If you’re in a place where it doesn’t make sense to use your cellular connection for calls—for example, when you’re in a different country, or if you have a cellular plan with a limited number of calling minutes—then one option is to use FaceTime for your calls instead. FaceTime lets you make audio or video calls via the Internet, which can result in higher quality and avoid the fees that are sometimes associated with traditional cellular calls.
Most iPhone owners know that you can use FaceTime via Wi-Fi, but FaceTime will work with any Internet connection that is fast enough, and that includes cellular data connections. In this case, your FaceTime calls will be consuming data instead of minutes, so even though there may be a good reason to use FaceTime instead of a cellular network call, you’ll likely want to keep track of how much data those FaceTime calls are consuming.
This would only be a problem if again your data were limited somehow, but with the increasing number of people who have to deal with data caps, you never know when showing your favorite aunt around your new house over a video call might bite you.
Data caps? I’m looking at you, Comcast, and my look is not kind.
Making a FaceTime Call
For those new to FaceTime, before you can check your FaceTime data usage, you may need to know how to make a FaceTime call in the first place. First, it’s important to note that FaceTime calls can only be made to users who have a FaceTime-capable Apple device, such as an iPhone, iPad, or Mac. Once you have a valid contact in mind, one method of making a FaceTime call is to use Siri, Apple’s digital assistant feature. As long as Siri is activated on your device, just say something like “Hey Siri, Call John Smith with FaceTime Audio.”
Alternatively, you can open the Contacts app, find and select a contact who has a FaceTime-capable device, and then select the FaceTime button on their contact card.
As you can see, there’s a blue “FaceTime” button at the top (which automatically makes a video call) or if you go down just a bit, there’s a section that offers you the option of choosing between FaceTime audio and video. To make a FaceTime call with audio only, just tap the phone icon shown within that “FaceTime” section of the card.
Checking FaceTime Data Usage
Once you’ve placed a FaceTime video or audio call, here’s how you can see how much data it used!
- Go to the Phone app on your device, and tap the Recents tab.
- Scroll down on “Recents” until you find the call you made (which will be labeled with FaceTime Audio or FaceTime Video under the name of the person you called), and touch the “i” next to it.
- You’ll then see the details of the call, including how much data it consumed!
The screen shown above was obviously from a FaceTime Audio call. Check out how much a video call uses in comparison:
That could add up pretty fast! And make Comcast unhappy with you. And by “unhappy,” I of course mean “delighted” because you’ll have to pay overage fees to the company. All I can say about that is ugh.
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