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iOS 15 makes it easy to FaceTime between Android and iPhone. Here's how to try it now

iOS 15 will be available to download on Monday, and it lets FaceTime break free of Apple's ecosystem. Here's how Android and Windows users can hop on a video call.

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In iOS 15, you can join a FaceTime call from your iPhone, Android or Windows device.

Screenshot by CNET
This story is part of Apple Event, our full coverage of the latest news from Apple.

Non-Apple people have a reason to celebrate: The days when you needed an iPhone, iPad or Mac to join a FaceTime video call are all but over. In a move widely seen as Apple's answer to Zoom video calls, the software giant is making it possible for people who have Android phones and Windows laptops to hop on FaceTime calls -- no iPhone required.

Read more: iOS 15's most exciting new features

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That isn't to say that Apple devices are cut out of the process. In fact, they're still so much part of the heart of FaceTime that the system will rely on the upcoming iOS 15 operating system -- now available to download as a public beta, and arriving as a free download for everyone on Sept. 20 -- to look and work more like Zoom and Microsoft Teams. In addition to being able to video chat people outside Apple's bubble, FaceTime updates include a new grid view, Portrait Mode, the ability to schedule calls, as well as a watch party feature called SharePlay.

Whether you're downloading the iOS 15 developer beta now or planning to wait until the final version arrives next week, here's how you'll be able to join FaceTime calls, no matter what device you're using.

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How to start a FaceTime call with Android or Windows users

The key here isn't that the FaceTime app is coming to Android and Windows. It's that you'll be 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 are an Apple user and have downloaded iOS 15, here's how to get a FaceTime call started with those on Android or Windows devices. 

facetime-link

Create a FaceTime link on your iPhone to share with others on Android or Windows devices. 

Screenshot by Alison DeNisco Rayome/CNET

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 to 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 and everything else to know about iOS 15