New FaceTime Features in iOS 15

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Portrait Mode, one of the iOS 15 FaceTime new features
Portrait Mode, one of the iOS 15 FaceTime new features

 

Announced in Apple’s WWDC keynote on June 7th, 2021, iOS 15 is the next major release of the iPhone operating system. Apple’s own video chat service, FaceTime, is getting a major overhaul with an abundance of new features. Here’s a quick list of the key new FaceTime features coming to iOS 15 supported devices this fall. Of course, not all new features will be available on all supported devices.

SharePlay

This feature allows users to watch movies, TV shows and listen to music together while on a FaceTime call. SharePlay works with supported streaming services, Apple’s own Apple TV+ and Apple Music being two of them. Users can also share their screens while seeing and talking to each other. No doubt this will make it much easier to help families and friends troubleshoot iPhone problems.

Spacial Audio

Spacial Audio is available on devices with A12 Bionic chips and later. This feature makes the voice in a FaceTime call sound like it’s coming from where the person is positioned on the screen.

New Microphone Modes

FaceTime in iOS 15 will get new microphone modes that can separate the user’s voice from background noise.

Portrait Mode

Available on devices with A12 Bionic chips and later, portrait mode allows users to blur their background and put themselves in the focus on FaceTime calls.

FaceTime Links

If these changes are not yet proof that Apple is looking to make the service a Zoom competitor, FaceTime in iOS 15 will allow users to create FaceTime links.

Similar to how Zoom links work, users can share FaceTime links around and others can click/tap to join the FaceTime calls. Users create FaceTime links in the FaceTime app on Apple devices, and users on other devices like PC or Android can also join the calls in their browsers.

Apple released iOS 15 to developers as a developer beta in WWDC, but at the time of this post, Apple has not released the iOS 15 public beta. If you are interested in trying out some of these iOS 15 new features, keep a lookout for Apple’s announcement on their beta software program page.

List of iPhone models supported by iOS 15:

  • iPhone 6s and newer models
  • iPhone SE both generations
  • iPod touch 7th generation 

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