Apple's Latest Update Brings FaceTime to Android, and People Are Thrilled

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Jun. 8 2021, Published 11:05 a.m. ET

In the pandemic age, there's been a flourishing of video conferencing apps, as well as plenty of frustration over a wide variety of technical glitches. Among the most frustrating came from FaceTime, which was totally useable for people with Apple software, but was impossible for those without it to access. Thanks to a new update from Apple that was announced at WWDC 2021, though, that's about to change, and users want to know how to use Facetime on Android.

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Here's how to use FaceTime on Android.

In iOS 15, the latest update to Apple's software, a wave of updates are coming to FaceTime that will make the app work more like Zoom. The new features include the ability to schedule calls, as well as a participant grid view.

The new operating system won't be available until the fall, but once it's been released, there are a few simple steps you can take to make calls available to Android users.

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If you're using an Android or Windows device and you're supposed to join a call on FaceTime, the person who set up the call can send you a link to use via text, email, Whatsapp, or a calendar invite. Once you have the link, all you'll need to do is click on it, and it should open in your browser. From there, you should be able to join the call without any further action.

Setting up a call requires an Apple device and account.

Although Android users can now join FaceTime calls, setting up a call still requires an Apple device and account. When you set up a call, you can create a sharable link that others can use to access the call. No Apple account is required for users to join, but the user who set up the call will have to approve of the non-Apple attendees before they'll be allowed to join.

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FaceTime's update is designed to make it a Zoom competitor.

Given the way that Zoom and other video conferencing apps have flourished during the pandemic, it makes sense that Apple would want to plant a flag in that realm. Although the pandemic is easing somewhat in certain parts of the world, video conferencing apps may be here to stay as a replacement for calls and other forms of virtual hangouts.

Source: YouTube
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Now that Zoom is so dominant, though, it's unclear whether Apple's efforts to get in on the action may be a little too late to have a signficant impact. Although FaceTime is convenient for users who have Apple devices, many have likely gotten used to Zoom for more formal, scheduled meetings during the year that most people were spent isolated and socially distanced.

The introduction of FaceTime as a more broadly available video calling app may put a minor dent in Zoom's performance, but the app is still limited somewhat by its need for an Apple user to set up the call. Zoom, by contrast, can be used on virtually any device by a user who sets up an account.

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