Apple’s WWDC 2021 just started with interesting news about iOS 15 – FaceTime gets the reboot it needs with features that expand video calling and help you share much more with your friends.
OK, let’s start from the top!
Apple thought about group calls and how they feel “flat” – all your friends have these squares on the device screen and they all sound the same. To bring a more realistic and spacious vibe to group FaceTime calls, Apple is now introducing Spatial Audio. Basically, each call buddy has their own “place” in virtual mode and their voice comes from a different place in the stereo field.
Sound insulation and wide spectrum
Not all of us have the luxury of taking FaceTime calls in perfect and quiet conditions. Whenever you’re on a call in a noisy environment, you can turn on the brand new Voice Isolation toggle switch. FaceTime leverages artificial intelligence and frequency science to focus on your sounds and block out surrounding sounds.
On the other hand, if you want to share something that needs more dynamics and better frequency capture, the new widescreen mode improves the microphone gain and capture settings. Presumably, you can share the new acoustic song you learned with your friends through FaceTime.
You’ve seen what Portrait mode does in the Camera app. Well, it’s coming to FaceTime now. Basically, the background is blurry and the only focus is on you. Perfect for professional calls where you may not want your living room to be a topic of conversation.
Call scheduling, links and FaceTime on Android
To make FaceTime compatible with many other video calling apps, you can now set up meetings with room links for specific days and times. The room can be shared via Calendar, iMessage, or you can copy and paste a link to it to your friends.
FaceTime on all devices
Here’s the kicker – anyone with the link can join your FaceTime room. And whoever I mean Android and PC users – they get an online call from a video call!
A pretty big upgrade to FaceTime is Shareplay – you can share the screen, watch TV shows in perfect sync with your friends, or listen to playlists together. Let’s start with the simplest:
We’ve all used screenshots and screenshots to share the content on our screen and help a relative with their iPhone settings. Screen sharing takes this forward by letting you take them through the process in real time, step by step.
Sharing music through Shareplay is a great way to experience a great new album or build a favorite playlist with your friends. The FaceTime call continues, but you also listen to your mutual playlist in high quality. Anyone in the call has the ability to add songs or play / pause / skip a song.
Sharing TV shows lets you experience your favorite movies together – the show takes up the screen, and the small facecam square shows your friend’s selfie cam videos, so you can still share your reactions and thoughts from the latest episode. Or you can watch the show on your Apple TV while the FaceTime call is still open on your phone – everyone is still watching in sync.
Sharing media in FaceTime calls requires that each participant has an active subscription to the service from which the media is streamed. But it’s not locked into Apple TV and Apple Music!
Apple has released a third-party API, and many partners have already joined to deploy Shareplay on FaceTime – from Disney + to TikTok!
Existing SharePlay partners