Sunday, June 20, 2021

Apple’s FaceTime on Android and Windows? There’s a Catch


FaceTime has never been available on Android or Windows-based devices. However, beginning this fall, that is set to change slightly. 
Apple revealed significant upgrades to its FaceTime video chat program at this year's Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC). The app, which was first released a decade ago, has always been popular among Apple users due to its ease of use and setup. However, because it is not available on Android or Windows devices, the program has never attracted a large following outside of the United States.
Due to the increased popularity of WhatsApp, Zoom, and Microsoft Teams, Apple has decided to make FaceTime available for non-Apple devices this year. However, Apple's announcement of FaceTime for Android and Windows omitted certain key features while emphasizing one key point.

FaceTime on Android and Windows?

Make no mistake: non-Apple users will not be able to use FaceTime apps. Instead, hosts can invite these people to a FaceTime session through a secure end-to-end encrypted web link with macOS Monterey on Mac and iOS/iPadOS 15 on iPhone and iPad, respectively. The user of an Android or Windows devices will never be prompted to download software or an app.
Email, messaging, third-party apps, and a calendar can all be used to share the link. The session will open in a browser once the link is clicked, regardless of whether the person is using Android or Windows. The feature will be supported by Google Chrome and Microsoft Edge browsers, but it should work in any browser. Support for H.264 video encoding is required for sending video.


FaceTime's web launch comes with a number of limitations, some of which are more severe than others. For starters, non-Apple users are unable to schedule or initiate a call. These calls must be initiated from an Apple device, as is usual. Surprisingly, if all Apple device users exit during a call, the session may continue with only Android or Windows participants.
Non-Apple users who are on a call will be unable to share their screens or view the shared screens of others. This is a significant omission, especially because other video chat platforms include it as a standard feature. Without a doubt, this restriction will be enough to keep FaceTime off the table, especially in work areas. Then there's the SharePlay problem.
Apple released SharePlay on the same day it announced FaceTime web connectivity for non-Apple users. FaceTime talks will now feature the option to watch TV series and movies thanks to the new tool, which supports iPhone, iPad, Mac, and Apple TV. SharePlay also includes live music streaming and, of course, screen sharing.
Also at the launch event, SharePlay didn’t make it available for Android or Windows users.

FaceTime for Android and Windows: Thoughts

Apple has always excelled at being able to control both hardware and software. This devotion has mainly been positive for those who just use Apple's walled garden. Apple has traditionally provided better security and privacy than the competition by controlling the entire experience.
Apple has fallen behind the competition in one area where it has ultimate control: communication. Products like iMessage and FaceTime has a lot of cool features. This, however, requires that everyone is on the same page and that everyone is using an Apple device. When that isn't the case, customers often turn to Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, and other similar services.
Apple's move to make FaceTime web links available to people who don't have an Apple device is a good one. Despite this, because the solution lacks sharing capabilities, most people will continue to utilize the same video chat application on the ground. Only after Apple implements the same FaceTime functionality across all devices will the tool see a significant increase in popularity. Apple must, at the very least, allow screen sharing.
Is Apple willing to forfeit some control in order for this to occur? It's really unlikely.