How the new iPod touch does FaceTime

How the new iPod touch does FaceTime 1

As you’re probably aware by now, Apple unveiled a new iPod touch earlier today which, among other things, brings a second device into the FaceTime family. When FaceTime was introduced on the iPhone 4 earlier this year, Apple chose to integrate it with the built-in Phone app, a logical choice considering how the company wants to present it as just another type of phone call. Apple also used users’ actual cellular phone numbers from the iPhone 4 to register devices with its FaceTime servers and allow users to place calls to each other.

How the new iPod touch does FaceTime 2

The problem, of course, is that the iPod touch has no Phone app nor an actual phone number to register with the FaceTime network. Contrary to a suspicious rumor that claimed Apple would add a VoIP Phone application to the iPod touch, Apple instead added a new standalone FaceTime app to the iPod touch specifically for handling FaceTime calls. It now simply uses the user’s e-mail address to identify them on the FaceTime network, a change that has already been discovered in the iOS 4.1 betas. iPhone users who want to call iPod touch users can simply select their e-mail address to initiate a FaceTime call, although you’ll need to upgrade to iOS 4.1 on your iPhone in order to do so.

iPod touch users will also apparently need an Apple ID to actually register their e-mail addresses with the FaceTime network, but it’s not clear whether this will happen transparently as it does on the iPhone or whether the user will need to complete some type of sign-in process.

Updated: For more detailed information on setting up and troubleshooting FaceTime, please check out our new Complete Guide to FaceTime.

  1. okay, so im convinced about this whole new ipod/facetime idea ! but my question is.. if the ipod will already have a microphone within the device, will he headphones still have the microphone that the previous itouch had ? please & thank you 🙂

  2. So… I have the newest update for my iPhone (iOS4.1) and I am trying to face time with someone who has the new iPod touch. We are both on wi-fi networks (sitting across from each other in my house) and face time is not working. When I call my from my iPhone, it rings and rings, then stops and says “connecting”. After a few moments, it says “Face Time Failed”. Same goes for her Touch to my iPhone.

    Any ideas?

  3. When using the Facetime feature with the Ipod Touch 4, will the video be searchable or discoverable by other internet users on the same wifi network? As in, when I am talking to my friend, will someone else be able to listen or watch as well? Also, will the Facetime chats be saved in some history or anything like that? Thanks!

  4. hi does this mean both ipod touches have to be in a wi fi zone?if im on the subway in new york or washington dc can i face time with someone who is also in a wifi hotspot as long as i have their email address.can i walk and talk with the ipod anywhere as long as there is wifi reception?

  5. i have an ipod touch and the face time works with my friends but when i try to face time with my best friend she doesnt get my calls but when she calls me i do get her call but once i touch answer it says connecting and it stays like that for a while and then the called i was wondering what i can do about it?i was thinking its the wi-fi but i dont know what could be going wrong.

  6. How do we add contacts in facetime??? Please tell me in detailed please. Meaning is it like Blackberry where you have PINS and stuffs???

  7. @Syd S. (#52) & rod (#55): The most likely cause of FaceTime problems is any firewalls that may be blocking FaceTime communication with the Internet. Make sure your router supports universal plug-and-play (UPNP) and that it’s enabled, and that your ISP isn’t blocking ports on your behalf. See this thread in our forums for more information.

    @Ashley (#53): Yes, both devices must be using Wi-Fi. Even on the iPhone 4, FaceTime currently requires a Wi-Fi connection. However, as long as you’re connected to a Wi-Fi access point and aren’t behind any firewalls that block FaceTime, you can place and receive FaceTime calls.

    @Jon (#54): There is no history of FaceTime chats themselves, other than a simple record that a call was placed (like the call history on a cell phone). FaceTime chats can theoretically be intercepted by anybody on the same Wi-Fi network as you as it’s not encrypted or anything like that, but this is not something that a casual user would likely be able to do. That said, anything you’re doing at a public Wi-Fi hotspot is inherently insecure unless you’re using some other form of encryption, and FaceTime is likely the least of your concerns in this case, as a lot of other information is far easier to intercept than a video chat stream. Placing FaceTime calls on your properly-secured home Wi-Fi network would be far less vulnerable to eavesdropping.

    @Pea (#56): FaceTime communication happens via e-mail address for an iPod touch or registered cellular phone number for an iPhone. There are no PINs or other numbers to be worried about. You basically just add your contacts to your iPhone or iPod touch “Contacts” app with their normal phone numbers and/or e-mail addresses and you can then place FaceTime calls to them by tapping the “FaceTime” button on the contact record.

