FaceTime will now support Android and other devices from a browser

Posted:
in General Discussion edited June 7
Apple will now allow users to plan FaceTime calls in advance, and the video calling platform will also support non-Apple devices like Android smartphones.

Credit: Apple
Credit: Apple


The company on Monday unveiled a new FaceTime feature for iOS 15 dubbed FaceTime links, which will be shareable via iMessage, Calendar, WhatsApp, email, or other communications platforms.

In addition to allowing users to schedule and plan FaceTime calls, the FaceTime links feature will also enable users to join a FaceTime call from a non-Apple device. That includes Android smartphones, computers, or any device that can access a web browser.

The feature comes amid a continued work-from-home and remote education environment, even as pandemic restrictions ease. It should allow FaceTime to become a more versatile alternative to platforms like Zoom or Skype for Apple users.

Along with FaceTime Links, Apple also introduced new audio and video elements to the FaceTime platform.

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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 24
    fallenjtfallenjt Posts: 4,034member
    Way overdue. Should’ve done this long ago to capture Android market which was huge. Now, Apple should seamlessly integrate FaceTime on Android as it does in iOS.
    docno42watto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 24
    KBuffettKBuffett Posts: 56member
    fallenjt said:
    Way overdue. Should’ve done this long ago to capture Android market which was huge. Now, Apple should seamlessly integrate FaceTime on Android as it does in iOS.

    I agree. To little, too late. WhatsApp have killed the social market, and Zoom and Teams have got the corporate market. With all the resources at Apple’s disposable, they do a lousy job with some things.
    williamlondonpatchythepirate
  • Reply 3 of 24
    AppleZuluAppleZulu Posts: 1,205member
    KBuffett said:
    fallenjt said:
    Way overdue. Should’ve done this long ago to capture Android market which was huge. Now, Apple should seamlessly integrate FaceTime on Android as it does in iOS.

    I agree. To little, too late. WhatsApp have killed the social market, and Zoom and Teams have got the corporate market. With all the resources at Apple’s disposable, they do a lousy job with some things.
    Put a pin in that and see if that's still true in a year or so. Zoom and Teams are fee-based, aren't they? FaceTime, not so much. Encryption and privacy will also play a role in future conferencing decisions. 
    racerhomie3williamlondonbsterStrangeDaysviclauyycwatto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 4 of 24
    crowleycrowley Posts: 8,771member
    Would’ve been an incredible release last year, but they missed a huge opportunity.
    Scot1patchythepirate
  • Reply 5 of 24
    auxioauxio Posts: 2,335member
    KBuffett said:
    fallenjt said:
    Way overdue. Should’ve done this long ago to capture Android market which was huge. Now, Apple should seamlessly integrate FaceTime on Android as it does in iOS.

    I agree. To little, too late. WhatsApp have killed the social market, and Zoom and Teams have got the corporate market. With all the resources at Apple’s disposable, they do a lousy job with some things.
    You do realize that Apple's business model is based around selling the hardware they manufacture right?  They're not some social media startup trying to rope as many people into using a free communication platform as they can while making money by harvesting information about all their activities on that platform.  They've built their reputation around privacy and so the only way they could make it worthwhile from a business perspective would be to make it a subscription service, which the vast majority of Android users would never pay for, no matter how good Apple made it.

    What they've done now is essentially for the benefit of the people who own Apple hardware.  They've made it so that, if you own an iPhone and want to video conference with someone on Android, but avoid using WhatsApp and other platforms which aren't as good as Apple's when it comes to privacy, it's now possible with FaceTime.
    edited June 7 williamlondonrundhvidFidonet127thtStrangeDaysviclauyycchiawatto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 6 of 24
    22july201322july2013 Posts: 2,528member
    But no web-based access to Android for iMessages? Why not?
  • Reply 7 of 24
    rundhvidrundhvid Posts: 63member
    auxio said:
    KBuffett said:
    fallenjt said:
    Way overdue. Should’ve done this long ago to capture Android market which was huge. Now, Apple should seamlessly integrate FaceTime on Android as it does in iOS.

