A decade after first launching, FaceTime will no longer be exclusive to Apple devices.
At WWDC 2021, Apple announced that iOS 15 will bring FaceTime support to the web, opening up the video calling app to Windows and Android for the first time.
The service will work in a similar way to Zoom, with the ability to schedule calls ahead of time and then share a link with the relevant people. If you’re not using an iPhone, iPad or Mac, a version of FaceTime will then open in the web. Apple has confirmed it will retain the end-to-end encryption you already get with FaceTime.
Links is just one of a number of new features coming to FaceTime. Calls will now support spatial audio, with participants’ voices spread out to sound like they’re coming from a different area of the screen. Apple also says it’s using machine learning to intelligently filter out background noise.
Elsewhere, Apple has also announced SharePlay, a feature built directly into FaceTime. Across Apple Music, Apple TV+ and a host of third-party apps, it allows you to share your screen while listening to music, watching TV or even playing a game. Content will be displayed in real time for all participants for a truly shared experience. It’ll be interesting to see how well this works with slower internet connections.
The new FaceTime functionality represents just a few of the many changes coming in iOS 15. Another key feature is Live Text, which allows you to lift text directly from images.
The new operating system is expected to arrive in September, around the same time as the iPhone 13.