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This video explores the iPad's video-sharing ability and explains how you can make video calls to your friends and family over the internet.
Tablets (iOS): How To Make Video Calls
Video calls on the iPad are a great way to keep in touch with friends and family. So much better than a phone call and they’re free. A picture of your friend appears on your iPad and a picture of you appears on theirs. It’s just like talking face-to-face.
There are a number of video call programs, including Apple’s Facetime and Skype. These are downloaded from the internet as apps.
Since video calls use the internet, your iPad needs to be connected to a WIFI or a 3G network and have a video call app already installed. The person you’re calling needs to be using the same video call app as you for the call to work. We need to mention that video calls only work on the iPad 2 and the new iPad because they have cameras. The original iPad doesn’t have cameras. The iPad 2 and the new iPad actually have two cameras. A big one on the back and a really tiny one on the front – right at the top of the iPad, above the display. This is the camera used for video calling. You can accidentally cover it with your thumb if you hold the iPad lengthways. So, be aware of that.
To make a video call, you can use either the built-in Facetime app or another app such as Skype. While the iPad will ring if someone calls you, you can also coordinate video calls using your phone. Then, everyone can be ready.
You place a call by simply tapping on your contact’s name. Your video call app will ask if you want to make a voice app or if you want to make a call with video. Choose a ‘call with video’. You’ll hear your friend’s iPad ringing and when they answer, there’ll be a short delay while the video link is established.
At the bottom corner of the display, you can see a little inset video of yourself. Now, this is exactly what the other person sees. You can hold your iPad in a horizontal or vertical position and the camera will automatically adjust. Make sure you don’t cover it with your thumb.
Now, chat to your friend. There should be no delay and there are no buttons to press. Just speak normally. Sometimes, a call might get a bit choppy or even drop out. You can either wait for the signal to return or end the call and call straight back. This often fixes the problem.
Video calls are free but the call will use some of your internet data allowance. So, once you get the hang of making calls, tell all your other friends and family to get an account on the same video call app as you, then you can all chat whenever you like and, for free!