    I agree. To little, too late. WhatsApp have killed the social market, and Zoom and Teams have got the corporate market. With all the resources at Apple’s disposable, they do a lousy job with some things.
    You do realize that Apple's business model is based around selling the hardware they manufacture right?  They're not some social media startup trying to rope as many people into using a free communication platform as they can while making money by harvesting information about all their activities on that platform.  They've built their reputation around privacy and so the only way they could make it worthwhile from a business perspective would be to make it a subscription service, which the vast majority of Android users would never pay for, no matter how good Apple made it.

    What they've done now is essentially for the benefit of the people who own Apple hardware.  They've made it so that, if you own an iPhone and want to video conference with someone on Android, but avoid using WhatsApp and other platforms which aren't as good as Apple's when it comes to privacy, it's now possible with FaceTime.
    Also: Apple’s take on cross-platform communication might actually be reliable 🤭😳
    Often my coworkers and I are unable to hear each other on video calls in Teams (mandated by the hospital). Solution: mute audio in Teams combined with a cellphone call 😬
    williamlondonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 24
    auxioauxio Posts: 2,335member
    But no web-based access to Android for iMessages? Why not?
    I don't think it makes as much sense as FaceTime.  Apple wouldn't want to provide a full-blown web-based messaging app on Android (again, because they have no interest in trying to figure out how to create a business model for full apps on Android without jeopardizing privacy).  So it would end up being that, for every message you send, the Android user gets a web link they use to view the message (and maybe reply).  FaceTime is a one-time link which works for the entire conference, but isn't the full FaceTime app in the sense that the Android users can't use it to call others.
    edited June 7 watto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 24
    22july201322july2013 Posts: 2,528member
    auxio said:
    But no web-based access to Android for iMessages? Why not?
    I don't think it makes as much sense as FaceTime.  Apple wouldn't want to provide a full-blown web-based messaging app on Android (again, because they have no interest in trying to figure out how to create a business model for full apps on Android without jeopardizing privacy).  So it would end up being that, for every message you send, the Android user gets a web link they use to view the message (and maybe reply).  FaceTime is a one-time link which works for the entire conference, but isn't the full FaceTime app in the sense that the Android users can't use it to call others.
    I think I buy that. Thanks.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 24
    jdgazjdgaz Posts: 381member
    Personally looking forward to family FaceTime calls which will include the android holdouts.
    williamlondonStrangeDayswatto_cobrapatchythepirate
  • Reply 11 of 24
    KBuffettKBuffett Posts: 56member
    AppleZulu said:
    KBuffett said:
    fallenjt said:
    Way overdue. Should’ve done this long ago to capture Android market which was huge. Now, Apple should seamlessly integrate FaceTime on Android as it does in iOS.

    I agree. To little, too late. WhatsApp have killed the social market, and Zoom and Teams have got the corporate market. With all the resources at Apple’s disposable, they do a lousy job with some things.
    Put a pin in that and see if that's still true in a year or so. Zoom and Teams are fee-based, aren't they? FaceTime, not so much. Encryption and privacy will also play a role in future conferencing decisions. 
    Teams is part of MS Office. Corporates that already have Office are already paying for it, so no additional cost whether they use it or not.

    williamlondon
  • Reply 12 of 24
    dewmedewme Posts: 3,834member
    crowley said:
    Would’ve been an incredible release last year, but they missed a huge opportunity.
    I guess we should have scheduled the pandemic a little better.

    Seriously though, don’t we always plan around fighting the last war? 
    StrangeDayswatto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 24
    auxioauxio Posts: 2,335member
    rundhvid said:
    auxio said:
    KBuffett said:
    fallenjt said:
    Way overdue. Should’ve done this long ago to capture Android market which was huge. Now, Apple should seamlessly integrate FaceTime on Android as it does in iOS.

