Tuesday, July 20, 2021

How to use Apple’s FaceTime on Android or Windows

Pic Credit: Apple

The days of requiring an iPhone, iPad, or Mac to participate in a FaceTime video conference are nearly gone. Apple is making it possible for users with Android phones and Windows laptops to join FaceTime calls with no iPhone required. This is widely considered as Apple's response to Zoom video calls.

That is not to suggest that Apple devices are not included. In fact, they're still so important to FaceTime's core functionality that the system will rely on the future iOS 15 operating system, which is now available as a public beta and is designed to appear and operate more like Zoom and Microsoft Teams.

In addition to the ability of FaceTime to video chat anyone outside Apple’s ecosystem, FaceTime also includes a new grid view, the capability to plan meetings, and a watch party feature called SharePlay.

Here's how you'll be able to join FaceTime calls no matter what device you're using, whether you're downloading the iOS 15 developer beta right now or waiting until the final version arrives in the fall.

The most important thing for FaceTime calls on Android or Windows is that you will be needed a link to join a FaceTime call. If you have an Android or Windows device and a friend or family member who has an Apple device, they can send you a link to join a FaceTime call by SMS, email, WhatsApp, or a calendar invite.

Once you've obtained the link, simply click on it to open it in your browser. You won't need to download a separate app or own an Apple device to join the call from there.

One exception to this update: you'll need an Apple device and an Apple account to schedule or start a FaceTime conversation. Then you can share a link with friends to invite them to join using their browser on Android or Windows devices — no Apple account is required. However, those people won't be allowed to join the call until the Apple user who hosts it gives them permission to join.

FaceTime calls are always end-to-end encrypted on the web, according to Apple's WWDC keynote.