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.
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.
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.
If you like using Portrait mode for selfies on your iPhone, there's a hidden feature you need to check out that adds a shallow depth of field effect to video when using the front-facing camera in FaceTime and even third-party apps like Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and Zoom.
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.
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.
Anything from work or a missed flight to a worldwide pandemic (COVID-19, anyone?) can make it difficult or nearly impossible to see your loved ones. You can make phone calls or send iMessage, text, or email messages, but nothing compares to seeing family and friends right in front of you. That's where FaceTime comes in.
With over 200 brand new features, iOS 13 is a worthy update for all compatible devices. That said, not all iPhone models are created equal. There is a new feature only older iPhones will see, one that skips over Apple's Face ID devices entirely. So if you have a traditional Home button iPhone capable of running iOS 13 but haven't updated yet, this is one benefit you're missing out on.
FaceTime has been around since iOS 4, and year after year, things stayed pretty much the same aside from a few small changes. In iOS 6, calls over cellular networks were finally possible, and audio-only calls were officially supported starting in iOS 7. But the one feature most everyone has wanted since FaceTime was a thing — group video calls — didn't show up until iOS 12.1 for iPhone.
By default, when you receive a FaceTime video call on your iPhone, the speakerphone kicks in immediately after answering unless you're wearing headphones. It's the exact opposite when it comes to FaceTime audio calls, but it's pretty easy to remedy if you'd rather have the speakerphone kick in instead of the built-in ear speaker.
Nothing has stopped you from taking a screenshot of a funny moment in a FaceTime video call before, and nothing probably will. But screenshots are old news. Apple has made it even easier to take capture FaceTime moments on your iPhone, and the results are more lively.