What you need to know
- Apple has announced some major updates to FaceTime at WWDC 2021.
- The company is bringing a number of popular features from competing apps to the service.
Apple is looking squarely at Zoom with its latest features for FaceTime.
The company announced some major updates to FaceTime at WWDC earlier today, including SharePlay, FaceTime Links, and Spatial Audio.
With SharePlay, you can keep a FaceTime call going while you all enjoy something else on your devices whether it be a TV show, movie, or music. Apple is making this compatible with third-party apps so services like Hulu and HBO Max are adding support.
The company is also bringing Spatial Audio to FaceTime to make it easier to understand who is talking when. The feature will play sound from an individual from the part of the screen they are on so you can focus your attention on who is speaking. FaceTime is also adding support for Grid View, Portrait Mode, and new microphone modes that can either cut out or include background noises.
One thing that has always been tough to handle with FaceTime is a scheduled call, especially if you are planning to chat with multiple people. Apple is looking to simplify that process with FaceTime Links, which allows you to schedule a call for later with friends and family.
FaceTime is even coming to Windows and Android - sort of. When you send someone a FaceTime link and they are using Android or Windows, they can now join the call through their browser.
A ton of these features are catching FaceTime up with features that have been made extremely popular by other video conferencing apps like Zoom and Google Meet. Of course, FaceTime has an immediate leg up against these competitors since it is built into Apple devices and comes with Apple's privacy promises. While Zoom may still dominate the business world, Apple is surely looking to take over the consumer market in this space.
Joe Wituschek is a Contributor at iMore. With over ten years in the technology industry, one of them being at Apple, Joe now covers the company for the website. In addition to covering breaking news, Joe also writes editorials and reviews for a range of products. He fell in love with Apple products when he got an iPod nano for Christmas almost twenty years ago. Despite being considered a "heavy" user, he has always preferred the consumer-focused products like the MacBook Air, iPad mini, and iPhone 13 mini. He will fight to the death to keep a mini iPhone in the lineup. In his free time, Joe enjoys video games, movies, photography, running, and basically everything outdoors.
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