FaceTime is a video calling application that is designed by Apple and exclusive to its devices. While you cannot place a video call to an Android smartphone using FaceTime, other third-party applications are supported by both interfaces. These applications allow you to complete video calls between the iPhone and Android smartphones, offering similar features to the FaceTime application.
FaceTime is an Apple product, designed for use with the iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch and Mac. The FaceTime application is not compatible with non-Apple devices, including those using Google's Android operating system. FaceTime gets its name by giving Apple users the means to engage in video calls using the front-facing camera on the iPhone 4 and other devices, allowing both parties the ability to view each other's face while talking.
FaceTime is integrated into the iPhone 4 and requires no additional downloads. You can tap the FaceTime button during a normal phone call to invite the other person to a video chat, or call another Apple user from the FaceTime application itself. You can switch between the front and rear cameras to show your face or give someone a glimpse of your surroundings. The application requires Wi-Fi to function, and as of July 2011, does not work over 3G networks.
Third-party video calling applications are available in the Apple App Store and the Android Market. Applications like Skype, Tango and Fring allow you to make video calls from an iPhone to an Android smartphone and vice versa. In addition to Wi-Fi, these applications also support video calling over cellular networks. Fring also supports a group-calling feature, allowing four people to be on the same video call at once.
FaceTime video calls are free for Apple users. Skype, Tango and Fring offer free video calling between Android and Apple devices. Rates may apply when calling regular or landline phones. Check with the developer of the specific application regarding unique features and possible charges. Using free video calling applications does not use minutes from your monthly cellular plan, but they do use data. Know the limitations of your data plan to avoid any additional costs.