    I agree. To little, too late. WhatsApp have killed the social market, and Zoom and Teams have got the corporate market. With all the resources at Apple’s disposable, they do a lousy job with some things.
    You do realize that Apple's business model is based around selling the hardware they manufacture right?  They're not some social media startup trying to rope as many people into using a free communication platform as they can while making money by harvesting information about all their activities on that platform.  They've built their reputation around privacy and so the only way they could make it worthwhile from a business perspective would be to make it a subscription service, which the vast majority of Android users would never pay for, no matter how good Apple made it.

    What they've done now is essentially for the benefit of the people who own Apple hardware.  They've made it so that, if you own an iPhone and want to video conference with someone on Android, but avoid using WhatsApp and other platforms which aren't as good as Apple's when it comes to privacy, it's now possible with FaceTime.
    Also: Apple’s take on cross-platform communication might actually be reliable 🤭😳
    Only as reliable as the platform itself 🙊

    But seriously, Apple has never really been good at cross-platform development (iTunes and Quicktime on Windows aren't exactly great apps).  The reason why their software works so well on their own platforms is because they create everything from bottom to top, and so they have the in-house expertise to really get to the bottom of things.  For example, there's nothing like having the person who actually designed the audio/video hardware explaining how to get the lowest possible latency from it.  I don't think they could possibly get FaceTime to work as well on other platforms.
    rundhvidwatto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 24
    Finally, screen sharing in FaceTime.

    I always found it odd that iMessages, a primarily text oriented app, had a screen sharing feature, while FaceTime, a primarily visually oriented app did not.

    (Most people I know don't realize that screen sharing from iMessage is even possible--not all that surprising, given that selecting it requires clicking the recipient's name to get the drop-down to access the Share Screen options).
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 24
    22july201322july2013 Posts: 2,528member
    (Most people I know don't realize that screen sharing from iMessage is even possible--not all that surprising, given that selecting it requires clicking the recipient's name to get the drop-down to access the Share Screen options).
    I am most people. I had no idea. Thanks.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 16 of 24
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 11,597member
    KBuffett said:
    fallenjt said:
    Way overdue. Should’ve done this long ago to capture Android market which was huge. Now, Apple should seamlessly integrate FaceTime on Android as it does in iOS.
    I agree. To little, too late. WhatsApp have killed the social market, and Zoom and Teams have got the corporate market. With all the resources at Apple’s disposable, they do a lousy job with some things.
    I think you’re under a mistaken assumption that Apple wants the corporate market for this. I’d argue it does not, much like the iLife suite is not trying to be MS Office. This feature appears geared towards consumers. I prefer FaceTime for my personal video chats with friends, and if this expands it to friends without Apple gear, so much the better. 
    crowley said:
    Would’ve been an incredible release last year, but they missed a huge opportunity.
    Are you suggested they could have earned money from this? It’s not a financial competitor to the product version of video chat, so what opportunity did they lose? It’s free.
    KBuffett said:
    AppleZulu said:
    KBuffett said:
    fallenjt said:
    Way overdue. Should’ve done this long ago to capture Android market which was huge. Now, Apple should seamlessly integrate FaceTime on Android as it does in iOS.
    I agree. To little, too late. WhatsApp have killed the social market, and Zoom and Teams have got the corporate market. With all the resources at Apple’s disposable, they do a lousy job with some things.
    Put a pin in that and see if that's still true in a year or so. Zoom and Teams are fee-based, aren't they? FaceTime, not so much. Encryption and privacy will also play a role in future conferencing decisions. 
    Teams is part of MS Office. Corporates that already have Office are already paying for it, so no additional cost whether they use it or not.
    Er, but you have to have that license already…and the point was corporate products Teams, WebEx, Zoom for Govt and the like are all pay services (you even Teams if you need an Office license - they aren’t free!). Thus, Apple didn’t “lose” the corporate market at all — Apple was never *in* the corporate market to begin with.
    edited June 7 williamlondonwatto_cobraauxio
  • Reply 17 of 24
    (Most people I know don't realize that screen sharing from iMessage is even possible--not all that surprising, given that selecting it requires clicking the recipient's name to get the drop-down to access the Share Screen options).
    I am most people. I had no idea. Thanks.
    To clarify, it's only iMessages on the Mac that (currently) has the option to screen share.

