Recently my cousin and her husband spent a couple of days with us on their way to Miami to join a dive trip. She’s my age and, like us, their children and grandchildren are spread far and wide. I was surprised and delighted to discover how she keeps in touch with all the grand-kids – via Face Time. It was also quite interesting to discover that all her grandchildren had iPod Touches – with subsidized help from Grannie – just so they can stay in touch. Calls or text messages (don’t forget iTouches do Messages too) were used to make sure the intended callee would be available, then a Face Time connection would be made. It’s a great way for my cousin to be a live part of her children’s and grandchildren’s lives on a daily basis even when thousands of miles separate them.
Our 3rd grandchild celebrated his birthday yesterday and, knowing that both mom and dad have iPhones, I decided to try a Face Time Happy Birthday call. It was a great success! Mom and dad had never tried using the Face Time app and, like me, were pleasantly surprised at how easy it is. And, I just noticed a photo on Facebook where the birthday boy was showing off his new iPod Touch. Hmmm . . . looks like we’ll be enjoying a lot more of our own Family Face Time.
The Face Time app is available for Mac desktops and laptops[$0.99 and requires OSX 10.6.6 or higher]. It’s a built-in app on iPhones, iPads (2nd & 3rd generation) and iPod Touches (4th generation). It only works on a wifi connection. If you’re wondering how Face Time handles multiple devices using the same Apple ID (The email address associated with your Apple account is what you use to connect via Face Time), it’s quite simple. Face Time “rings” on every device associated with the account until someone picks up the call. If you don’t want it to ring on a particular system, just turn it off in your Preferences panel. This also insures that mom and dad will be aware of all Face Time activity.
Distance doesn’t need to limit the time you spend with your family. Face Time is just another of a growing number of affordable video calling options available today. Find one that works for you and start calling!