Data Usage and FaceTime

Apple’s FaceTime brings video chatting to the iPhone in a way that smartphone users had always wanted.  Since the device is online capable and embedded with cameras it has the ability to have a mobile video chatting ability, which allows the iPhone to take over another tool that was previously only thought to be computer bound.  Since this would be a data intensive process many people wonder if this is going to take a toll on what has become limited cellular data for many users.

The question of data usage and FaceTime is actually less of an issue than it may seem.  FaceTime on the iPhone and iPad is designed only to be used with a Wi-Fi connection and not with cellular data, which is not allowed.  This has likely been done to prevent overuse of cellular data and because the intensive amount of data is best when done through a real Wi-Fi connection.

This does not mean, however, that FaceTime is disconnected from your actual phone number.  When you go into your FaceTime settings in the general settings you will see how your account is set up.  First, you will have to have the switch set to On so that FaceTime is capable of being used.  At the bottom of the screen your phone number will be listed as this will be available to those who receive FaceTime calls from your phone number.  This is done so that FaceTime is integrated into the basic phone call functions, and you have the option to make FaceTime calls directly in your specific contacts.  In the FaceTime settings you also have the ability to add an email address to be a part of your FaceTime contact information.

What this does is gives the impression that FaceTime is a regular cellular calling function on the iPhone, but it works differently.  Instead it will never tax your data usage and will not use up an available data.  The question of data usage and FaceTime is actually a misconception as the two are not related.  This may change in later versions of the iPhone and the iOS, but currently it will remain a Wi-Fi only feature.

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