(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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Is that it?
Apple announced more FaceTime updates coming, like a grid view option and the option to blur your background with “portrait mode.”
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:
- Apple WWDC 2021: All the announcements that matter
- Apple iOS 15 release date, features, and rumours
- Apple iPadOS 15 release date, features, and rumours
- Apple MacOS 12: Release date, features, and rumours
- Apple watchOS 8 release date, features, and rumours
- macOS Monterey is coming: New Safari, Universal Control, Shortcuts, and more
- Apple Spatial Audio with Dolby Atmos launches on Apple Music today
- iPadOS 15 will intro long-awaited and much-needed Multitasking features to iPad
- iPadOS 15 will bring widgets and app library to iPad at last
- Apple's Wallet app can now open your hotel room or house