You might have long wondered why Apple doesn’t support FaceTime on devices like Android phones or Windows. The answer, of course, is that like a lot of Apple’s services, it would like you to experience them on one of its devices. The ecosystem is, after all, what makes the iPhone such a popular device, but Apple has decided that for FaceTime, it’s going to compromise with the launch of iOS 15.
This compromise comes in the form of a web service to allow anyone join a FaceTime call. Using a link sent to you, you’ll be able to join in with your Apple-device owning friends. Here’s how it will all work if you want to use FaceTime on Windows or Android.
People without any sort of Apple device won’t be able to instigate FaceTime calls; instead they’ll need an invite link to be sent to them. This can be done via a text message, WhatsApp, email or a calendar invite. Click the included link and you’ll be whisked to a web browser to join, but the meeting organizer will need to approve their entry into the call. It’s fairly straightforward, if perhaps a little less than ideal for those participants.
On the plus side, you’ll be able to log in on virtually anything that has a web browser. Be that a Chromebook, Windows laptop or Android phone. You’ll still be protected by Apple’s end-to-end encryption on calls, too, so there’s no need to worry about people snooping on your private catch-ups.
There’s no date for when this service will go live yet. However, we would expect FaceTime to come to Windows and Android around the same time as iOS 15 or shortly thereafter, which is scheduled to be released this fall.
Does this mean we’ll see more Apple services become cross-platform? Almost certainly not, especially if the service you’re thinking of is iMessage.