A friend of mine recently got an iPhone 4S and had a fairly simple question. They have relatives over in the UK, and wanted to know if they could FaceTime for free or if it would cost an arm and a leg like a normal international call.

The answer, unfortunately, isn’t so straightforward. You see, the answer is both yes and no. Basically, if you do it right it’s free, but if you do it wrong (how I’ve seen many people do it) then it’ll cost you!

Lets say we want to FaceTime with Jenny…

FaceTime with Jenny!

You could tap their name to start a call and hit the FaceTime button… but you’d be wrong! This way it will work, but you will also be billed for a normal call.

However, if you hit the dedicated FaceTime button on the contact page it will initiate a strictly Wifi based FaceTime session. Best of all, this method doesn’t count toward your minutes! The only potential caveat would be that your other party will also need to be on a Wifi connection for this to work. While this is especially helpful for those with overseas relatives, it also works the same for domestic sessions.

Next time you want to use FaceTime just remember to start the call via the dedicated button! (Or… you could just use another app like Skype, Fring, or many others.)