The group video calling feature is a highly anticipated addition to Apple devices. FaceTime now supports video chats with up to 32 participants, as well as the use of stickers, face and lens filters, and Animoji.
The tech company revealed Group FaceTime at its annual developer’s conference in June, but ended up pushing back the release from its initially scheduled date. Not to mention that the ability to group video chat has been available for years via apps like Google Hangouts and Skype, and more recently through Snapchat and WhatsApp.
Unfortunately, group video calling is only fully available on devices that are an iPhone 6s or later, iPad Pro or later, iPad Air 2, or iPad Mini 4. If you have an earlier model of an iPhone, iPad or iPod touch, you can still join, but as an audio-only participant.
You’ll want to make sure your device is updated to the latest version of iOS, because you won’t be able to start a group video chat with anyone whose hasn’t. You can check if you have iOS 12.1 by going to Settings>General>Software Update.
Here are the many ways to use Group FaceTimee on your Apple device:
There a few different ways to launch a Group FaceTime call. One way is through the FaceTime app itself, where you can add contacts, phone numbers, and emails to a group.
You can also launch a group call through any of your existing group conversation in Messages. Tapping the contacts at the top of a group chat will reveal the FaceTime icon to start you call.
There are a couple ways to enter a Group FaceTime call that someone else started. This also means you can join into a video call at any time while it’s going on.
From the Lock Screen or Notification Center, just tap the notification to be automatically connected.
Through the Messages app, tap the notification that appears at the top of your screen, or tap “Join” in the group conversation to enter the Group FaceTime call.
You can also add people to an existing Group FaceTime call. Just tap the “+” button on your call and add members.
You can now add camera effects to your FaceTime calls as well through the star-shaped button in the bottom left of your screen. If you have an iPhone X, you can also use Animoji and Memoji effects.
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