FaceTime has finally arrived on Windows and Android, in a momentous movement that surprisingly (or not according to Apple’s vision of business-to-business cooperation) was scarcely taken into account in its WWDC opening address last night.
One of the new features in iOS 15 is called FaceTime Links. With this feature, you can generate a FaceTime call invitation which is then shared with other people via email, WhatsApp, or other means.
And among the recipients of the link – and possible participants in the “meeting” – there may be people who do not have an iPhone or Mac.
If the recipient has Android or Windows, the link will open in a web browser instead of the FaceTime app (which is not available on these platforms) and you can join the call normally.
If you want to know about other options, check out our guide to the best apps for making group video calls.
There is currently no indication that Apple is planning to launch its FaceTime app on a platform other than Apple, and the service will likely remain limited to this web version.
However, this is an intriguing and unexpected announcement, as FaceTime is one of the services Apple has historically used to keep users in its walled garden: if you wanted to use FaceTime, you had to be on an Apple device. .
FaceTime has never been more important in this regard than iMessage (which we asked Apple to bring to Android). And the limited nature of this move – Apple users can initiate calls with non-Apple users, but not the other way around – means it likely won’t turn the service into a WhatsApp / Zoom / Google Meet “killer”.
In fact, it’s better to think of this as a decision designed more for the convenience of iPhone users, who won’t have to wonder if their contacts have iPhones as well, than for real iPhone owners. ‘Android. And in that sense, it’s an Apple classic.