If you're on the lookout for an alternative to Zoom or Microsoft Teams, you may want to check out this new FaceTime feature in iOS 15. (Here's how to download the OS if you haven't already.) Widely seen as the tech giant's answer to Zoom video calls, Apple has made it possible for people who have Android phones or Windows laptops to join FaceTime calls with iPhone users.
That isn't to say that Apple devices are cut out of the process. In fact, FaceTime relies on the new iOS 15 operating system -- now available to download free -- to look and work more like Zoom and Microsoft Teams. In addition to letting you video-chat with people outside Apple's bubble, FaceTime updates include a new grid view, Portrait mode, the ability to schedule calls and a watch party feature called SharePlay.
Here's how to join FaceTime calls with iOS 15 no matter what device you're using.
Read more: iOS 15's Most Exciting New Features
How do I start a FaceTime call with Android or Windows users?
The key here isn't that the FaceTime app is available on Android and Windows. It's that you're able to jump on a FaceTime call using a link, so long as the person scheduling or starting the call has an Apple device and an Apple account. If you're an Apple user and have downloaded iOS 15, here's how to get a FaceTime call started with people on Android or Windows devices.
1. Open the FaceTime app on your phone.
2. Tap Create Link.
3. A screen will slide up from the bottom that says FaceTime Link. You can click Add Name to enter a name for your chat.
4. On the same screen, you'll see options to share the link through text, email, Twitter, calendar or other apps you have on your phone. Or, you can copy and paste the link yourself.
5. To join the call yourself, tap the name of the chat you just created, and tap Join.
6. When the Android or Windows user clicks the link, it will take them to a waiting room where you can allow them to join the call by tapping a check next to their name.
How do I join a FaceTime call using Android or Windows?
To join a FaceTime call on an Android or Windows device, all you need is the link sent to you by the person with an Apple device. You don't need to download a separate app. Here's how to join a FaceTime call through a shared link.
1. Open the FaceTime link from wherever it was shared with you.
2. The link will open in your browser (you'll need the latest version of Chrome or Edge). Enter your name, and tap Continue.
3. The screen will say "Waiting to be let in" until the person who invited you approves you to join the call.
That's it! Happy video chatting.
Apple noted at WWDC in June that even on the web, FaceTime calls are always end-to-end encrypted.
For more, check out these FaceTime tips and tricks, everything you need to know about iOS 15.4 and everything else to know about iOS 15.