FaceTime Cost Money (Use Data, With Google Voice)

FaceTime is free for all Apple devices as long as they have cameras and run in the latest versions. While some new users are concerned that it is an expensive method of communication, others believe that it is very affordable. This article explains how FaceTime billing works for you as a first-time user. 

So, does FaceTime cost money? To use FaceTime is a free app and does not cost money to make calls when the connection is made using Wi-Fi but there is a cost if connecting using a cellular service. As you will need to buy data or subscribe to a limited or unlimited plan to use cellular networks like EDGE, GPRS, 3G, 4G, or 5G data.

You may even have to pay more depending on your device, connection strength, and FaceTime quality, as you could end up using more data, especially on cellular data plans. In contrast, FaceTime access is free if you have reliable Wi-Fi access.

FaceTime uses the internet to make and receive calls and is free if you use Wi-Fi, although it will cost you if you have EDGE, GPRS, 3G, 4G, or 5G data. You will not have to pay if you connect your Apple device to Wi-Fi in your apartment, school, or work, and you can keep using it as long as the connection is stable and reliable. Otherwise, you will have to pay for it if you are using a cellular data plan for internet access, which you will pay to recharge each time the data depletes.

Apple will not charge you to install the app on your device. It is inbuilt in all the latest iOS gadgets, and the company does not make direct billing whenever you use it. The only requirement is to have an Apple ID that you register for free. Initially, the platform would only make and receive calls if both users had the same Wi-Fi connections.

It is the cheapest way to go since you don’t have to pay, and you can use it at any time without worrying about running out of data. Alternatively, you can use cellular data from your ISP if you cannot access Wi-Fi but this will cost you. Apple first restructured FaceTime to work over cell phone data after the iPhone 4S. The only challenge with this method is that internet providers usually have data caps.

Therefore, you may end up paying more if you frequently use FaceTime or any other online application. You can find an affordable service that matches your internet usage to enjoy uninterrupted communication.

Also, note that cellular data usage means having a SIM card in your iPhone since it carries the data subscription. However, you can use any Apple gadget if you have Wi-Fi, including those that do not support SIM cards like Macs. 

On the other hand, you can still use your PC with cellular data when you turn on the hotspot on your iPhone. You will be using your handset as a Wi-Fi tether but within the data plan’s limits. Lastly, note that FaceTime is more efficient than most video calling services, meaning that it is one of the cheapest methods to use, even when using cellular data.

Does FaceTime Use Data?

You must have many questions about how FaceTime works if you have just transitioned from Android to iOS. You may also be used to calling using Wi-Fi and wonder whether you can also use cellular data. The following tips may put your mind at ease.

FaceTime can work with your cell phone data to make and receive video and audio calls if you don’t have Wi-Fi access. However, Wi-Fi is the most preferred means because it is not only easily accessible but generally more cost effective than cellular data.

On the other hand, data is a paid-for method by your ISP, and you can have a limited or unlimited plan according to the laid-out guidelines. The amount of data you spend relies on FaceTime quality and frequency of use if using a limited plan. Luckily, the application is usually quite affordable, unlike other video calling options.

FaceTime defaults to using Wi-Fi if there is a strong connection but you can also set it to use cellular data, which you can turn off to make it work exclusively on Wi-Fi. Wi-Fi is a user’s go-to because it is free, unlike cellular data, where you must pay for plan fees. Note that using your phone’s data does not interfere with your minutes even when it is an audio call, making it a great alternative if you don’t have Wi-Fi.

Making Wi-Fi the primary internet source is advisable to avoid unnecessary data usage. On a positive note, FaceTime cannot use your plan’s minutes, regardless of the length of your phone call.

According to the subscription, the app will only consume your data balance and stall if the internet depletes or expires. Fortunately, FaceTime doesn’t eat up too much data but this depends on your gadgets, network, and the connection’s strength.

Both Wi-Fi and cellular data will not exceed 20 MBs per minute, with Wi-Fi being cheaper. You can get almost 17 hours of FaceTime in the month if you have a 3GB plan, and you will use less data if the app’s quality is low or spend more if you have a powerful 5G internet connection. Remember that the more time you take on calls, the faster you deplete your data.

How To Check FaceTime Data Usage

You may not be concerned by the data amount that FaceTime uses if you have Wi-Fi or an unlimited cellular plan. However, it is crucial to track how much you use if you buy limited data. You can use the following techniques to calculate how much data is sufficient for your calls.

There are two ways to check FaceTime data usage for individual contacts and one method to find the overall tally. For individual contacts, FaceTime data for each call to the contact is shown and by checking the FaceTime app, daily, weekly and monthly data usage is shown.

To check data usage for individual contacts, go to Facetime, scroll to the recent calls, and click “i” to get the data usage based on each contact.

