A small revolution was announced at WWDC21 for FaceTime, which will soon be able to be used by Windows and Android users: here's when.
An opening that the Apple of a few years ago would never have endorsed, but the Covid-19 pandemic has subverted customs in any field and not even the famous inflexibility of Apple has remained immune. So from the stage at Apple Park during WWDC21 came news that FaceTime will soon become more like rival services such as Skype, Zoom, Teams and other similar services.
Services for group audio and video calls over the past year and a half have experienced a second youth due to the social distancing imposed by the pandemic. Schooling has moved online as has office work, so apps and services for internet meetings have gained users and traffic. A business that has suddenly experienced a revaluation in which Apple wants to take part with FaceTime, which will give the possibility to those who don't have an iPhone, iPad or Mac to participate in group video calls anyway. By the time the novelty announced by Apple for FaceTime will be operational, the owner of the conversation will be able to generate invitation links for those who don't own a device other than an Android smartphone or tablet or, again, a Windows PC to participate.
The FaceTime of the future is less "rigid"
Since its creation over a decade ago, FaceTime has remained exclusive to devices running iOS, iPadOS and macOS. Technically, the WWDC21 announcement didn't change FaceTime's minimum requirement, as an Apple device remains necessary to create a conversation.
The novelty lies in the fact that currently only Apple users can be invited, while the company will soon allow those who don't own an Apple device to be invited via a link. Then with a click or a tap on the link you will be able to take part in the conversation through any web browser. There will be no specific app for Android and Windows, but the participation in the calls will be through browsers such as Google Chrome or Firefox.
No compromise in terms of security despite the lack of a specific app for FaceTime on these platforms: the conversations will maintain end-to-end encryption.
Apple didn't specify when FaceTime via browser for Windows and Android users will be active, but the feeling is that the time will come along with the debut of iOS 15, currently available in private beta and in the fall in stable version for everyone, probably at the time of the iPhone 13 unveiling.
FaceTime news from WWDC21
Not only the opening to Windows and Android users for FaceTime. During WWDC21, Apple also announced a number of other new features for the Internet-based calling service: a new grid view, the ability to blur the background, and SharePlay, which lets you share your screen to listen to music and watch movies or videos from third-party apps with friends - Apple announced Disney Plus, HBO, Hulu, Twitch, TikTok, and NBA - thanks to a dedicated user interface, will be coming.