on all your devices, thereby making it easy for you to freely communicate from a Mac in the same way you would an iPhone.
For more instructions on using FaceTime Audio, head over to Apple’s tutorial here.
I am an Apple Certified Support Professional with over a decade of experience supporting families, schools, and businesses. Tech has always captured my imagination, but it's not my only passion. I'm an ordained Anglican minister; Aeropress is a daily ritual of mine; I've driven across Mongolia; and I'm the father of three girls. I hope to provide for you a balanced and realistic perspective into the practicality of technology.