When Steve Jobs took the stage at WWDC 2010 and presented iOS 4 (which was renamed iPhone OS), one of the most important features was FaceTime. Jobs had great ambition to make this the standard for video calling. “We’re going to go to standards bodies starting tomorrow. And we’re going to make FaceTime an open industry standard,” he said.
As we know, it didn’t work out exactly like that. FaceTime has been Apple-exclusive technology for over a decade, but iOS 15 (and iPadOS 15 and macOS Monterey) is changing all that. For the first time ever, you will be able to have FaceTime chats with those who have a Windows PC or an Android phone.
You can also read how to use FaceTime on Mac.
However, Apple does not make the FaceTime app available to you. No, instead, you can link to a FaceTime call, which you can then attach to future calendar events, share on Slack or via text, or whatever you want to do with it.
Anyone with a Windows PC or Android phone (or Linux machine or whatever) will open the call in their web browser and the link creator must give you permission to join the call.
So, an Apple device is still required to create a FaceTime call and should act as a “host” for others to come in, but at least you can chat between the devices. Here’s how the new FaceTime Links feature works.
Create a FaceTime link
Before you can chat with someone using Windows or Android, you need to create a link to join.
- Open the FaceTime app on your iPhone or iPad
- Tap Create link
- The share sheet will open. You can tap Copy to copy the link and paste it anywhere you want, or choose an app or person to share it with.
- When you’re done, you’ll see the FaceTime Link call in the main History list under the Upcoming Calls section.
The call has not yet started and it will not be until you press the next call “FaceTime Link” and then “Join” at the top right.
Press the info button (i) on the call if you need to share the link again or want to delete it. The link should remain active until it’s manually deleted, so you can add it to a calendar event a month in advance or schedule a FaceTime call for Mother’s Day next year.
How to remove a FaceTime link
FaceTime Link calls stay until you delete them, which isn’t that bad, actually. It allows you to create a call for a future date, although it will only be used by Apple devices.
To delete a future FaceTime Link call, all you need to do is
- Swipe left on the event.
- Tap Delete.
- A confirmation message will appear, warning you that the link will no longer work for anyone you sent it to. Tap Remove Link to confirm.
Chat with Android or Windows users
Anyone joining from an Android phone or Windows PC will be taken to their default browser, where they will join a progressive FaceTime web app in their browser window. It works well enough, but of course with limited options and functions.
When these users join the call, they will first need to enter a name to use during the call. Mostly, they don’t need an Apple ID.
After the Windows / Android user enters their name, the Apple user who created the link will receive a notification that the person is waiting to be allowed in.
While they are waiting for them to press the admit button, they will not see the contents of the call, just a “waiting to be allowed in” message with their own live video.
Once you let the person in, you’ll chat like a normal video call, although Windows / Android users won’t have as many options.
You can switch cameras and use an external microphone or headset, or switch views if more than one person is on the call. You can also share the link with anyone else you want to invite.
When you have finished the call, you can press End or the person on the other end can touch Leave.
Original article published on our sister site igamesnews USA.