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Apple FaceTime availability bug

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Photo credit: mathieuthouvenin (Flickr)

Like many new iPhone 4 users I’ve been keen to make use of the FaceTime feature.  I was impressed when I trialled it with Sam, however I’ve stumbled across a rather annoying bug.  Before we get to that, lets remind ourselves of how FaceTime works.

Whilst on a regular phone call with a fellow iPhone 4 user you can opt to change your call to a FaceTime call by pressing the FaceTime button on your handset.  When the other person accepts your call is transferred to a data connection and the cellular network link dropped – seamless, and impressive.

If you now look in your call history amongst the regular calls you’ve made to mobile and landlines you can see FaceTime calls listed.  Fantastic, I thought, I can now call Sam directly with a FaceTime call rather than having to undertake the above described process each time.  This works, but ONLY if he’s on a Wifi link at the time I call him.  This is expected behaviour since FaceTime is currently a WiFi only service; the bug I’ve discovered is that when Sam isn’t on WiFi, if I attempt to call him via FaceTime, my handset thinks his handset is available and gives me a ringing tone.  I’ve checked with Sam and he isn’t even notified that I’m attempting to call him, nor does his answering service ever kick in.

This is disappointing behaviour.  I would have expected the iPhone to attempt to contact the device I’m trying to reach before responding back with a ringing tone; if the recipient of my call wasn’t capable of taking a FaceTime call I’d have presumed something telling me the connection wasn’t possible would be presented rather than a misleading ring tone that makes you believe your recipient just isn’t picking up!

What are your experiences of FaceTime?  Any other bugs or issues to report?

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