What's New in FaceTime?

Apple is upgrading its video call app with new features

FaceTime is getting a major facelift, including a multitude of new features designed to help make your experience with Apple’s video calling app even better.

During Monday's opening day of the Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) 2021, Apple announced several new additions will be coming to FaceTime when iOS 15 releases in the fall. This is one of the biggest updates that FaceTime has seen, and includes several new features that Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior vice president of software engineering, says should make connecting with friends and family easier than ever.

Spatial Audio and Background Noise Suppression

Apple showcases the new FaceTime update for background noise suppression

Apple

Two of the first features coming to FaceTime will provide better audio options for users. Spatial audio will allow for more immersive calling. Meanwhile, the added noise suppression feature will allow you to block out extra noise, allowing you to talk clearly with users even if you’re in a noisy area.

Federighi also noted that a wide spectrum mode is available, too, which will allow you to capture all the tiny noises in the background, for those once-in-a-lifetime events where you want to capture everything.

FaceTime Links and On the Web

The updated FaceTime Links screen in FaceTime

Apple

Another new option coming to FaceTime is the introduction of what Apple calls FaceTime Links. Now, users will be able to schedule FaceTime calls and set up a link, which they can then share with other iPhone users. Alternatively, you also can share the link with users on Windows PCs or Android phones, and they can join the call, too.

FaceTime's link sharing will work with Android and Windows 10 via the web, too, which should let more people use FaceTime like other video applications like Zoom and Meet. Apple didn't share specific details on how many features would be available via the app, or how exactly those calls will work, so you'll need to wait until iOS 15 arrives with the update to see it in action.

It’s the first time that FaceTime has been available in any form on non-Apple products. Apple also mentioned a new portrait mode, which should allow users to better organize their call.

Shareplay and Screen Sharing

Apple showcases the new Shareplay feature in FaceTime

Apple

Perhaps the biggest additions to FaceTime, though, are Shareplay and Screen sharing. With Shareplay, users will be able to watch movies and other online content together during FaceTime calls. Federighi says that Shareplay will support popular streaming services like Hulu, Disney+, and more. 

Additionally, screen sharing will allow users to browse online listings like real estate, restaurants, and other things together.

See all the coverage of WWDC 2021 here.

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