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Is Apple really welcoming Android, Windows users to FaceTime?

Is Apple really welcoming Android, Windows users to FaceTime?

Is Apple really welcoming Android, Windows users to FaceTime?

Last updated on
Jun 13, 2021, 01:56 pm

Apple will let Android, Windows users use FaceTime, but there’s a catch

The pandemic-fueled demand for video conferencing solutions saw Zoom skyrocket to popularity and Google open its enterprise-grade Google Meet platform to broader audiences.

The bug seems to have bitten Apple now. On the second day of its Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC), Apple announced that FaceTime will be accessible on Android and Windows devices, too.

Is this a strategy to lure people into Apple’s ecosystem?

Since 2010 unveil, FaceTime has remained exclusive to Apple users

Since 2010 unveil, FaceTime has remained exclusive to Apple users
Since 2010 unveil, FaceTime has remained exclusive to Apple users
Using SharePlay on a FaceTime call
Since 2010 unveil, FaceTime has remained exclusive to Apple users
Portrait mode for FaceTime

Apple debuted the FaceTime video calling solution exclusively for Apple devices alongside the iPhone 4 in 2010. Things remained that way until this year’s WWDC where Apple announced that devices running on Android and Windows will be able to access FaceTime via web browsers.

FaceTime also received a slew of feature updates, including Portrait mode, spatial audio, voice isolation, and SharePlay integration.

Apple’s move will help FaceTime reach a broader audience

Apple's move will help FaceTime reach a broader audience

That said, don’t let Apple’s sudden generosity allowing mere peasants like us to use FaceTime fool you. At the end of the day, it is still a calculated business move that would help the company’s services get more attention from users outside the ecosystem at no additional expense to said users.

Apple didn’t share a tentative timeline for the new feature’s rollout at WWDC.

Windows, Android users cannot initiate FaceTime, Apple users’ invite mandatory

Windows, Android users cannot initiate FaceTime, Apple users' invite mandatory

Interestingly, Apple did not highlight that Android and Windows users will still need an invite from an iOS/macOS user to join a FaceTime call. Users outside Apple’s walled garden will not be able to initiate FaceTime calls independently.

This way, Apple and its ecosystem users retain complete control while other platforms can just get a taste of Apple’s core applications.

Could Apple eventually open FaceTime up to non-Apple users?

Could Apple eventually open FaceTime up to non-Apple users?

Additionally, by allowing people on other platforms to use FaceTime, Apple now stands a chance to become a major player directly rivaling the likes of Zoom, Microsoft Teams, and Google Meet. FaceTime calls can also be scheduled and added to calendars now.

Could this be a precursor to Apple’s announcement of dedicated FaceTime apps for Android and Windows? Only time will tell.

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