iOS 15 has been released and if you’ve received Facetime invites from one of your friends with an iPhone then no they are not joking, you can now receive those calls directly on your PC! iOS 15 brings along many other numerous changes as well including Shareplay, screensharing for Facetime and iMessage, new UI, new Safari UI, private relay and more. If you’re a Windows user looking to get in touch with your friends using iOS or vice versa, then here’s all you need to know about it.
Requirements for FaceTime on the Web/Windows PC
There are a few requirements to make cross-platform Facetime calls. Essentially if you are running Windows 10 or higher, or iOS 15, then it is likely your device can make and receive Facetime calls.
Keep in mind that Windows devices are restricted to only receiving and joining in on Facetime calls. Additionally, there are some network requirements as well that you should keep in mind if you are facing issues with your Facetime calls.
- An Android or Windows device that can support video calls.
- The latest version of Google Chrome or Microsoft Edge on Android or Windows.
- An LTE or higher mobile data connection or 5mbps or higher WiFi connection.
- H.264 video encoding support
- Subscription to necessary services to support Shareplay (Optional)
How to Facetime Windows Users
You can use the guide below to generate Facetime web links which can then be shared with Windows users. Once shared, use the subsequent guide to join and moderate your calls.
Facetime allows you to send custom links for Facetime calls to users. These links can be added to calendar events and scheduled for the future as well.
By default, you will get the ability to moderate who can join the call and the link will be active till deleted manually. Use the guide below to create a Facetime link and share it with Windows users.
Open the Facetime app and tap on ‘Create Link’.
A share window pop-up will now appear on your screen. You can tap the desired app and share the link with one of your contacts, or tap on ‘Copy’ to copy the link to your clipboard.
Once copied, you can share the link with the desired person through your preferred app.
You can now go back to the Facetime app and tap on ‘i’ beside the newly created ‘Facetime Link’.
Tap on ‘Share Link’ and share it with more people.
Step 2: [For Windows users] Receive and join Facetime calls
Ensure that you have received the Facetime link required to join the call. Once found, click on the link to open it in your browser. You will now be asked to enter your name. This will be your display name used during the call and it will be shown beside your video preview.
Click on ‘Continue’ once you are done.
You will now enter the calling screen with a calling bar in the bottom left corner of your browser window. Click on ‘Join’ to proceed.
A joining request will now be sent to your host. Once approved, you will be able to join in on the Facetime call.
Step 3: [For iOS users] Approve Joining requests for Windows users
Open the Facetime link and make sure you have joined the call. If not, open the Facetime app and tap and join the concerned link from the list on your screen.
Tap on ‘Join’.
Once you have joined in the call, wait to receive a request. Tap on the ‘Check mark’ at the top to approve the request. Tap on ‘X’ to deny one.
If by chance you missed a request, tap on your screen to bring up the overlay and tap on ‘Facetime’ at the top. You should also see a pending request indicator such as ‘N Person Waiting’ where N is the number of people that are waiting to get the join requests approved.
You will now see a list of people that have pending join requests. As usual, tap on the ‘Check Mark’ to approve the request or tap on ‘X’ to deny it.
Moderate your Facetime calls
Apple has integrated various features to help you moderate and manage your Facetime calls. By default enter to any Faccetime call via a web link is restricted until approved by the host. You can use the guides below to get familiar with most moderation features available in Facetime.
For iOS users
Apple gives you various tools to moderate your Facetime calls with cross-platform users. You can use the features and guides below to moderate your Facetime calls.
Approve or Deny Requests
You can use the guide above to approve or deny join requests. But assuming that you are already in a Facetime call, you should see a banner notification each time you receive a Facetime call.
You can then tap the ‘Check Mark’ to approve the request or tap the ‘X’ to deny it. If however, you missed an incoming join request, then you can tap on ‘Facetime’ at the top. You will now see a list of all the pending requests on your screen. You can now approve or deny them at your discretion.
Add more people in an ongoing call
To add more people to an ongoing call, tap on ‘Facetime’ at the top.
Now tap on ‘Add People’.
You will now be redirected to the Messages app. Here you can share the link with your iMessage contacts, Facetime contacts, Phonebook contacts, and more.
Select the desired contact by either typing their name at the top or by using the ‘+’ icon to use your contacts list instead.
Share the Facetime link of an ongoing call
If you’re in an ongoing call and would like to share the link for the same then tap on ‘Facetime’ at the top.
Now tap on ‘Share Link’.
You can now tap the desired app or tap on ‘Copy’ to copy the link to your clipboard.
Silence all incoming Join Requests
If you wish to silence all incoming requests as all attendees have joined the call then you can do the same by tapping on ‘Facetime’ at the top.
Now tap and enable the toggle for ‘Silence Join Requests’.
Switch output devices
You can switch output devices on your iOS or iPadOS device in case you wish to route your audio through your speaker or headphones. You can use the same to switch between Airpods and your phone speaker as well. Tap on the ‘Speaker/Headphone/Airpods’ icon on the calling screen at the top.
Now tap and select the desired output device you wish to use.
For Windows users
Windows users get limited features when joining Facetime calls but you can still make use of the following features to manage your calls.
