How to Finally FaceTime Your Non-Apple Friends

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How to Finally FaceTime Your Non-Apple Friends
Image: Collected

If you’re a fan of Apple, the company’s Messages and FaceTime service are likely two important features that keep you stuck in Cupertino’s ecosystem. But now, Apple has just opened the floodgates, allowing anyone, including Android or Windows people, to invite to FaceTime calls.

Unfortunately, Apple doesn’t write FaceTime applications for Android or Windows. It would be cool too. Instead, Apple is giving us a bit of a compromise. We share FaceTime links with friends and allow them to open with a web browser. With the link, you can join a FaceTime call on any platform, including Android, Windows, and Apple.

There is a catch (but not a big one)

This new feature may not be available to everyone. Apple is including this feature as part of this year’s big iOS15 update. There is no official release date for the software at the time of this writing, but it is currently in beta testing. If you install the unfinished software on your iPhone, you can now try FaceTime calls on Android and Windows devices. Follow these steps if you need assistance installing the iOS15 beta on your iPhone.

How to share a FaceTime links with anyone

Open the FaceTime app on iOS 15 running on your iPhone. You can see a slightly redesigned interface here compared to iOS 14, but an important part for our purposes is the option to create a new link at the top of the window. Tab to continue.

This will open the iOS share sheet. Here you can share your FaceTime link as you like. Text messages, emails, tweets about your status (deprecated) – how if you want a link to someone you want to chat with. You can give your connection a unique name by tapping “Add Name” below the FaceTime link.

Just open it in a web browser where your friend receives the link. This applies to Android, Windows, or any other conceivable operating system that supports the latest version of Google Chrome or Microsoft Edge and H.264 video encoding.

Joining a call gives you the entire FaceTime experience with just your browser, not the FaceTime app. Will Apple Make Android or Windows FaceTime Apps? Only time will tell. Until then, this is a workaround and a major step in narrowing the gap between platforms.

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