From iMessage to Apple Podcasts, there’s a whole host of custom Apple apps that appear by default on iPhones, iPads and Apple Watches. When smartphone users make the switch from Apple to Android, they often have to spend a while adapting to the equivalent alternatives. But one popular app soon to be available on both iPhones and Android handsets – as well as Windows computers – is FaceTime.

Since its launch with iPhone 4 in 2010, FaceTime could only be downloaded and operated via devices running on a version of Apple’s iOS – but all this is set to change in the near future. At Apple’s Worldwide Development Conference in June 2021, it was announced that a version of FaceTime suitable for Android and Windows devices would be arriving later on in the year. Join us as we look at this update in further detail below.

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How to Use FaceTime for Android and Windows

It’s worth noting that, while FaceTime will be available to use on non-Apple tech in autumn 2021, you’ll still require an Apple account, and an invitation from an Apple device, in order to gain access. Here’s how it could work:

  • Rather than directly downloading the app, Android and Windows users will be able to use this service via a FaceTime Link.
  • FaceTime Links must be sent from an Apple device, like an iPhone, iPad or MacBook, which is logged in to an Apple account.
  • Once you’ve received a FaceTime Link from an Apple user, you can join the call at the right time and date by tapping on the invite.
  • The call should then open using the web browser application installed on your Android or Windows device, such as Chrome or Edge.

How to Share a FaceTime Link from an iPhone or iPad

While this technology is still in testing, there’s a possibility that this process could change before iOS 15 is released. As it stands, this is how you’d create a FaceTime Link using an iPhone or iPad:

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  1. Install the latest operating system on your iPhone or iPad, so that it’s running on iOS 15, or iPadOS 15.
  2. Launch the new FaceTime app on your device.
  3. Two options will appear in front of you, Create a Link’ and ‘New FaceTime’.
  4. Tap ‘Create a Link’ – a URL should be generated straight away.
  5. When the link appears, tap the ‘i’ button.
  6. Then choose the ‘Share Link’ option from the menu.
  7. From here, you can select a method of sharing your FaceTime link, including options like WhatsApp, email, Facebook Messenger and several others.

New FaceTime Features

As well as the news that FaceTime is becoming accessible to those who don’t have iPhones, Apple’s WWDC saw the announcement of several exciting new FaceTime features. These will be included in the release of iOS 15, but here are the key takeaways:

Spatial Audio

According to Apple, this new setting should make voices sound more accurate in relation to their position on the call. That means each participant should sound as though their voice is coming from where they appear on screen – like the top left, or bottom right. Plus, new microphone settings onboard should help to filter out other noise, allowing each user’s voice to clearly stand out.

More Faces on Group FaceTime

The tech giant has also confirmed that more people should be able to gather on a single FaceTime call at once. This number is currently capped at 32 participants, which is far fewer than other popular video calling apps in the same league, like Zoom and Microsoft Teams.

SharePlay

A brand new feature designed to make shared experiences more convenient on FaceTime, SharePlay will allow a group of people to listen to a song, or watch a video within a group call. SharePlay should also enable you to screenshare during calls, and interact with others in real-time, while you view an image, YouTube clip or game as a group.

To make this feature even more hotly-anticipated, Apple has confirmed that SharePlay will eventually work in conjunction with major streaming platforms like TikTok, HBO Max, Disney+ and many more. With this update, you’ll be able to catch up on your favourite show on the go, at the same time as your friends – even if you’re across the country from one another.

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