How to make group FaceTime calls

Adhering to the limited minutes of call packages, FaceTime is a great way to call people using local Wi-Fi or cellular data network. What makes it greater is the fact that you can add 31 people in a group to make a FaceTime call on any Apple device. If the device is an iPhone or iPod, make sure its running iOS 4.1 or higher. iPad 2 supports FaceTime but only on Wi-Fi and in the case of Mac, OS X 10.9.2 or higher is required. All recipients must meet requirements otherwise FaceTime call will not work as desired. First, you and other participants need to set up FaceTime in the device in order to make group FaceTime calls.

Launch Settings on your compatible Apple device and tap FaceTime. Ensure that the switch in front of FaceTime is turned on and then wait for a few seconds. Once it has activated, it will ask for your confirmation; tap ‘Use your Apple ID for FaceTime’. Enter the required details and tap sign in. FaceTime can use either a mobile number or email address for making a call. The same can be displayed as your Caller ID and to do that go back to Settings > FaceTime and scroll down for Caller ID. Once you’ve set up your FaceTime, you can use three methods to make a group call.

See also: Best FaceTime alternatives for Android

By using FaceTime

It is recommended to create a group first for your FaceTime call rather than adding each participant individually after the call has already started. Open the FaceTime on the device and tap the ‘+’ in the top right corner of the screen. In case of Mac, tapping anywhere in the middle will work. In search, scroll or type the name/number of the first participant and carry on doing it till all participants are added. Lastly, tap any one of Video or Audio to start the call.

Usually while searching, you will come across some grey contacts instead of blue. Those can’t be selected because either their iOS is not compatible with FaceTime or they have not set up FaceTime successfully.

By using iMessage

It is a relatively easy process to set up a FaceTime call on the iMessage app. However, you need to make sure that iMessage is turned on.

You can easily switch to video mode right from the chat of group messages. Participants are able to join or leave group calls whenever they want. Moreover, frequently contacted people can also be added in a group video call directly from the chat.

To start FaceTime with the group, open iMessage and create a new group or tap an existing group chat. On the top of the screen on iPhone and iPad, tap FaceTime to notify all the participants that FaceTime call is about to take place. You will come to learn the number of active participants who just need to tap ‘Join’ after you have placed the call.

By using a Phone app

Although there is no option to start a group call right away, you can still add people in an already placed FaceTime call on the phone app. This can be a tricky method for some as it requires you to make a one-on-one call first and then start adding more people.

To do that, search the first person in your contacts who you wish to add in a FaceTime group call and tap the video call icon beside their name to initiate the call. Once the video call is in progress, tap the three-dot line (…) to access more features. At the bottom of the screen, below the name of your first contact, tap ‘Add Person’. It will allow you to add more people to a regular FaceTime call. However, this method will fail if you already have a FaceTime group with those contacts.