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(Pocket-lint) - At WWDC 2021, Apple announced a major update to FaceTime, likely in an effort to better compete with Zoom and other video calling services that exploded in popularity over the last year. As a result, it's developed new features for FaceTime, such as spatial audio, voice isolation, ‌FaceTime‌ links, SharePlay, and more. Here's everything you need to know.

What's new in FaceTime?

Below are the main upgrades coming to FaceTime.

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FaceTime on the web

Android and Windows PC users can finally join FaceTime calls, as FaceTime coming to the web. Previously, the video calling service was limited to users of the FaceTime app on iOS and Mac devices.

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FaceTime call links

FaceTime is introducing a Zoom-like feature: The ability to generate a link to a scheduled call, so you can share it with others in advance. You can send links to a call via iMessage, email, WhatsApp, Calendar, and more. The links also work with Android directly from the browser.

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SharePlay

SharePlay will let a group of people watch or listen to the same thing at once, so you can pull in songs, videos, or share your screen. A few, major partners will support the feature at launch, like Disney+, Hulu, HBO Max, and Twitch. Apple Music and Apple TV+ will support it, too.

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Spatial audio

Spatial audio should make it feel like you're sitting in the same room as the person you're speaking to on a video call. Or, if you're in a group call, the people on the call will sound spread out in the room, ideally.

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Voice isolation and Wide spectrum

Apple said voice isolation is a machine learning feature that blocks ambient noise and prioritises your voice so it sounds super crisp and clear. In contrast, Apple is introducing wide spectrum, which boosts ambient noise.

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Is that it?

Apple announced more FaceTime updates coming, like a grid view option and the option to blur your background with “portrait mode.”

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When will the new FaceTime be available?

A release date wasn’t immediately announced. We're guessing many of these new features will launch with iOS 15 in autumn 2021. 

More from WWDC 2021

Here's Pocket-lint's coverage of the Day One keynote:

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Writing by Maggie Tillman.