iOS will now let you turn off automatic zoom on Group FaceTime calls
What you need to know
- The iOS 13.5 beta has a new option for Group FaceTime.
- Users are now able to turn off the "Automatic Prominence" feature.
- The feature would bring the person currently talking to the forefront of the call.
With all of us working from and generally staying at home, video call applications like Zoom, Skype, Google Duo, and FaceTime have increased exponentially in adoption. Group FaceTime, for users of the iPhone, iPad, and Mac, has become exceptionally popular for more casual calls.
Group FaceTime was introduced in iOS 12 and supports up to 32 people to be on a call at the same time. Apple's solution to handling that amount of users on an iPhone screen is to show each person in a square tile that floats on the screen. Those who are currently talking will be brought to the forefront of the screen. Others who are not talking will fade into the background, their tiles shrinking.
It's an ingenious way to bring attention to the person who is currently the subject of the call. However, for certain groups, sometimes multiple users are all talking at the same time. This causes a number of tiles to constantly shrink and grow, an annoying experience for anyone on a call like that.
It appears that Apple is now allowing users to turn off that feature. Reported by 9to5Mac, the iOS 13.5 beta has added a new option to turn off "Automatic Prominence", the feature that enlarges the tile of the person currently speaking in a Group FaceTime call.
If you'd like to turn off the feature, you can find it under Settings > FaceTime > Automatic Prominence. iOS 13.5 is not released to the public yet, but should be soon.
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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.
And what does the result of turning it off look like? Whatever the order of entry determines who's up front forever? Can you re-arrange the tiles (people) to your liking. Is there a 32 tile Hollywood Squares format? Maybe they could have done something about the rapid switching with multiple speakers, or highlight the most recent ones and keep them up. I don't know what it will look like, but it seems it may just result in new issues.