Your iPhone's Camera app isn't the only place you can use Portrait mode for selfies. An easy-to-miss feature built right into iOS lets app developers leverage Apple's powerful Portrait mode effect in their own apps, so you can add a shallow focus effect to photos and videos when using the front-facing camera in FaceTime and apps like Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and Zoom.
How To: Use Live Captions on Your iPhone for Real-Time Transcriptions of Any Audio — Calls, Videos, Podcasts, and More
With Apple's latest accessibility feature, you can get live transcriptions of anything you're listening to on or around your iPhone. Real-time captions work for phone calls, video conferences, FaceTime, music, podcasts, streaming media, movies, games, and more — even someone sitting right next to you talking.
Whenever you're on an audio call in the Phone or FaceTime app and accidentally press your iPhone's Side button, the call ends immediately. It's a helpful feature for those who like to terminate calls that way, but it's flat-out annoying for everyone else who inadvertently ends calls prematurely. Now, everybody wins because you can choose what happens during calls when you lock your device.
How To: Use Your iPhone's Hidden Microphone Effects to Improve Your Audio in FaceTime, Zoom, and Other Video Calling Apps
Being seen clearly is an essential part of any video call you're on, but being heard is equally important. Lousy audio from your side can ruin the experience for others on the call if they can't understand you or hear the sounds they need or want to hear. To improve your audio feed during FaceTime, Google Meet, Instagram, WhatsApp, Zoom, and other video calls, unlock your iPhone's hidden audio filters.
You see it in the movies all the time. A character on the phone doesn't like what the other person is saying or telling them to do, or they just don't want to talk to them anymore, so they fake bad reception and cut the call off. In real life, it's pretty easy to tell when someone is doing it, and there are better ways to end a call abruptly so that it looks like you didn't hang up on them.
SharePlay is arguably one of the most significant features to hit FaceTime since group calls, and it's still hard to find apps that support shared experiences in FaceTime. Apple does list a few apps, but there is no official index of all the apps with SharePlay integration. That's where we come in.
Apple's hottest new FaceTime feature, SharePlay, comes packed with sharing options, and the biggest one lets you share your device's screen with the people you're FaceTiming. It didn't make it in time for the big iOS 15 release, but it did arrive in iOS 15.1, released Oct. 25, and here's how it works.
FaceTime audio calling is a great alternative to regular phone calls on your iPhone because it usually has better audio quality and fewer dropped calls than regular calls over cellular or Wi-Fi calling. Plus, it's easier to start group chats, and you have the choice to turn on your camera. If you frequently use the "audio" button in Messages to start FaceTime audio calls, know that things work differently in iOS 15.
While new features in Safari, Camera, Photos, Notes, Weather, Messages, and other Apple apps may steal the show on iOS 17, there are some impressive new features you need to know about when it comes to FaceTime audio and video calls.
Missing a FaceTime video call no longer means missing out on a conversation. With the latest FaceTime update, an incoming caller can leave you a video message when you don't answer — and you can leave a video message for somebody who misses or rejects your FaceTime video call.
How To: Use FaceTime's Secret Hand Gestures and Reaction Buttons to Add Animated On-Screen Effects to Your Video Feed
Apple's Messages app has long had visual effects you could apply manually after long-pressing the send button, and there are even hidden keywords you could use to trigger full-screen effects automatically. FaceTime's latest update also gives you some full-screen effects to play around with during video calls, but the triggers are an entirely different concept — hand gestures.
How To: FaceTime's Latest Trick Lets You Play Games with Family and Friends on Your iPhone During Calls — Here's How It Works
Whenever you're on a FaceTime call, you can use SharePlay on your iPhone or iPad to screen share, watch TV or movies together, work out with each other, and even listen to the same music at the same time. SharePlay also recently received a new skill that turns FaceTime into a portable gaming platform.
One advantage to using Apple's ecosystem is Continuity, which allows you to move files, media, and tasks seamlessly between all your Apple devices. It even lets you use one device to help with actions on another, like unlocking your Mac with your Apple Watch or using your iPad as a second display. Now, things are even better with Continuity with Handoff's new FaceTime functionality.
Apple's exclusive chat services, iMessage and FaceTime, force many of us to stay locked into iOS, iPadOS, and macOS to communicate with other Apple users, so chatting with Android-using friends means SMS texts, third-party messaging apps, and third-party video chat services. However, Apple is breaking boundaries with iOS 15 so that we can FaceTime with Android, Linux, and Windows users.
How To: Disable FaceTime's Creepy Eye Contact Feature in iOS 14 So You Don't Look Like You're Staring Awkwardly
It's incredible what technology can do these days, but sometimes, it gets a little scary. For instance, FaceTime's "Eye Contact" feature, which Apple beta-tested in iOS 13 but released with iOS 14, makes it appear like you're looking right at the camera, even when you're actually looking at your friend on the screen. If you find this artificial trick a bit creepy, rest assured you can turn it off at any time.
How To: Bring Back Full-Screen Incoming Call Alerts for FaceTime, Phone & Other Calling Apps in iOS 14
In iOS 13 and under, whenever you were in an app or on the home screen, and a Phone or FaceTime call came in, the entire screen would be taken over by the incoming call. Apple changed it to a subtle banner notification in iOS 14 so that it doesn't wholly obfuscate what you're doing when the call happens. However, you can get the old design back if that works better for you.
With Zoom and Google Meet, you can zoom in using your rear camera on a video call to focus on something far away or to get a closeup view. But in Messenger, Snapchat, WhatsApp, Skype, Instagram, and most other video chat apps, zoom functionality is disabled. And it may appear to be blocked in FaceTime too, but that's not the case — the feature is just hiding in plain sight.
These days, you can FaceTime with family and friends whether you're at home connected to Wi-Fi or on-the-go with mobile data. You may have noticed, however, that your iPhone will sometimes drop Wi-Fi and rely on cellular instead — whether you're placing or receiving a FaceTime call. While that's not an expected result, there is a workaround to get your FaceTime calls back on track.
When using Group FaceTime with more than a handful of people, all of those participants in one chat can be difficult to follow. That's why Apple automatically enlarges the tiles for people who are currently speaking, bringing them into the forefront. However, all of that zooming in and out can get pretty distracting, and now there's a way to disable it whenever you need to.
If you've ever wanted to turn off your camera during a FaceTime call, you might have noticed it seems, well, impossible. But it's not. You can kill your camera feed at any time, whether you're chatting with one friend or 31. Apple just makes the off button challenging to find.