Apple has quietly removed a major feature coming to iPhones, iPads and Macs: Group FaceTime calls.
The Cupertino, California-based company removed Group FaceTime from the latest iOS 12 and MacOS Mojave betas, which were rolled out on 13 August, and it now plans to release the feature at a later date. Group FaceTime, which is designed to allow up to 32 people to simultaneously communicate together either via FaceTime audio or FaceTime video, won't arrive until later this autumn.
In release notes for both the iOS 12 and MacOS Mojave betas, Apple said Group FaceTime has been removed from the initial releases and will now "ship in a future software update" later this autumn. Apple was expected to launch iOS 12 alongside the next iPhones in September, with MacOS Mojave to immediately follow. Now, when the updates do release, Group FaceTime won't be included.
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The feature, which has been available in iOS 12 and macOS Mojave since the first betas became available in June, seemed to work well when Pocket-lint tested it at a media event, so it's unclear why Apple has pushed paused on launching it, though this is a very common thing for the company to do. For instance, with iOS 11, Apple delayed features like Apple Pay Cash, AirPlay 2, and iCloud Messages.
If we had to guess, Apple will launch Group FaceTime with the first or second updates to iOS 12. We'll keep you posted.