Apple wants to take on Zoom with new FaceTime features
Apple kicked off this year’s WWDC (Worldwide Developers Conference) with new features coming to the next big update for iPhones, iOS 15. Facetime is the first native app to get a bunch of new features, which will help Apple compete with the likes of Zoom, Google Duo, and more.
Apple says that it wants to make FaceTime more natural, comfortable, and lifelike. The first important feature coming to Facetime is spatial audio which ensures that the sound feels as if it’s coming in the direction your friend is sitting in. Additionally, it will also add voice isolation where machine language will be used to distinguish and block any ambient noise to prioritize your voice. FaceTime will also add a new feature called wide spectrum audio where the mic can pick up your voice and all the sounds around you.
As for visual changes, the ‘Grid View’ brings a new way to view your FaceTime calls where you can move around the people in your group chat to clearly see who’s speaking. A new portrait mode is also being added that will allow users to blur the background while they are on a FaceTimr call, thereby focusing more on your face.
FaceTime Link is another important addition to the app. Users can now generate links for FaceTime calls allowing them to directly add them to a calendar or share it with their friends or colleagues. Best of all, FaceTime calls will now be accessible to Android and Windows users via the browser with end-to-end encryption.
Apple also announced SharePlay, a new feature that will be leveraged by FaceTime. You can now watch movies and TV shows, listen to music, and share your screen directly on a FaceTime call. SharePlay will also support shared playback controls, music queue, picture-in-picture, and more. Additionally, using the SharePlay API, online streaming services like Disney+, Hulu, and more, can enable support giving users the ability to share content from the apps with their friends via FaceTime. Apple says that the new SharePlay features will be available on iPadOS 15, macOS Monterey, and Apple TV as well.
The new FaceTime updates are expected to arrive with the new iOS 15 update.