Last week we took a look at using and troubleshooting Facetime, a new feature included with the iPhone 4 that utilizes the front facing camera. This combination of hardware and software can be used for better or worse, but ultimately it can be a whole lot of fun.
This week's tips will focus on using FaceTime on a plane, in a car, on a bar, and from very far...away. Plus, we've got some bonus FaceTime tips included.
A Quick Tip About Backgrounds
Before you start your call, make sure to avoid bright backgrounds, as these tend to make your face dark and unrecognizable to the person you are video calling on the other line.
FaceTime On a Plane
Here's something that is easily overlooked by many iPhone 4 users: Airplane mode. You can toggle Airplane mode on or off from the Settings app and tapping the Airplane Mode switch. It is actually pretty handy if you are flying, for example, from Houston Intercontinental to a foreign destination. Airplane mode enables you to use Wi-Fi while on the plane and actually launch up FaceTime. You can call Mom back at home and show her how good your airline food looks (look Ma! It's real cheese!).
Now as long as you have access to Wi-Fi you can video chat the whole way, which beats snakes on a plane any day. Or watching the movie all over again.
Accessing Apps While on a FaceTime Call
If you are enjoying a video conference call with someone and suddenly realize you need to access one of your apps, you can. FaceTime supports the ability to switch to an app and then back to your video conference call. The only annoyance you will encounter is the loss of your video feed while perusing through your apps.
To do this, simply press the Home button and launch the app you need. Your audio connection will remain active and the video will return once you exit the app and return to your call. Isn't multitasking amazing?
You'll be able to search for places to eat, share a picture via e-mail, access Maps, and more, all without hanging up on your video call.
See Me, or See What I See
During a FaceTime call, you can flip from the front camera to the rear camera on your iPhone 4 by pressing the camera icon. This has to be the best feature for FaceTime, because you can share memories, like a birthday party, with loved ones that are far away.
There are a few other minor things to remember about FaceTime video conference calling: if the call is dropped, the iPhone will prompt you to reconnect by attempting a voice call redial, which won't work in Airplane mode. Also, if you've had a recent FaceTime call with someone whose number wasn't in your Contacts, you can call them back by accessing your Recents list in the Phone app, and then tapping the listed FaceTime call.
Additionally, remember that FaceTime calls can be made in portrait or landscape mode when the rotation lock is off. You can also move around your tiny video window anywhere on the screen while you're in a video chat.