    It appears that in iOS 15, FaceTime SharePlay will enable screen sharing on iOS devices (as well as macOS), but not sure if it will include the ability to allow someone else to control your screen (or for you to control others) on iOS. I hope it does, because it would make those family tech support calls sooo much easier it I could control their iPhone or iPad.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 18 of 24
    rundhvidrundhvid Posts: 63member
    auxio said:
    rundhvid said:
    auxio said:
    KBuffett said:
    fallenjt said:
    Way overdue. Should’ve done this long ago to capture Android market which was huge. Now, Apple should seamlessly integrate FaceTime on Android as it does in iOS.

    I agree. To little, too late. WhatsApp have killed the social market, and Zoom and Teams have got the corporate market. With all the resources at Apple’s disposable, they do a lousy job with some things.
    You do realize that Apple's business model is based around selling the hardware they manufacture right?  They're not some social media startup trying to rope as many people into using a free communication platform as they can while making money by harvesting information about all their activities on that platform.  They've built their reputation around privacy and so the only way they could make it worthwhile from a business perspective would be to make it a subscription service, which the vast majority of Android users would never pay for, no matter how good Apple made it.

    What they've done now is essentially for the benefit of the people who own Apple hardware.  They've made it so that, if you own an iPhone and want to video conference with someone on Android, but avoid using WhatsApp and other platforms which aren't as good as Apple's when it comes to privacy, it's now possible with FaceTime.
    Also: Apple’s take on cross-platform communication might actually be reliable 🤭😳
    Only as reliable as the platform itself 🙊

    But seriously, Apple has never really been good at cross-platform development (iTunes and Quicktime on Windows aren't exactly great apps).  The reason why their software works so well on their own platforms is because they create everything from bottom to top, and so they have the in-house expertise to really get to the bottom of things.  For example, there's nothing like having the person who actually designed the audio/video hardware explaining how to get the lowest possible latency from it.  I don't think they could possibly get FaceTime to work as well on other platforms.
    My thoughts exactly 👍🏽

    On the premise that Tim and his buddies consider the FaceTime brand an important (perhaps even very important) part of the Cupertino company, then we can assume yesterdays announcement of platform agnostic FaceTime is the result of a comprehensive evaluation. Because if  doesn’t deliver then end-user confidence will drop and thus a major reason to buy into the  ecosystem have disappeared.

    However, ’s execution of yesterdays boost in Apple Music’s audio quality is not impressive: After enabling lossless audio on the iPhone, you get three or four quality options x3 for each of the three contexts (cellular streaming, Wi-Fi streaming and downloads). What a mess!
    And further,  managed to provide total confusion regarding the signal chain required to take advantage of the High-Resolution Lossless option—an upgrade that instantly rendered Blusound, Sonos and other Hi-Fidelity solutions obsolete! At no extra cost!!

    —let us hope cross platform FaceTime will be executed in the customary  style: It just works 😋
    williamlondonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 19 of 24
    22july201322july2013 Posts: 2,528member
    If I'm using the FaceTime app, is there any way for me to tell whether the persons I am talking to are using a web browser instead of a FaceTime app?
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 20 of 24
    crowleycrowley Posts: 8,771member
    crowley said:
    Would’ve been an incredible release last year, but they missed a huge opportunity.
    Are you suggested they could have earned money from this? It’s not a financial competitor to the product version of video chat, so what opportunity did they lose? It’s free.
    The opportunity to earn a lot of mindshare in cross platform video.  Mindshare that they could have turned into another attractor to the Apple ecosystem.
    muthuk_vanalingam
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