Alternatively, you can go to the Phone app and scroll to locate the list of calls where you can select a contact to check the data details by tapping “FaceTime Audio” or “FaceTime Video,” then the icon “i.” Lastly, go to cellular and FaceTime under settings to display the cumulative data usage since the reset time.

The first and easiest way to confirm how much data FaceTime has been used is within the platform, same with any other application. You can open the app and go to the list of the recent calls that lists the names you contacted. Each contact’s name has an “i” beside it and clicking it provides all the information you need since you can see the date and time of the call and the data that the call consumed.

Alternatively, you can find the data statistics from the Phone app because FaceTime typically has few recent calls. Navigate to the Phone app and scroll to the list of calls, where you can tap the icon for a caller’s contact info. You will find “FaceTime Audio” or “FaceTime Video” when you click on one contact and tapping “i” will again give you the data usage details.

While the above methods check contact-specific information, there is also a way to confirm the overall data usage. Go to the settings, click the cellular icon and navigate to find FaceTime. You will see the total data used in the app within a week or month. You can also reset the counter manually if you want details about specific timeframes. Click “Reset Statistics” below the cellular icon to do the trick. Installing a new iOS will also automatically reset the readings. 

How To Make Sure FaceTime Does Not Use Your Data

FaceTime is a data-consuming app meaning that it is best to be careful to avoid extreme data consumption, especially when you don’t have Wi-Fi access. If you use limited data and reserve the balance for other tasks, you may need tips to use your data sparingly.

To ensure FaceTime does not use your data you can adjust the phone’s settings and customize the app to only work when connecting to Wi-Fi. This way, FaceTime calls will not go through when your cellular data is on. Restricting FaceTime from depleting your data plan minimizes losses and reserves the internet balance in your phone for other browsing needs. Wi-Fi is relatively more affordable than data plans for all your internet needs, hence maximize it whenever you get the chance.

You can reorganize your calling schedule if you have Wi-Fi at work and use your break time to make all the necessary calls you need. On the other hand, you can withhold FaceTime until you get back home if you have Wi-Fi there, doing this can spare the little data you have to make urgent calls during the day.

If you are new to Apple’s FaceTime and you are finding trouble tweaking cellular data off, you can save your data by the following simple steps. Go to the settings, select cellular, scroll further below the page until you locate FaceTime, and click the following button. You can now go back to the home screen, toggle your phone’s data on and make a video or audio call using FaceTime to test whether your data is still working.

You will realize zero consumption if you initially took the FaceTime data readings. After these adjustments, the app will rely solely on Wi-Fi whenever there is access. It is essential to restrict FaceTime from using cellular data whenever an alternative network is available. Note that different Apple devices you use for FaceTime may function on particular bandwidths.

Therefore, weaker cellular connections will translate to low data usage rates. Conversely, more powerful devices are faster and stronger, hence they use more data that can overstretch your monthly plan. The call duration is also an essential factor to determine how much internet you can spend in a day; the longer your FaceTime, the higher your data consumption.

Can You Use FaceTime With Google Voice?

Apple gadgets can harmonize with competitive manufacturers like Android, thanks to technological advancements. It is now easy to find Android-specific software like Google compatible with Apple. One pressing question among iPhone users is whether FaceTime can collaborate with Google Voice.

Google Voice is incompatible with FaceTime despite being on the same Apple device. Therefore, you may have to stick to your conventional calling system where you and the other party use FaceTime. However, the case is different when both sender and receiver use Google Voice.

You are only confident that your calls will go through if the devices connect using the same app. Therefore, initiating a call through FaceTime and a GV account is futile, and your requests will only disappear mid-air.

It is impossible to call from Google Voice to FaceTime and vice versa. Using FaceTime to call a GV number using a regular contact makes callers expose their actual numbers, which they may want to keep anonymous.

However, a few hacks may work. Initially, ensure that you don’t have GV and call the other party who has the app the standard way. While the call is ongoing, have your friend press the FaceTime button to send back the request to you.

Accepting the call from your friend with Google Voice will show their actual number other than the GV contact. This way, the connection will be successful, although not discrete, since your actual phone number will be visible.

The request goes to the GV servers when you call a GV number from FaceTime, and the system discards it. It also happens when you FaceTime using a regular phone number. Therefore, it is advisable to avoid using Google Voice with FaceTime to eliminate these inconveniences.

Wrap Up

You may have to invest in a monthly data plan to use FaceTime. It is an online app, meaning that it needs a network for both parties to communicate. Luckily, it doesn’t consume too much data, and many users can afford it. However, cellular data is not the most preferred due to data caps by ISPs.

Luckily, you can restrict FaceTime data to work only with Wi-Fi, and you can check and limit your data usage. You will be safer using FaceTime while connected to Wi-Fi if your institution gives you unlimited access, meaning that you can make and receive calls for free and not worry about your data charges.

Bal Kang

Bal Kang is a technology expert based in the UK, with experience across a number of technology areas from phones, tablets, computers to gaming.

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