Apple is taking on Zoom with its latest features for FaceTime.
SharePlay lets you have a FaceTime conversation while everyone is enjoying something else on their devices, be it a TV show, movie or music. Apple makes this compatible with third-party apps, so services like Hulu and HBO Max add support.
Keep FaceTime conversations going while watching TV shows and movies, listening to music, or sharing your screen with SharePlay. It’s a whole new way to share experiences with family and friends, no matter the distance.
Stream movies and TV shows while having a FaceTime conversation with friends. With synchronized playback and control, you’ll see everyone laughing, jumping, and reacting to the same moments at the same time. And the volume adjusts automatically, so you can keep talking while you watch TV.
Sit down and listen to an album with your friends. The whole group can see what’s next and add songs to a shared queue with synced playback and easy-to-use controls.
Share your screen with everyone on your FaceTime call. Search for apartment listings, browse through a photo album, or plan your next group vacation while meeting and talking with others.
The company is also adding Spatial Audio to FaceTime to make it easier to understand who is talking and when. The feature plays a person’s audio from the part of the screen they’re on, so you can focus on the person who’s talking. FaceTime also adds support for grid view, portrait mode, and new microphone modes that can hide or include background noise.
One thing that has always been difficult to handle with FaceTime is a scheduled call, especially if you plan to chat with multiple people. Apple wants to simplify this process with FaceTime Links, which lets you schedule a call for later with friends and family.
Create a unique FaceTime web link to easily schedule a call for later or share the link with a group. Share it with your friends in Messages, Mail, or third-party apps like WhatsApp. You can also generate a link to an event in the Calendar, so everyone knows exactly where and when to meet.
FaceTime even comes to Windows and Android, sort of. If you send someone a FaceTime link, and they use Android or Windows, they can now join the call from their browser.
You can now send your friends and family a link to connect to FaceTime, even if they’re using Windows or Android. And it’s still end-to-end encrypted, so your call is just as private and secure as any other FaceTime call.
Many of these features put FaceTime on par with other video calling apps that have become very popular, like Zoom and Google Meet. Of course, FaceTime has an immediate advantage over these competitors because it’s built into Apple devices and comes with Apple’s privacy promise. Even though Zoom continues to dominate the business world, Apple is looking to take over the consumer market in this area.