With the arrival of iOS 12.1 users can now make Group FaceTime audio and video calls with up to a staggering 32 people. Group FaceTime also features cool features like automatic detection of active speakers, ringless notifications, and of course are encrypted end to end so they remain private and viewable only by the participants.
Group FaceTime calls are a great way for the whole family to catch up say…when you’re under lockdown because a pandemic is spreading around the world. And the best thing about group FaceTime calls, they work across all Apple devices. So one person can be on an iPhone, the other an iPad, and the other a Mac and they can still all chat together.
So just how do you use Group FaceTime? We’re glad you asked!
Group FaceTime: Make A Call From The FaceTime App
Making a group FaceTime call couldn’t be simpler:
- Open the FaceTime app.
- Tap the + button in the top-right corner.
- Enter the name of your contacts, their phone numbers, or their emails of the people you want to Group Call.
- To start your FaceTime call, tap the Audio or Video buttons.
Group FaceTime: Make A Call From The Messages App
But you don’t need to use the FaceTime app to initiate a group FaceTime call. You can also do it right from the Messages app.
- Open the Messages app.
- Start a new group conversation or go to an existing group conversation.
- Tap the contacts at the top of the group conversation.
- Tap the FaceTime (camera icon) button, then start your call.
Group FaceTime: Join A Call
No matter which way a group FaceTime call was initiated, there are several ways you can join a Group FaceTime call:
- Tap the notification you receive in the Notification Center or on the Lock screen, then tap the green FaceTime camera button.
- To join a Group FaceTime call from Messages, tap the notification at the top of your screen or tap the green “Join” button inside the message you receive. After you tap Join, you’re automatically connected to the group call.
- To join a group call from the FaceTime app, just go to the active call in FaceTime, then tap the green FaceTime camera button.
Group FaceTime: Adding Another Person To An Active Call
A great thing about group FaceTime calls is that you can add other people mid-call. That is, you don’t need to start the call all over again if you decide you want to let Mark from accounting in on the chat.
- On the call screen, tap the + button.
- Tap Add Person.
- Enter the person’s name, phone number, or email.
- Tap Add Person to FaceTime.
Apple expert and novelist, Michael Grothaus has been covering tech on KnowYourMobile for the best part of 10 years. Prior to this, he worked at Apple. And before that, he was a film journalist. Michael is a published author; his book Epiphany Jones was voted as one of the best novels about Hollywood by Entertainment Weekly. Michael is also a writer at other publications including VICE and Fast Company.