How to make FaceTime calls from your Apple Watch

In this tutorial, we will show you how to make FaceTime calls from your Apple Watch. We will also tell you what the various options on the FaceTime call screen mean, and how to route the ongoing call to AirPods, Bluetooth earbuds, or your iPhone.

How to make FaceTime calls on Apple Watch

How to FaceTime from your Apple Watch

FaceTime calls are of two types – video FaceTime calls and audio FaceTime calls. The tiny watch does not have an inbuilt camera. Thus there is no way to make FaceTime video calls, WhatsApp video calls, Skype video calls, Zoom video calls, or any other video call from your Apple Watch. (If you’re wondering, the camera app on your Apple Watch acts only as a viewfinder and remote for your iPhone camera.)

But you can effortlessly make FaceTime audio calls from your Apple Watch using one of the various methods mentioned below. Please note that you can also use the same methods to make regular calls.

Before you begin: FaceTime calls work via the internet. Therefore make sure your Apple Watch is near the iPhone and connected to it. If the iPhone is not near and the watch is disconnected, it should be connected to a known Wi-Fi network or LTE (on cellular Apple Watch models). Here’s everything you need to know about internet connectivity on Apple Watch.

1. Make a FaceTime call by asking Siri

1) Call Siri on your Apple Watch by:

  • Pressing the Digital Crown, or
  • Saying “Hey Siri,” or
  • Lifting the watch to your face, or
  • A double-tap or press the stem on connected AirPods.

2) Ask it “Make a FaceTime audio call to Maa” or “Call Sebastien FaceTime audio.”

Three images showing how to make FaceTime call on Apple Watch using Siri

2. FaceTime using the Contacts app

1) Open the Contacts app on your Apple Watch.

2) Tap a person’s name.

3) Tap the phone icon.

4) Finally, tap FaceTime Audio.

Make FaceTime call on Apple Watch using its Contacts app

3. Using the Phone app

Your Apple Watch has a Phone app that shows your favorite contacts, recent calls, and all contacts. It also lets you use the keypad to manually enter a phone number or call voicemail.

Here’s how to make FaceTime calls from Apple Watch using the Phone app:

1) Press the Digital Crown and open the Phone app.

2) Tap Favorites, Recents, or Contacts.

Phone app on Apple Watch to make FaceTime audio calls
  • In Favorites, make sure to tap the contact that shows FaceTime below it. It will start the FaceTime audio call. (left image)
  • In Recents, make sure to tap the entry that shows FaceTime Audio. It will start the FaceTime audio call. (center image)
  • If you tap Contacts, scroll down to tap the person’s name > phone icon > FaceTime Audio. (right image)
FaceTime audio options on Apple Watch

4. Using the Messages app

Like the iPhone Messages app, you can also make FaceTime calls from the Apple Watch Messages app. Here’s how:

1) Inside the Apple Watch Messages app, tap a person’s chat.

2) Scroll past the quick replies, and from the bottom, tap Details.

3) Tap the phone icon > FaceTime Audio to make a FaceTime call from your Apple Watch.

Start FaceTime call on Apple Watch via Messages app

This is how you can make FaceTime audio calls from your Apple Watch. Now, let us show you what you can do during FaceTime calls.

Options available during FaceTime calls on Apple Watch

When you’re on a FaceTime call from your Apple Watch, the call screen displays the following pieces of information or buttons.

Current time

The top right shows the current time. This helps you keep track of time, making it easy to decide when to hang up.

Orange microphone icon

The orange mic icon in the top right of the Apple Watch screen signifies that an app (Phone in this case) is currently using the device microphone.

Time and Mic icon on Apple Watch FaceTime screen

Speaker icon

Next to the Digital Crown, the tiny speaker shows the volume level. You can rotate the Digital Crown to increase or decrease the call sound.

Increase volume of FaceTime call on Apple Watch

After you tap the green pill shape (or bar) from the top of your iPhone, it hands off (transfers) the call from your Apple Watch to the iPhone without disconnecting the call. You can now continue the call from the iPhone earpiece or speaker. In this case, the tiny speaker icon next to the Digital Crown will disappear or have a line through it.

Hand off call from Apple Watch to iPhone

Mute button

The white-gray mic icon in the lower-left allows you to mute and unmute the call.

Mute and unmute FaceTime call on Apple Watch

More icon

The more icon (three dots) from the lower right lets you choose the audio output. You can select AirPods, other connected Bluetooth earbuds, or the Apple Watch’s inbuilt speaker. If you make a regular call from your Apple Watch, it also shows the Keypad option.

FaceTime call via AirPods on Apple Watch

AirPlay icon

After you transfer the call from your Apple Watch to your iPhone, the three dots icon is replaced by the AirPlay icon. You can tap it and then tap Okay to transfer the call back from your iPhone to your Apple Watch without disconnecting it.

When you are on a call on your iPhone, you will see a tiny green phone icon at the top of the watch face. Tap it and then tap the AirPlay icon to transfer the call from your iPhone to the Apple Watch.

AirPlay icon on FaceTime screen on Apple Watch

Red button

Finally, you have the big red button to hang up the call.

On iPhone, a quick double press of the side button ends the incoming or ongoing call. But on Apple Watch, double-pressing (or triple-pressing) the side button or Digital Crown does not end the call.

Secondly, on iPhone, you can minimize the call screen and use other apps while the call continues in the background. On Apple Watch, you cannot do so. You can exit the call screen only after disconnecting the call or handing it off to the iPhone. If you press the side button or the Digital Crown during a call, it will ask you to end the call to go to the watch face or use other apps.

End call to continue on Apple Watch call screen

Enjoy FaceTime on Apple Watch

By now you know everything there is to know about making FaceTime calls on your Apple Watch.

As said in the beginning, these steps are almost the same for cellular calls (non-FaceTime audio calls). Just make sure your iPhone is near the watch, or you have enabled Wi-Fi Calling for your carrier on iPhone, or you have a cellular Apple Watch model.

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