What is FaceTime?
FaceTime® is an application developed by Apple which allows people with Apple devices to video call.
FaceTime lets people make video calls, on any Apple device, whether it be an iPod, iPad, iPhone or a MacBook. Facetime has many great features, such as High-Definition video, quick setup, and ease of contact organisation. The main benefits of FaceTime are its video quality, which are superior to other video messaging apps. Unlike downloadable apps, FaceTime is integrated into every Apple device, and setup is minimal.
How to setup FaceTime for the elderly
It’s recommended that FaceTime is set-up on an iPad or Mac computer for an elderly person because mobile phones are small and tend to be not as loud as iPad and Mac devices.
Unlike some other video-calling services, such as WhatsApp, you are able to set up an account and use FaceTime without having an active phone service. All that is needed is an Internet connection.
- If your parent struggles finding or recognising the FaceTime icon, try removing all other icons from the screen, and placing FaceTime alone in the top-left corner.
- Tap on the FaceTime app icon on the screen, then tap the Contacts button in the bottom-right corner. A list of contacts will appear.
- Tap a contact in the list. All the contact’s information will be displayed.
- Tap the FaceTime button, which looks like a video camera, and can be found beside the contact’s information.
- When the contact accepts the call, a large window will show the contact’s video, and a smaller will display your own video. Talk for as long as you like! When it’s time to hang up, click the End button.
Making the FaceTime experience easier for a senior using an iPad or MacBook
- Turn off automatic updates to prevent unwanted pop-ups and unfamiliar reminders
- Attach the device to its charger via a long cable so that the device does not go flat
- Purchase a protective case to prevent the screen from cracking when it is dropped
- Make sure that the Wi-Fi signal is strong enough in all corners of the house — see our guide to video quality
- In Settings, go to Restrictions to disable volume buttons so that the volume isn’t accidently changed
The FaceTime interface may be quite difficult for a very old adult to use, so if your parent isn’t technologically savvy, they may struggle using FaceTime
Alternatives to FaceTime
FaceTime only supports iOS devices, such as iPhones, iPads, iPods and Macs. FaceTime does not run on Android phones or tablets, Windows or Linux computers, or video phones. Therefore, you are limited to only calling other Apple product users. If some of your family and friends do not own an Apple gadget, they’ll be left out. Therefore FaceTime may not be the best choice.
Fortunately, there are many other alternatives to FaceTime that do run on non-Apple devices: Apps such as Skype, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger and Viber.
Konnekt has reviewed, evaluated and analysed over 20 video-calling platforms. The best alternative, from our experience, is Skype.
Skype calling for seniors
Skype is an instant messaging and video chat app that allows people to connect with one another from anywhere, via Internet access. Skype offers:
- The ability to call regular landline phones
- Group calls that include some members on Skype and some members using their regular landline phone
- Great reliability, worldwide support and continued refinement, thanks to the investment of its new owner.
The Skype user interface is quite good. However, the Skype app (like most video-calling apps) packs in many features that older adults don’t need and may confuse them. Thankfully, there is a better way.
Konnekt Videophone – World’s Easiest Video Calling for Seniors
Konnekt Videophone comes with unbelievable service: Personalization. Setup and management of the Skype account. Contact invitations. Delivery. Best of all, IT Support: When Gran’s Internet or your device has a problem, we’ve got your back.
Need more buttons? Increase volume? Konnekt does it for you. Remotely.
Konnekt even helps relatives and friends get onto Skype, and tests with them. Imagine: Your whole family happily using Skype on their mobile and home gadgets, and you don’t have to convince them or show them how!
Konnekt makes it really easy for the elderly to use video calling, to talk to their loved ones and friends, on any device. The Konnekt Videophone talks to anyone worldwide via Skype but has the world’s easiest user interface. It won Best Consumer Friendly Product in Aged Care.
The Konnekt Videophone is much easier to use than a mobile, tablet or computer, so your elderly parents will have no trouble using it.
The Videophone is so simple, that it can be used by a 98-year old who has memory loss, bad eyesight and poor hearing.
Our interface gives seniors the ability to use Skype easily, with no computer skills. Skype offers screen-sharing so that you can easily show photos or a browser window.
The Videophone also calls landline telephones, but it is a lot easier to use than a regular telephone.
With Videophone there will never be any unwanted pop-ups or update requests, and by default the user will not receive calls from anyone who is not a selected authorised contact.
- UNPACK – There is no technical setup required, just plug it in to power. That’s all
- LARGE screen, much bigger than fiddly tablets
- LOUD, Louder than a conventional tablet or phone
- HUGE one press-buttons. Ideal if they forget their glasses
- HIDDEN – Skype is hidden and only an incredibly simple user interface is shown
- AUTOMATIC answering from selected trusted contacts
- MANAGED – Account subscriptions and software are remotely managed.
- UNLIMITED calls to phones – no surprises
Not convinced? Read about Videophone vs iPad for Gran
Note that Konnekt does not represent Apple, Skype or Microsoft.