Apple debuts slick new Group FaceTime feature supporting up to 32 participants

Posted:
in iOS edited June 4
FaceTime is receiving its first major update in years -- on both iOS devices and Macs -- with long overdue support for group video calls and even fun effects.




Users can now join calls with up to 32 participants, a feature competitors have had for years. A carousel along the bottom shows all participants, while those talking are brought into the majority of the screen. Individual windows can be brought full-screen as well.

Effects such as stickers and the just-announced Memoji can be applied in real time during the call for a more fun experience.




It will work not only on iOS 12, but macOS as well. Calls can be answered right on the Apple Watch, before jumping over to the video FaceTime call on your iPhone or iPad.

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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 23
    fallenjtfallenjt Posts: 3,833member
    The ultimate video calling app...has been waiting for so long!!!
    cornchipclaire1jbdragonjony0watto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 23
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 4,787member
    Intriguing. This could be great for remote teams needing to chat. Currently using other apps for this but this could be more useful.
    ronnlostkiwiwatto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 23
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 3,616member
    Thirty-two people??

    😱

    Is this for riot-planning?
    fastasleepdrewys808cornchiplostkiwijbdragonjony0watto_cobramuthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 4 of 23
    nhtnht Posts: 4,125member
    I wonder if they will have an API so our Meeting Owl can work with FaceTime...
    cornchip
  • Reply 5 of 23
    LukeCageLukeCage Posts: 146member
    I heard for the longest time the the reason why FaceTime was never updated was because of patents and how many companies had some patent that they would used against Apple. I wonder what changed, I’m pretty sure no matter what Apple does someone one will sue them for FaceTime. I can’t wait to see how many people I can get to FaceTime with me at once now. 
    lostkiwijbdragon
  • Reply 6 of 23
    SoliSoli Posts: 7,365member
    32 people sounds like Apple will be moving toward supporting businesses and schools with this feature.

    I see in the beta downloads there's an app called Classroom. I wonder if that's an included feature. If that was in the keynote I missed it.
    edited June 4 lostkiwi
  • Reply 7 of 23

    32 people sounds like Apple will be moving toward supporting businesses and schools with this feature.
    Without screen sharing like Zoom and the lack of cross-platform availability I doubt business will consider using it. This is clearly for consumers.
    entropys
  • Reply 8 of 23
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 4,787member

    32 people sounds like Apple will be moving toward supporting businesses and schools with this feature.
    Without screen sharing like Zoom and the lack of cross-platform availability I doubt business will consider using it. This is clearly for consumers.
    Define business. For small dev shops running macOS, this fits a need. 
    ronncornchipjony0
  • Reply 9 of 23
    fastasleepfastasleep Posts: 1,438member
    Soli said:
    32 people sounds like Apple will be moving toward supporting businesses and schools with this feature.

    I see in the beta downloads there's an app called Classroom. I wonder if that's an included feature. If that was in the keynote I missed it.
    They covered Classroom at the education event earlier this year. 
    Soli
  • Reply 10 of 23
    entropysentropys Posts: 1,054member
    This is great. It really is. Next, screen sharing and live file collaboration. Then we finally get back to an iChat equivalent.

    Had another failed Skype for Business meeting just yesterday. The IT department insists we use it (MS product of course). On one of our externally funded projects we have purchased a licence for Zoom.  So much more reliable than Skype, better bandwidth and sound management, let alone visual clarity.

    edit:typo
    edited June 4 cornchipLukeCagelostkiwi
  • Reply 11 of 23
    fallenjtfallenjt Posts: 3,833member

    32 people sounds like Apple will be moving toward supporting businesses and schools with this feature.
    Without screen sharing like Zoom and the lack of cross-platform availability I doubt business will consider using it. This is clearly for consumers.
    Wrong! It’s all about security. Was BB a cross-platforms?
    Rayz2016watto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 23
    danvmdanvm Posts: 568member
    entropys said:
    This is great. It really is. Next, screen sharing and live file collaboration. Then we finally get back to an iChat equivalent.

    Had another failed Skype for Business meeting just yesterday. The IT department insists we use it (MS product of course). On one of our externally funded projects we have purchased a licence for Zoom.  So much more reliable than Skype, better bandwidth and sound management, let alone visual clarity.

    edit:typo
    I had a different experience with Skype for Business in a meeting I had recently. We were +30 people from +7 countries with video and screen sharing.   No issues at all.  

    Still, MS is moving from Skype for Business to Teams, which has a better experience.  
    https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/microsoftteams/journey-skypeforbusiness-teams
  • Reply 13 of 23
    nicholfdnicholfd Posts: 12member
    entropys said:
    This is great. It really is. Next, screen sharing and live file collaboration. Then we finally get back to an iChat equivalent.
    You must not be aware that screen sharing is available in the Messages app on macOS for quite some time... https://support.apple.com/guide/messages/screen-sharing-icht11883/mac
    fastasleepRayz2016
  • Reply 14 of 23
    nicholfdnicholfd Posts: 12member
    entropys said:
    This is great. It really is. Next, screen sharing and live file collaboration. Then we finally get back to an iChat equivalent.
    You must not be aware that Screen Sharing has been in the Messages app on macOS for quite a while: https://support.apple.com/guide/messages/screen-sharing-icht11883/mac And collaboration with Numbers, Pages & Keynote have been there for at least a years: https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT206181
    fastasleepcornchip
  • Reply 15 of 23
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 29,266member
    Not excited about that litterbox of a layout, but it's been forever since iChat had multi-party videoconferencing, so... I'll take whatever I can get at this point.
    cornchip
  • Reply 16 of 23
    danvmdanvm Posts: 568member

    32 people sounds like Apple will be moving toward supporting businesses and schools with this feature.
    Without screen sharing like Zoom and the lack of cross-platform availability I doubt business will consider using it. This is clearly for consumers.
    I think you are right.  In addition, most business already have video solutions in the services they use daily, like Skype/Teams in Office 365, Hangouts Meet in G Suite or Slack Calls.  
  • Reply 17 of 23
    IreneWIreneW Posts: 55member

    32 people sounds like Apple will be moving toward supporting businesses and schools with this feature.
    Without screen sharing like Zoom and the lack of cross-platform availability I doubt business will consider using it. This is clearly for consumers.
    Define business. For small dev shops running macOS, this fits a need. 
    Unfortunately the Apple-only shops are extremely few, and there are several really potent cross-platform solutions. I'm afraid Apple's refusal to accept that there are other usable platforms limits their great software. Microsoft just recently accepted this fact and has delivered some surprisingly good apps lately.
  • Reply 18 of 23
    drewys808drewys808 Posts: 526member
    Increased collaboration will be big for medical/health professionals...that is until most MDs are replaced by AI. 😉
    cornchiplostkiwi
  • Reply 19 of 23
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 29,266member
    drewys808 said:
    Increased collaboration will be big for medical/health professionals...that is until most MDs are replaced by AI. 😉
    Eagerly looking forward to all highly paid professionals to be replaced with A.I. and/or robots.
  • Reply 20 of 23
    claire1claire1 Posts: 100unconfirmed, member
    Surprised they allowed Animoji. Seems Apple wanted to keep FaceTime looking serious in the past.

    VERY VERY surprised they didn't announce ARKit support for FaceTime along with Animoji. With the iPhone X camera we could have been able to add backgrounds and effects like cars crashing and exploding in the background, space or boat cruising etc.
    StrangeDays
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