Finally, FaceTime will no longer be an exclusive iOS or macOS app for face-to-face communications. It has expanded to support Windows and Android clients, as Apple announced on WWDC 2021.
FaceTime would thus become a virtual conferencing app, similar to Zoom and Microsoft Teams, where multiple users on different platforms can get on the call. Users can also share a link to the call prior to actual meeting, Windows Central reported.
No FaceTime Android Apps, Just Links Accessible Through Browser
This development would enable Apple to prevent customers from using a competing video chat app when they need to virtually meet with friends or colleagues, who are not using an Apple device. This could also potentially make hundreds of millions more users on Android and Windows to get on FaceTime.
To clarify, however, Apple is not releasing specific FaceTime apps on Android and Windows. Instead, there will just be links to have non-Apple users get on a FaceTime call, which the Cupertino-based company said is still end-to-end encrypted. To get into a FaceTime call, users need to have the latest version of Google's Chrome and Microsoft's Edge web browsers. To start the call, the host needs to have an Apple device.
New FaceTime Update to Come With iOS 15 Release
There is no specific release date yet for this new multi-platform update of FaceTime, but this may arrive with the unveiling of iOS 15 this fall. This new FaceTime version will carry new features, such as a new grid option, spatial audio support and background blurring in Portrait Mode. Its voice isolation feature will also further enhance audio quality.
Apple has made updates that would transform the experience of video chatting on FaceTime to closely resemble real-life, face-to-face conversations.
Using the spatial audio feature, FaceTime calls would be like you are in the same room with your friends or colleagues. This may not translate well in Android or Windows devices, even in iPhones, but it should be an interesting experience on an iMac, Tech Crunch reported.
A white ring will appear around the person who is speaking, as other attendees could select a grid view to see others in the call. The video isolation feature, meanwhile, will enhance the speaker's audio while at a noisy area.
New FaceTime Update to Allow Virtual Watch Parties
According to The Verge, It also features SharePlay, wherein a group of people can watch or listen to the same content simultaneously. Big name streaming services have indicated their support for the project. This includes Disney Plus, HBO Max, Hulu and Twitch. Of course, Apple Music and Apple TV Plus will support the service as well.
Again, the host of this hangout must have an Apple device to share the content. A SharePlay API will also be available so that app developers can build and integrate their own apps on the service.
FaceTime, would thus become a prime hangout space--not just a platform for video calls but also for virtual watch parties which became popular during the pandemic.