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One of the most popular, free messaging apps available

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FaceTime is one of the key apps receiving a lot of love from Apple in iOS 15. With the new operating system now available for iPhone users, people are able to join the conversation with friends on. Oct 03, 2021 Apple’s big iPhone update lets you FaceTime with Windows and Android users — here’s how.Read more on 'The West Australian'.

FaceTime is an Apple service which allows you to make phone and video calls. You can talk with your loved ones everywhere they are, even if they don't have a WiFi connection.

Chat from anywhere

FaceTime is a video messaging app that allows you to initiate video calls with Apple users.

Free audio and video

With FaceTime, communicate with your friends and family quickly and effectively. This app is superior to other messaging applications in terms of quality.

The images are sharper as it can receive HD video calls up to 720p.

The setup is relatively easy, and the process is fast and simple. Everyone from kids to grandparents can learn how to use it. Enter your Apple ID, and you're good to go.

Once your account is ready, using FaceTime is like using your phone to make a call. Enter your contact list within the app, press the call button, and there you have it!

FaceTime is used globally because you're not calling through phone services. Talk to people from all around the world with this application, just send them a message, and they will get it immediately. It works with WiFi connection and with mobile data.

It is an efficient video messaging app out there in terms of the quality of the calls. the only downside is that it is only available for Apple users. Let's hope one day we get one for users from all devices!

Where can you run this program?

You can download FaceTime on Apple devices such as iPhone (from the iPhone 4 and up), iPod touch, iPad, and Apple computers and laptops.

Is there a better alternative?

No. There are a lot of apps on the market that allow you to make phone and video calls, but FaceTime continues to be the best one because the quality of the video and audio is superior.

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Our take

FaceTime is an amazing, easy to use app that helps you communicate with your loved ones everywhere that they are. It has the best quality individual and group video chats.

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Should you download it?

Yes. If you own an Apple device, this app is a must-have on your phone. There are plenty of similar apps available, but you will always return to FaceTime.

Highs

  • Audio and video calls
  • Up to 32 people group chat
  • Use a phone number or Apple ID
  • Use effects to turn into an Animoji or stickers

Lows

  • The quality can be hit-and-miss
  • Only works for Apple users

FaceTimefor iOS

FaceTime allows users to make audio and video calls using their Apple devices. It is end-to-end encrypted and cannot be intercepted or recorded by an outside party. The service uses the internet to make calls rather than traditional phone networks.

● Video and Audio call system
● Used on all Apple products for video or audio messaging
● End-to-end encryption prevents snooping on conversations
● Group video calls for up to 32 people
● Video effects like Memoji and Animoji available during calls
● SharePlay enables watching movies and more over a call

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FaceTime is a proprietary calling system first introduced at WWDC in 2010 alongside the iPhone 4. Steve Jobs famously stated that the protocol would be available across the Apple ecosystem then later be made open source, which never occurred.

FaceTime and iMessage are associated with Apple lock-in. The services tend to attract outside customers seeking compatibility with Apple devices. People without these communication tools can often be left out of group chats or social interactions, which pushes users to stay within the Apple ecosystem.

FaceTime Features

Apple provides regular updates to FaceTime to keep its features in line with competing services. Advances in machine learning enable new features like Animoji head tracking, stickers, and group video calls.

FaceTime calls can be made from any Apple device using video or audio. Calls are made over the network connection and utilize end-to-end encryption for all video and audio content passed over the call.

Compatible platforms:

Video calls are completed using the front or rear cameras on a device and are limited to 1080p. The calls use H.264 video and AAC audio for the highest possible quality without call lag.

Users can also take Live Photos while on a call using the shutter button in the corner of the call. You can disable this feature within settings.

With Apple's 2021 operating system updates, FaceTime gets a few new tricks that improve the quality of the call. Users can isolate their voice over the microphone using a system-wide voice isolation toggle in Control Center. This forces the in-device mic to drop off any noise not coming from the speaker.

A background effect filter using the artificial Portrait mode algorithms is also available via Control Center. The FaceTime camera will attempt to focus on the speaker's face and blur out any background.

When in any FaceTime Video call, group or one-to-one, users have access to special effects and stickers. Users can replace their head with an Animoji or Memoji avatar, and it will use face and head tracking to display the animations in real-time.

iMessage stickers are also available in FaceTime, allowing users to place them around the chat window. Using the same face-tracking tools as Animoji, the stickers will remain wherever they are positioned relative to your head.

These specific effects are limited to devices with Face ID since it uses their infrared sensors to perform head tracking and face mapping.

Group FaceTime calls allow up to 32 participants at once

In iOS 12, Apple introduced group video calls to FaceTime for up to 32 people. When in a standard FaceTime call, you can tap on the 'add people' button to add multiple participants to the call.

Users with an iMessage group chat can also start a group call right away by selecting 'FaceTime' from the messages menu. This will call everyone in the group chat at the same time, and they can choose to join or not. While a call is active within an iMessage group, users can enter or leave the call as they like.

Users with Apple Watches or devices that cannot run iOS 12 or macOS 10 can join the group calls, but will not see the UI or have video.

The iOS 15 update allows users to change the floating image design into a standard grid of callers. A speaker will be highlighted with a white box and slightly larger image.

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Watch movies and other content together over FaceTime via SharePlay

A new system for sharing media content over FaceTime was introduced during the 2021 WWDC, and it is called SharePlay. The feature will roll out with iOS 15, macOS Monterey, and iPadOS 15 starting in the fall.

Apple showed off using SharePlay to watch Apple TV+ content and share Apple Music during a call. Third-party app developers will be able to target the API as well, so YouTube or TikTok will be able to take advantage of this social feature.

Apple uses end-to-end encryption for its consumer-facing communication tools like iMessage and FaceTime. This means that every call made or message sent is private, and no one can listen in, not even Apple.

Calls made with FaceTime audio or video are not recorded and cannot be tapped or intercepted. Apple keeps track of who was called for up to 30 days. It does not record any call durations or whether the call was answered.

Apple's encryption for communication services has never been hacked or broken. The United States government, and more specifically, the FBI, have challenged Apple on their encryption practices on multiple occasions. Some segments of the U.S. and other countries' governments have argued that encrypted communications for civilians are unnecessary and damaging to police investigations.

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There have been multiple instances where law enforcement tried to compel Apple to break its encryption or offer governments a back door, but the company has not budged.

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Some governments have regulated FaceTime video calls, leaving some countries without access to the service. For example, some Middle-Eastern countries tap and trace calls to combat terrorism, and VoIP calling is banned, especially if they are encrypted.

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Apple enabled FaceTime in Saudi Arabia and Pakistan after the countries eased regulations. The service is still not available in the United Arab Emirates, and there are no signs of the ban lifting soon.