If you're in the U.S. or Canada, Facebook Messenger for iPhone now lets you place Skype-like VoIP (voice over IP) audio calls over Wi-Fi to any of your friends who also happen to be in the U.S. or Canada. There's no FaceTime-style video calls yet, and no international calls, and the quality doesn't yet sound as good as Skype, but if you live in Facebook Messenger, it can be a convenient alternative.
The only problem is, Facebook hasn't exactly made the calling process obvious. And in some cases, it's downright cumbersome. Here's how you do it...
- Download Facebook Messenger from the App Store
- Launch Facebook Messenger from your iPhone Home screen.
- If you already have a recent text message conversation going on with the person you want to call, tap it.
- If you don't already have a recent text message conversation going on, tap the compose button at the bottom right. Then:
- Enter the name of the friend you want call.
- Tap on the friend they show up in the search results.
- Type a message to the friend.
- Tap Send to send the message.
- Tap on the Info button at the top right.
- Tap the Free Call button mid-screen left.
That's it! Provided you're both in the U.S. or Canada, and both on Wi-Fi, Facebook will connect your call.
Note: You have to have Facebook Messenger running, or have Push Notifications enable to alert you to incoming calls, or you won't know if or when a friend calls you.
If you get it working, or figure out any way to connect a call without jumping through the text messages hoop, let me know!
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Rene Ritchie is one of the most respected Apple analysts in the business, reaching a combined audience of over 40 million readers a month. His YouTube channel, Vector, has over 90 thousand subscribers and 14 million views and his podcasts, including Debug, have been downloaded over 20 million times. He also regularly co-hosts MacBreak Weekly for the TWiT network and co-hosted CES Live! and Talk Mobile. Based in Montreal, Rene is a former director of product marketing, web developer, and graphic designer. He's authored several books and appeared on numerous television and radio segments to discuss Apple and the technology industry. When not working, he likes to cook, grapple, and spend time with his friends and family.
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