After that, I will start a group conversation on FaceTime. For several months, the planet Apple has been talking about nothing else.
The latest version of the FaceTime video conferencing application now has its own group conversation system. You can make group audio or video calls from your iPhone, Mac or iPad.
Photo Corinne Kutz at Unsplash
Here are some tips on what FaceTime groups are for and how to use them.
Presentation of the FaceTime groups
The arrival of group calls on FaceTime is not really a surprise. We knew that Apple had been working on this project for several months. I must say that fans of the apple brand have been waiting for this for a long time.
Technically, FaceTime groups are very similar to competitors’ groups, such as WhatsApp, Skype or Facebook Messenger. You can gather up to 31 people in a video conversation as long as they have a device stamped with the famous apple logo. Please note that there are no FaceTime applications for Android.
Are group calls compatible with all iPhones?
Technically, all mobile devices (iPhone or iPad) with iOS 12.1 and Macs with Mojave MacOS have the new FaceTime group chat feature. However, in practice, there are still many obstacles. The way video calls work depends on the device used.
To enjoy group video conversations, you’ll need an iPad Pro, iPad Air 2, iPad Mini 4, iPhone 6 or higher. If you have an older smartphone with iOS 12.1, you will have access to FaceTime group limited to audio calls only. You will not be able to see other participants in the group conversation.
Please note that calls made from FaceTime are completely free (except for possible Internet connection costs).
This solution can be very useful, especially abroad. In some countries, telecommunication operators impose relatively high roaming fees.
How to make a group call with FaceTime
As explained above, group calls on FaceTime are only available on iPhones or iPads with iOS 12.1. Make sure your device has the latest version of iOS and, if necessary, upgrade your smartphone.
FaceTime will send each of your contacts a message inviting them to join your group conversation. All they have to do is click on the green video camera icon to join the call. Photos of all participants will be displayed directly on your device screen.
Note that to make the exchanges more fluid, Apple has had the good idea to automatically enlarge the thumbnail of the person speaking.
However, there is nothing to prevent you from enlarging the image of the correspondent of your choice. To do so, simply click twice on the thumbnail.
Sometimes, when you add a contact to a FaceTime conversation, the contact’s name appears in gray instead of blue. Don’t worry, everything is normal.
This color code was introduced by Apple to inform users that their contact’s device is not suitable for making multi-party calls.
Either because your iPhone has not been updated to iOS 12 or because the FaceTime application has not been properly configured on your phone.
Launching a FaceTime group from the message application
You will soon realize that selecting each participant in the conversation one by one can quickly become complicated, especially if your address book is full of numbers. As we will see next, there are different ways to start a group conversation.
If you already have several groups (iGroup Messages) in your message application, you can use them to make calls more quickly.
- Launch the message application
- Open an existing group conversion
- Click on the top of the screen where the names of your correspondents are displayed.
- Select the FaceTime option
- Members of this group will receive a message informing them that a Facetime call has just been launched.
Encourage your calls with a Memoji or Animoji
Video conferencing is a very popular tool in the business world. It is certainly for this reason that this mode of communication is judged austere or severe by a large number of people. However, there is a simple way to remedy this.
Everyone knows the Anomijs, those little avatars (inspired by emojis) in the shape of characters or animals that reproduce our facial expressions… Know that it is possible to use them with FaceTime in a group conversation.
So at any time during the call you can replace the front camera image of your iPhone with your Memoji (custom avatar) or one of the Animojis offered by Apple. This is the procedure to follow to add fun to your group conversations.
- Once the call has been launched for more than one person, click on the star-shaped icon at the bottom left of the screen.
- Then select the Memoji or Animoji you want to display.
Important detail, the animated avatars are only available on devices with a front camera equipped with TrueDepth technology. This is the case for iPhone X and above.