For some users, the idea of making a video call using FaceTime or Skype is not a particularly welcome one. Most everyone loves video, but not everyone likes to see themselves on video. Newer iPhones have high quality FaceTime cameras, but the angle never seems to be incredibly flattering. Since it’s free (with a data connection), to date it has been a serviceable alternative to using your minutes. But what about those of use who aren’t fans of video chat? Good news awaits you in iOS 7. We’ll show you how to make FaceTime audio calls in iOS 7 and set it to be your default option in favorites.

Why FaceTime Audio Rocks

Regardless of your wireless carrier, chances are that you are on a plan that offers a prescribed number of minutes, with the usual free minutes for calling friends and family on the same carrier, along with free nights and weekends. As an iPhone owner, you also have a data plan. In my case, I have a shared plan with my wife. Between the both of use, we have only 450 minutes. Since most of our friends and family are with AT&T, most months we are able to stay below our minutes. As part of the original iPhone plan, we also have the not-so-unlimited, unlimited data plan. Based on tracking our data usage, I know that minutes are more useful to us than data. Even at a 2GB cap, we have room to spare and when home, we’re on Wi-Fi. When you make a call using Skype or FaceTime, it does not count towards your monthly allotment of minutes. This allows you to keep your monthly costs at a minimum.

How To Make Free Calls With FaceTime Audio

There are two ways to make a FaceTime audio call. First off, the person your calling must an iOS device that supports FaceTime.

FaceTime audio call iOS 7

  1. On your iPhone, open the ‘Phone’ app and select the ‘Contacts’ tab.
  2. Navigate to the person you’d like to call
  3. On their contact card, there should be both a video camera and telephone next to FaceTime.
  4. Tap on the telephone icon to initiate a call.

If you have a person that you call regularly, scroll to the bottom of their contact card and tap on Add to Favorites. From there, you can select FaceTime Audio as the preferred contact method.

FaceTime audio favorites

If you want to keep your FaceTime audio/video calls separate from the phone app, you can do just that with the FaceTime app. It has the very same contacts tab and you add favorites in the same way. The only difference is that it’s specifically intended for FaceTime audio/video calls. Apple sets the background to black, another way to confirm you are outside of the phone app.

FaceTime audio app

Using FaceTime audio calls can help you keep in touch with friends and family, without impacting your monthly allotment of talk time minutes. As crazy as this might sound, but not everyone has an iPhone. Since iOS devices on both ends are a requirement, I’d recommend Skype as viable and free alternative.

What’s your monthly plan? Do you find yourself going over your minutes often?