Click on the full-screen icon to toggle Fullscreen. For now, clicking the same icon does not turn off Full-screen.
You will have to hit Esc on your keyboard instead to toggle off fullscreen.
Toggle Input devices
You can toggle mic and camera during any Facetime call by clicking on their respective icons in the calling bar. This will help you maintain privacy and take a break from the call whenever needed.
Change Camera & Mic
Click on the ‘3-dot’ icon to open the menu.
Now click on the respective drop-down menu and select the desired device.
Toggle Grid View
Click on the ‘3-dot’ menu icon.
Click on ‘Use Grid View’ to toggle grid view on your PC.
Share Link with more users
Click on the ‘3-dot’ menu icon.
Tap on ‘Share Link’ and use the desired app from the pop-up to invite more users.
You can also click on ‘Copy’ to copy the link to your clipboard.
Facetime links once created need to be deactivated manually. Unless a link is manually deactivated, users with the link can join in on the concerned call whenever they like. However, their participation will still need to be approved by the host for the call to be successful. Use the guides below to mark a Facetime link as inactive.
Open Facetime and tap on the concerned link that you wish to deactivate.
Tap on ‘Delete Link’.
Tap on the same to confirm your choice again.
Open Facetime and tap on ‘Edit’ in the top left corner.
Now tap and select the links you wish to delete.
Tap on ‘Delete’ at the bottom.
Tap on ‘Delete Links’ to confirm your choice.
All the selected links will now be deleted and marked as inactive.
Can you initiate a Facetime call from Windows?
Unfortunately, you can not initiate a Facetime call from Windows. You will need an invite from a host using iOS 15 or iPadOS 15. Apple has always maintained exclusivity when it comes to Facetime and iMessage and it doesn’t seem to be changing anytime soon.
Can you share your screen as a Windows user?
Screensharing and Shareplay is expected to come to iOS 15 this fall. While we did see a preview for the same during the beta versions of iOS 15, Apple has refrained from releasing these in the first release of iOs 15. It seems that some features still need to be ironed but there is a neat trick to share your screen in Facetime calls. You can install a utility like OBS or Snap camera to get a virtual camera device installed on your system. You can then use this virtual camera to share your screen on Facetime calls.
Can you share your screen as an iOS 15 user?
Yes, as long as your iOS or iPadOS device has screen sharing capabilities, you can share your screen with Windows users during any Facetime call. A compatible iOS device will get a screen sharing option in the top right corner of their calling bar which can be used during Facetime calls to share the screen with all users in the call.
Note: Apple is yet to roll out Screen Sharing in Facetime to the public just like Shareplay. These features have been delayed and are expected to be the highlights of the next feature update to iOS 15.
How to share your screen as an iOS 15 user
To share your screen, follow the guide below to get you started.
Open Facetime and join a call as you normally would. Once joined in, tap on the screen-sharing icon in the top right corner of your calling bar.
Tap on ‘Share my screen’.
You will now get a short 3s timer after which your screen will be shared in the Facetime call. You can now navigate to the desired app and share its content with all the attendees.
Why can’t you remove Windows users from a Facetime call?
This seems to be an odd restriction with no explanation for now. Windows users joining a call can be removed during the first 10s. But once the initial period of time passes, you no longer get the ability to remove Windows users. Your only option at this point is to end the call and reinitiate a new one with the desired participants. We shall update this section with more information once Apple officially releases screen sharing, Shareplay and other Facetime features to end-users.
Can Windows users share their device audio during Facetime calls?
Just like sharing your screen, there is no official way to share your audio during Facetime calls. However, if your PC was bought in the past few years then it likely comes with an in-built Stereo Mix utility. This utility allows you to use input from your Mic and PC speakers simultaneously when listening is enabled for the device. You can enable stereo mix to share your PC audio during Facetime calls.
Do Facetime web links break privacy?
Facetime calls are always end-to-end encrypted even when hosted using web links. Hence your privacy is always secure over the official connection. However, your privacy is always at risk through other users entering the Facetime call. Other users can screen record, record audio, take screenshots during a call to compromise your privacy. Hence its always a good idea to maintain precaution regardless of your calls being end-to-end encrypted.
Can’t join Facetime calls from a Windows device?
If you’re unable to join Facetime calls from a Windows device then here are a few checks to ensure that everything has been set up on your device properly.
- Ensure that your device is H.264 video encoding capable.
- Ensure that you are using the latest version of Google Chrome or Microsoft Edge.
- Ensure that dedicated permissions to use your camera and mic input are enabled for your browser and the Facetime web address respectively.
- Ensure that your network connection is working properly.
- Ensure that video calling features aren’t disabled by your administrator or organization.
Can view Shared content on a Windows device?
If you’re unable to view Shared content over Facetime calls then you are not alone. Firstly the feature is yet to be released and once it has been, you will need the respective subscription to view the shared content. In case you are reading this in the future then we recommend you check your subscriptions and ensure how the integration with Facetime works for these respective services.
We hope you were able to easily connect with Windows users over Facetime using the guide above. If you have any more questions, feel free to reach out using the comments section below.
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