Automatically Accept FaceTime Calls in Mac OS X
FaceTime is the video chat protocol available to Mac users in OS X as well as iOS for iPhone and iPad, and it works great to beam images from one camera to another device over the internet. One lesser known feature that is hidden from the general usage of the Mac FaceTime app however is the ability to set FaceTime to automatically accept FaceTime calls from a specific contact, which is what we’re going to cover here.
To be clear, this won’t accept all incoming FaceTime calls automatically, instead you set FaceTime to automatically accept incoming FaceTime calls from an approved phone number or email address of a set contact. In order for this to work, you’ll need to have FaceTime working for Mac, which comes preinstalled on all modern Macs but can be obtained on older versions of OS X if necessary. The rest of the process is handled through the Terminal and the defaults command as detailed below:
How to Automatically Accept FaceTime Calls from Specific Contacts in Mac OS X
You can set FaceTime to accept an incoming call either by email address or by phone number, or both if you want to set them separately.
Auto-accept FaceTime calls from a specified email:
defaults write com.apple.FaceTime AutoAcceptInvitesFrom -array-add firstname.lastname@example.org
Auto-accept FaceTime calls from a specified phone number:
defaults write com.apple.FaceTime AutoAcceptInvitesFrom -array-add +14085551212
Make sure the string is all contained in one command on one line.
You can add as many pre-screened email addresses and phone numbers that you’d like to automatically receive and accept FaceTime calls from (Obviously this only works in Mac OS X), and it will work with both the FaceTime Video and FaceTime Audio communication methods.
Removing Contacts from Auto-Accepted FaceTime Calls
To remove the ability to automatically accept Facetime calls use the following defaults string:
defaults delete com.apple.FaceTime AutoAcceptInvites
This is a neat trick that I was trying to figure out how to do on my own, since it allows you to use a FaceTime computer in a set location as a remote web cam of sorts, when I stumbled on a post from a computer repair company amusingly named CornDog Computers which discovered the defaults strings. Apparently they were writing an application that would automatically answer calls when they discovered you can do it manually through the defaults command, which is what we detailed above.
This appears to work in all modern versions of OS X that support FaceTime, give it a try and let us know in the comments if you have any findings for OS X or otherwise.