iPhone 4: FaceTime won't eat up your call minutes

As expected, calls made using the new video calling function available on the iPhone 4, FaceTime, will not count as minutes from within your network contracts.

We thought that this would be the case, as the service only works via Wi-Fi so uses the Internet to connect rather than a mobile phone network, but there was confusion as FaceTime isn't a separate app, it is activated from within the normal phone calling application - there's an extra icon available now that looks a bit like a camcorder.

You can also switch from a normal voice call to a FaceTime call with a click of this icon, in the same way you can activate loud speaker and access the dial pad now. An Apple bod told Business Insider though:

"The voice call ends as soon as the FaceTime call connects. The FaceTime call is over Wi-Fi so does not use carrier minutes".

FaceTime only works over Wi-Fi and only works between two iPhone 4s. We've heard that there are plans for a future version to work over 3G, although how this will work in terms of your network contracts remain to be seen. Presumably, it would work using 3G data, but with the big networks all capping their data allowances, we're not sure how feasible this is.

Do you think that Apple will kick start the video calling revolution, or will FaceTime prove to be popular with just a niche audience who are waiting for an iPhone Skype update? Let us know what you think using the comments below.

In the meantime, check out the FaceTime commercial. It's a bit corny, but it does feature the superb Louis Armstrong: