How to Make Group Video Calls with FaceTime

With FaceTime, you can make group video calls from your iPhone easily and for free. Here are all the steps to follow

Group video chats are a great antidote to loneliness. In times of life when you can't go out, it's the only way to spend some time in the company of friends and family and to feel close even if you're far away. There are plenty of applications for group video calls: WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Instagram, but iPhone users have a dedicated app, FaceTime.

FaceTime is Apple's service with which you can make calls, video calls and send messages to other friends who have a device of the bitten apple. Making a group FaceTime with your friends is very easy and fast: you open the application, add your friends and the phone starts ringing. FaceTime can be used on iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch and even Mac, as long as you have an active webcam. Here's how to do group FaceTime.

FaceTime: supported devices

To use group FaceTime and initiate video calls with your friends or family you must have iOS 12.1.4 or iPadOS operating system used from the following devices: iPhone 6s or later, iPad Pro or later, iPad Air 2 or later, iPad mini 4 or later, or iPod touch (7th generation). Earlier iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch models that support iOS 12.1.4 can, however, take part in group FaceTime calls, but only as audio participants.

FaceTime: group chats

With group FaceTime, you can make video calls with multiple people at once. Just start a group FaceTime video call within the FaceTime app or from a group conversation in the Messages app. The person talking will be displayed in an automatically enlarged frame, a solution adopted to keep you from losing the thread of the conversation. But let's see in detail how the FaceTime app works.

Making a call from the FaceTime app

To initiate a call using the FaceTime app just go to "Settings" and then to "FaceTime". Once FaceTime is open tap the button with the "+" icon in the top right corner to enter the name, phone number or email of the contacts you want to call. Finally, to start a group FaceTime call, just tap Audio or Video.

Make a call from the Messages app

A group conversation can also be started within the Messages app directly from the conversation. Simply open Messages and start a group conversation or open an existing conversation. Tap the names of the contacts at the top of the group conversation and tap the FaceTime camera icon to start the call.

Participate in a FaceTime call

There are several ways to participate in a group FaceTime call initiated by another person. You can do so by tapping the notification displayed in the Notification Center or on the lock screen, and then tapping the FaceTime icon.

To join a group FaceTime video call starting from the Messages app, you need to tap the notification visible at the top of the screen, or tap "Join" in the group conversation present in the Messages app. After tapping "Join", joining the call will be automatic. Finally, to join a call from the FaceTime app you need to access the active call in the app and then tap the camera icon.

Add a person to a group FaceTime call

From the call screen tap the "+" symbol and then tap "Add person". Now you canĀ add a person by entering the contact's name, phone number or email, finally, tap "Add the person to FaceTime".

How to use camera effects to calls

Those with an iPhone X or later models, an 11-inch iPad Pro or a 12.9-inch iPad Pro (3rd generation) can use Animoji and Memoji directly in group FaceTime calls. On non-FaceID-equipped devices, however, you can use other camera effects such as filters, text, and shapes always from group FaceTime calls.

To use an Animoji or Memoji on iPhone X or later, 11-inch iPad Pro, or 12.9-inch iPad Pro (3rd generation) during a FaceTime call, you need to tap the "Animoji" icon, then choose the Animoji or Memoji to insert. To use camera effects during a FaceTime call, tap the "Effects" button. Tap the "Filters" icon, or the "Text" icon, or the "Shapes" icon, or the Memoji icon, or the Emoji icon.

Change FaceTime audio and video settings

FaceTime audio and video settings can be changed at any time during a call. Just tap the screen and scroll up to see the available options. Click the "Reverse" icon to switch to the rear camera, tap again to switch back to the front camera.

Tap the "Mute" icon to mute the microphone, tap again to unmute it. Tap the "Speaker" icon to toggle between silent mode and speaker, and finally, tap the "Camera" icon to turn it on or off, as appropriate.