Fix for FaceTime Mac / iPhone 4 call failure problem discovered | iLounge News


Fix for FaceTime Mac / iPhone 4 call failure problem discovered

Following Apple’s release of the beta version of FaceTime video calling software for the Mac, a number of iLounge readers reported problems using their Macs to call certain iPhone 4 users, even when those iPhones were on Wi-Fi networks and capable of making outgoing FaceTime calls. After testing with iPhone 4, iPod touch, and Mac hardware, it turns out that a simple but pesky bug is to blame for the problem: the Mac FaceTime application’s handling of telephone numbers with periods, as in 212.555.1212 versus the more traditional use of dashes in 212-555-1212.


Unlike the iPod touch 4G and iPhone 4, which automatically translate your Contacts’ phone numbers in the 212.555.1212 format into 2125551212 for calling purposes, the beta Mac FaceTime software appears to improperly treat the periods as additional characters when trying to initiate calls, resulting in an instant statement by the FaceTime software that the person you’re trying to reach is not available. Yet the same person will remain reachable at the same number using a different FaceTime device such as an iPhone 4 or an iPod touch 4G, and will also be capable of calling you.

Until Apple updates the Mac FaceTime software to properly handle telephone numbers entered with periods as separators, use the Mac’s Address Book application to swap the periods in phone numbers for more conventional dashes, which FaceTime for the Mac handles without complaint. Calls that previously seemed impossible due to instant rejection will suddenly go through without complaint.

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Periods? Who puts periods in phone numbers?

Posted by rebo in East Amherst, NY, USA on December 29, 2010 at 8:12 PM (CST)


Agreed. Maybe in writing, never in a gadget.

Posted by Miller in East Amherst, NY, USA on December 30, 2010 at 9:55 AM (CST)


I agree.  I guess the competition will use this “dot” issue as marketing strategy against the iPhone4, lol.

Posted by dennis in East Amherst, NY, USA on December 30, 2010 at 10:47 AM (CST)


Periods are one of the default format settings that users can choose in the OS X Address Book Preferences, and commonly used by “modern-leaning” businesses. Since FaceTime for Mac relies upon the OS X Address Book, it’s entirely possible that a number of users will run into this problem.

Note that the slash format setting (ie, 212/555-1212) causes FaceTime on the Mac to fail as well. 

Obscure or not, both of these are valid default settings for phone number formats in the OS X Address Book—not custom settings—and it’s therefore incumbent upon Apple to ensure that FaceTime for Mac works with them. That said, FaceTime for Mac is still a beta product.

On iOS devices, numbers are formatted automatically in a manner appropriate to the device’s regional settings, and FaceTime calls go through properly. Mac FaceTime will eventually work the same way.

Posted by Jesse Hollington in East Amherst, NY, USA on December 30, 2010 at 10:58 AM (CST)


In addition to what Jesse said, somebody wrote the parser function for the FaceTime for Mac. It’s pretty basic programming 101 to make sure your parser can handle all manner of input styles so it doesn’t fail because there’s an extra space, or a period, or a slash, etc.. Not only that, but functioning code to handle the periods already existed as part of the iOS code base, which ought to be, if not 100% interchangeable in this case, certainly easy enough to modify in a matter of minutes to work with the Mac version of the app. Beta, yes, but still very sloppy work.

Posted by Code Monkey in East Amherst, NY, USA on December 30, 2010 at 11:26 AM (CST)


“.” dot is used by many countries other than the U.S. We are in a global market now not just U.S.

Posted by Chang in East Amherst, NY, USA on December 30, 2010 at 1:19 PM (CST)


It’s almost impossible to hear someone using facetime.  I have the volume as high as it will go in Settings.  How can I increase the volume?  There’s not much point in having Facetime if you and the other person can’t hear each other.

Posted by julia in East Amherst, NY, USA on December 31, 2010 at 1:29 PM (CST)


I dont think, thats the problem. Or not the only one.
I have the same issue, but I dont have dots and dashes.

After I did a call to the “Macs Facetime”, then I can establish
a reverse call.

@Julia. Facetime works very well in sound and video..
You or your partner needs to control the right Mic gain (on the Mac)
Its probably to little.

Posted by FT in East Amherst, NY, USA on January 1, 2011 at 9:16 AM (CST)

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