Global Statistics

All countries
192,825,982
Confirmed
Updated on 22/07/2021 3:41 am
All countries
173,622,534
Recovered
Updated on 22/07/2021 3:41 am
All countries
4,142,472
Deaths
Updated on 22/07/2021 3:41 am

Global Statistics

All countries
192,825,982
Confirmed
Updated on 22/07/2021 3:41 am
All countries
173,622,534
Recovered
Updated on 22/07/2021 3:41 am
All countries
4,142,472
Deaths
Updated on 22/07/2021 3:41 am

FaceTime is getting a ton of updates and I can’t wait to try them out with my friends

FaceTime is taking over Zoom with some exciting updates to iOS 15.

Apple

This story is part of WWDC 2021. All the latest coverage from Apple’s annual developer conference.

Apple’s FaceTime video chat service has been around since 2010, but the global coronavirus pandemic has meant that video calling has become much more important both for business uses and for keeping in touch with friends and family.

Not wanting zoom to take all the success, Apple announced some key FaceTime updates during his WWDC event. Some of the features actually make FaceTime look more like Zoom, while other features, like SharePlay – they’re all new and could offer great new ways to virtually hang out with friends.

Here are all the new features.


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WWDC21: iOS 15 and all its best features


9:56

Generate invitation link

Instead of calling another FaceTime user through the app, just like you would a phone call, you can now generate an invite link to send to your friends, family, or colleagues. This allows you to put links on calendars and schedule them for later, rather than having to set up the call when the meeting starts.

It also allows …

wwdc-2021-apple-035-ios-15-facetime.png

Screenshot / Apple

FaceTime with Android and Windows

FaceTime was previously only available to iPhone or iMac users, but using invite links you can now have people on Android or Windows join the call. Once you’ve sent them the link, they can join through their web browser on whatever device they’re using. Apple says calls will continue to be end-to-end encrypted.

Spatial audio

A new spatial audio isolation function it will be available in the FaceTime app, which will help significantly to reduce background noise. Apple showed a demo where a person used a loud leaf blower behind the person on the call, but when the new isolation feature was activated, only their speech could be heard. It certainly looked impressive and great for taking calls in noisy places, although how it will fare in real life remains to be seen.

The other side of the coin is a spatial audio enhancement, which aims to use 3D audio processing to capture more of the environment around a speaker and help make it seem like they are in the room with you.

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Screenshot / Apple

Portrait mode for FaceTime

Using the depth-sensing cameras on recent iPhones, iPads, and iMacs, when using FaceTime you can have an attractive blurred background on your FaceTime calls. Zoom offers a similar feature, but it is only software-based, so we may see an improvement in the way you “killed” your experience on the Apple version.

wwdc-2021-apple-028-ios-15-facetime.png

Screenshot / Apple

SharePlay

SharePlay lets you watch movies or listen to music fully in sync with your friends and family via FaceTime. Say, for example, you want to watch Shrek with your friends (because why wouldn’t you?). SharePlay would allow the movie to start on both devices (iPad, iPhone, Mac or Apple TV) at exactly the same time, mimicking the experience of watching it together in the same room. Both parties on the call can pause and rewind whatever you’re watching and you can play the movie on your Apple TV using your phone or iPad just for the FaceTime call.

It works with iTunes and Apple Music, along with HBO, TikTok, Disney Plus, Paramount Plus, and others as initial partners.

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Screenshot / Apple

Group FaceTime Grid View

With friends and family scattered all over the place, Group FaceTime calls are an important feature. The new grid view places all call participants on the screen, making it easy to see who is speaking, with the active speaker highlighted. It looks a lot like Zoom’s Gallery view and will be a welcome addition for anyone trying to negotiate family group calls or team meetings via FaceTime.

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