MacMost Now 467: FaceTime for Mac

The new free FaceTime for Mac application from Apple lets you place and receive video phone calls. You can video chat with people on other Macs, iPhones or the new iPod Touch. You can use an email address as an identifier, or their iPhone phone number.

Video Transcript
Hi, this is Gary with MacMost Now. On today's episode let's look at the new FaceTime for Mac. FaceTime is the ability for new iPhones, and the iPod Touch to make video phone calls. Previously you could only call from iPhone to iPhone, but now you can also place and receive calls on your Mac with the new beta on FaceTime for Mac. The first thing you need to do is go to the Apple website and download it. So, to set it up you need an Apple Id and you can create one right inside of the FaceTime application. You can use the Apple Id that you use for your iTunes account or for MobileMe or if you've never done an Apple Id before, you can create one right there. Next you need to link an email address to be used as your FaceTime phone number. You need some sort of identifier, so somebody can call you and, of course your Mac doesn't have a phone number, so you can use the one that is associated with your Apple Id or you can add separate one or several of them and these will be what somebody can use to actually place a video call to you. Now, to place a video phone call from your Mac what you need to do is first add the information for the person you want to call to your address book. There is no way to add information like that inside the FaceTime application and you can't make a call by simply entering email address or phone number. So, once you've added it to address book, then you can just select that person from the list. If there is multiple ways to call them, say, like email address and phone number, it will ask you which one do you want to use and then you can place the call. That's basically it. It was very easy. All I did is click on one of my friends. I called Leo Quinn, and just had his phone number in there, which was his iPhone phone number, and it immediately came up as an incoming video call, he took it and it showed up on my screen. It was very simple. Now, if you've got a Mac that you are calling to, then what will happen is the Mac will actually showing incoming call as well. You don't even have to have FaceTime running. Just having it installed is enough to then launch FaceTime and a call comes and gives you the option to accept or decline the call. If you want to turn that off, say not receiving incoming calls for a while, you can go into FaceTime preferences and switch FaceTime off. If you are calling to another Mac and that person just needs to have FaceTime installed. If you are calling to iPhone or iPod Touch then that person needs to be connected to a Wi-Fi network, since FaceTime doesn't work over the mobile networks. What cool is somebody on an iPhone or an iPod Touch can call your Mac. All they need to do is click on FaceTime button for your contact and then it'll ask them to select the email address or phone number to call. If they select an email address you've signed to FaceTime on your Mac, it will put the call through and your Mac will then notify you that a call is coming in and launch a FaceTime giving you a chance to accept or decline the call. Also, some orientation features. Somebody with the iPhone can turn it on its side and your Mac will automatically switch to show a wide screen view of them. Likewise, on a Mac you can click a button, and actually switch from a vertical, default view to a wide screen view that they would then see on their Mac or their iPhone device. You can also jump to full screen on your Mac if you want. You always see a picture of you in the corner, so that you can see how well you are framed in the shot and you see them as the main screen. So, it has a lot of functionality we already had available in iChat. Difference is that now you can actually place these calls to the iPhone and iPod Touch and it's much simple method of calling and it's completely away from the MobileMe /AOL networks that iChat uses and it takes you this entire new FaceTime thing. FaceTime is something that Apple plans to distribute as kind of open framework that and it means that other devices can make calls from and to your Mac as well. So, hope you liked this FaceTime for Mac. Go and give it a try. Till next time. This is Gary with MacMost Now.

Comments: 26 Responses to “MacMost Now 467: FaceTime for Mac”

    10/23/10 @ 10:05 pm

    help.. can I download the new iphoto 11 to my mac 10.5.8 ?
    without having any problems? also I love getting all your info at macmost

      10/23/10 @ 10:08 pm

      iLife 11 requires Snow Leopard (Mac OS X v10.6.3 or later according to Once you upgrade to Snow Leopard, you need to buy iLife in the store or online — it comes in a DVD. There is no download, yet. It looks like we may get a download option once the Mac App Store launches in January.

    N m
    10/28/10 @ 5:13 pm

    also can u suggest a product in Mac that is equal to or better then the TALLY accounting soft.

      10/28/10 @ 5:51 pm

      Is that something like QuickBooks, Quicken or MYOB FirstEdge?

    N m
    10/29/10 @ 12:37 am

    [link to the software]

      10/29/10 @ 5:43 am

      The link doesn’t tell me much about what the software does. I’m sure it does, but it isn’t obvious from glancing at the page. Since this is a video about FaceTime, not accounting software, why don’t you start a new topic at and ask again — but explain in a few sentences what the software does.

    10/30/10 @ 12:36 pm

    Hi Gary,
    tanx for your vids, how can i connect my Mcbook to my imac? could you please make a video for that?
    also, is there a software which i can synchronize between two folders, one in my imac and one e.g. in my external hard drive, or in my macbook? please make a video for them..

    Many Tanx

    11/4/10 @ 5:16 am

    I am having problems with facetime it shows that I’m calling my friends phone it rings he tries to connect but it doesn’t connect. I’ve tried to call one of my students itouch 4 and again it rings shows accept he accepts it but it doesn’t connect= Ive tried trashing and reinstalling – any Ideas???

      11/4/10 @ 5:23 am

      Perhaps that kind of traffic is blocked on your network? Hard to say.

        11/4/10 @ 5:42 am

        Ive tried my home as well as my work – even porting the ports apple says I need – if you have any other ideas Ill try anything thanks – g

          11/4/10 @ 5:46 am

          Try the Genius Bar if you are near one. It may be that you need someone to try it and troubleshoot on the spot.

            11/4/10 @ 5:48 am

            thanks man!!! I Love your videos!! Thanks for all you do!

    11/5/10 @ 4:54 pm

    mac 10.5.8 cannot download facetime any suggestions?

      11/5/10 @ 5:11 pm

      Right. You need Snow Leopard (10.6.4) to run FaceTime. The only way is to upgrade.

    8/20/11 @ 5:33 pm

    When I try to connect via FaceTime between two Mac’s in my house, it keeps saying one of the people is unavailable. Yet they are online. Is it not possible to call someone else in the same house?

      8/20/11 @ 5:42 pm

      Are you using two different Facetime accounts?

        8/20/11 @ 8:00 pm

        yes. When my wife selects my name in the contact list, my email address is listed there along with a phone number. Because she has the same phone number in her listing, could that be a conflict?

          8/20/11 @ 8:03 pm

          Yes, I think so. It thinks you are calling yourself.

    10/2/11 @ 1:21 am

    I have the same issue, facetime keeps telling me: could not sign in please try your network connection and try again, AND REALLY I’M CONECTED! I’M TEXTING WITH YOu RIGHT NOW!, is frustrating i have a mac book pro OSX 10.6.8

    Jose from Spain
    11/8/11 @ 11:37 am

    I do have a little problem with FaceTime on my iMac. Every time that I start a session, I must reset FaceTime, by deactivating connection at preferences and activating them again. If I don’t reset it, I am unable to connect to anyone, or I am not available to anyones connection.
    How can I avoid to reset it avery time? It should work automatically as it works on my iPad. Thanks for your help.

      11/8/11 @ 11:43 am

      It should work automatically, yes. Not sure what could be the problem, sorry.

Comments Closed.