  8. You don’t need a credit card just to setup an Apple ID — you’re thinking of an iTunes Store account. An Apple ID is merely a login and password on Apple’s servers, and can be used for an iTunes Store account, product registration, and a bunch of other things such as Game Center and FaceTime. To put it another way, every iTunes Store account uses an Apple ID, but not every Apple ID is associated with an iTunes Store account.

    When setting up FaceTime on your iPod touch you can create a new Apple ID as part of that process, or you can create one using a web browser by going to The only information you need to provide setup a basic Apple ID is your e-mail address, name and date of birth.

  9. i just got my ipod touch 4 and i do not have an apple id because you need a credit card and i dont have one, so will face time work anyways, even tho i dont have an ID??

  10. I have an iPod Touch 4G, Apple id and a Facetime account. I also have an iPhone 3GS and another Apple id. Is there anyway I can use the Facetime on my iPod Touch to communicate with my iPhone 3GS?

  11. My facetime on my new Ipod touch 4 isn’t working it says ” Could not sign in. Please check your network connection and try again.” and everything is connected :s it’s doing this with my email on here also ? can anyone help

  12. @nordus (#60): No. FaceTime is simply not available on the iPhone 3GS.

    @vanessa (#61): Ensure that you’re entering the correct Apple ID and password. Also note that FaceTime requires an Apple ID that is formatted as an e-mail address and not just a user ID (ie, as opposed to just “user”). You may need to change your Apple ID or sign up for a new one if you’re using one of the older username-only style Apple IDs. You can check your Apple ID and change it if necessary by going to

    @Dan (#62): No, the iPhone uses the phone number only for FaceTime — there is no way to setup an e-mail address like you can with the iPod touch.

  13. I’m having the same problems as other people…saying ” Could not sign in. Please check your network connection and try again.” I am using an email address, and not just the username id. Ive tried several times, and its just not working.

  14. HI:
    I own an Itouch 2nd Generation and i am planning to buy the itouch 4th G this week:
    1) Is it’s new application fat better than the 2nd G?
    2) I am planning to give my old devise to my nephew, how can i register the old devise under his name?

  15. Initially had a problem with FaceTime AND YouTube on my jailbroken iPod Touch 4G. Couldn’t log in on both. Managed to fix it by installing iPhoneModding then Push Fix via Cydia. Problem solved!

  16. i live in a country where upgrading iphone 4 to 4.1 will mean loosing facetime ( users experiece) is there away to keep my 4.0.2 (facetime running fine) and still be able to facetime with an ipod touch ?

  17. One great use of the Facetime capability in the more affordable iPod Touch is the ability to keep in visual contact with elderly parent. I bought a Touch for my aged mother-in-law. Going to set it up and test it out first. I have a (mobileme) Apple ID. I was thinking of using this ID, then using my wife’s Yahoo mail address to test things out, then when my mother-in-law gets her email address from her soon to be Internet Provider, just replacing my wife’s Yahoo address with that. Any down side to me using my apple ID rather than setting up another for my mother-in-law?

  18. There are plenty of cool apps for the iPod Touch, esp for the 4th generation, I installed WHISTLE phone,
    it is a cool app that can convert your iPod Touch into a working phone, I am in the Philippines and my wife is in the US, and calls are very clear, and yes, it all goes through the WiFi connection, and all calls are FREE,… So aside from the COOL Facetime feature, there are still plenty of great apps out there,…

  19. Hello all,
    I purchased my iPod touch 4 in Abu Dhabi, and it does not have the FaceTime app. Is there some way I can get it? Or is this some exclusionary setup Apple has done? Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.

  20. well. im planing to buy to ipod 4g for my husband n i, because wen im visiting my mom so i will be able to use facetime.that sucks that you have to look for wi-fi servise i dont have any on my moms house,apple should start like saleing prepaid cards for internet access dont u think.? so the “free text messaging” u need wi-fi conection too :(?

  21. i am trying to decide between getting the new ipod touch or the new ipod nano, and FaceTime is definitely swaying me towards the ipod touch, just because i love travelling.

    my question is: if you have the new ipod touch and use faceTime, does the person you are trying to contact ALSO need an ipod touch or iphone?? ….or can you use Facetime from a computer or something like that?

  22. @Rich (#73): The iPhone 3G and iPhone 3GS can use iOS 4.1 but you will not get the FaceTime features as these models do not have a front-facing camera. FaceTime is only available on the iPhone 4 (and fourth-generation iPod touch), as these are the only devices with front-facing cameras.

    @Meekail (#74): Apple has disabled FaceTime in the firmware in certain specific countries. You might be able to get it back by jailbreaking, but I don’t have any specific experience with this. I’d suggest looking toward the jailbreak community to see what they’ve figured out, as if anybody is likely to have a solution, it’s them.

    @Lokesh (#76): The current version of Skype for iOS devices doesn’t support video at all — it’s audio only at this point. So you would be able to use Skype to conduct an audio call with your friends on their computer, but that’s about it.

    Leon (#77): You don’t need a credit card to register an Apple ID for FaceTime, just an e-mail address. Don’t confuse an Apple ID with an iTunes Store account, as they’re not the same thing — an Apple ID is simply a user account on Apple’s servers that can be used for any number of things, including the iTunes Store and/or FaceTime. You should be able to setup an Apple ID directly in the FaceTime setup, and from there all you need to do is confirm your e-mail address.

    @Christina (#78): The person you are communicating with needs to have a device that is specifically compatible with FaceTime. Right now this includes the iPhone 4, the fourth-generation iPod touch, or a Mac computer running the FaceTime application that can be freely downloaded from Apple. The presence of a FaceTime app for the Mac suggests that a Windows version might come along eventually, but for now it’s Mac-only.

  23. Hi can an ipod touch talk to another ipod touch using facetime and both ipods are the recently released ipod 4th generation

  24. Sorry if i’ve missed this but how do i use facetime between the Iphone 4 and a MAC desktop? I’ve downloaded facetime on my MAC at home but cant get it and my Iphone to work together.

  25. I have a an ipod touch 4g and i cant figure out how to use facetime and talk to my friend that has and ipod touch 4g. i have her free texting number in my contacts but when i click face tame it doesnt work what do i do?

  26. Placing FaceTime calls to an iPod touch or a Mac requires that you put that person’s e-mail address in your contact list and use it to “call” the person. A phone number won’t work as the iPod touch doesn’t actually have a phone number that FaceTime is aware of.

    Placing FaceTime calls to an iPhone, on the other hand, uses the phone number of the iPhone and not the e-mail address. In theory, the iPhone would be capable of also using an e-mail address to receive calls, however Apple has not provided that feature for iPhone users.

  27. So, how much are we looking at if we have to pay for the internet useage on an ipod touch 4? lets say..
    for 5 minutes
    for 30 minuts
    for an hour
    and for 2 hours?

    Very very intrigued.

  28. Hi,
    Facetime is great!! But my friend and me can not sign in to activate Facetime. We do follow step by step to set up new Apple ID account and access wifi but it show ” network disconect pls try again””
    Please explain why?

  29. I wondered if there was any insight on to why my Facetime keeps freezing when attempting to make a call using my iPod Touch. I have full signal strength with my wi-fi connection…I was so excited to use it, but now I’m just frustrated at this point! Thank you if you have any thoughts!

  30. My friend has a iPhone 4G and I have the iPod touch. If we are using Face Time, will I have to pay for anything? Or as long as we have wifi then we are good to use? Thans

  31. Hi, I’m getting an ipod touch 4th generation for christmas and my friends getting one also. I know theres a game center but can I verse my friend usng the game center??? What games do they have???

  32. A few answers to the various questions above.

    – FaceTime works over Wi-Fi and there are no additional charges except for whatever Wi-Fi data you’re using (ie, if you’re at a public hotspot where you need to pay for Wi-Fi).

    – You must have a Wi-Fi connection in order to use FaceTime. This is true on the iPhone as well.

    – Your iTunes Store account is an Apple ID. You can either use that account or sign up for a new Apple ID.

    – The iPod touch does not come with an Apple ID. You set one up yourself, or use one that you already have such as your iTunes Store account.

    – A bit off-topic, but Game Center is an application that other games tie into. It doesn’t include any games — you have to purchase or download Game Center compatible games from the App Store. These games “hook in” to Game Center for posting high scores and playing multiplayer games with your friends.

    – FaceTime can only be used to call other FaceTime devices. At this point, that’s the iPhone 4, fourth-generation iPod touch, or a Mac computer using the beta FaceTime application. It is not compatible with other video chat services such as iChat — if you’re a Mac user you have to download the FaceTime app separately.

    – FaceTime should be installed by default on all fourth-generation iPod touch devices, although it may not be available in certain countries in the Middle East where it has been banned. There is no separate package to install, but it is also possible to disable it under the Parental Restrictions in the “Settings” app, in which case the icon will disappear.

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