For too long, Android users have been locked out of Apple’s thriving apps and services, including iMessage and FaceTime. While the former will require a patching process and your texts from Android devices will continue to stay green for the foreseeable future, Apple has been a little more open about its video calling platform.
While Android users still cannot initiate a FaceTime call or download the dedicated app, Apple users can now send an invite link to their Android friends to jump on a video call, similar to how Zoom links. Here’s a breakdown of how to do it.
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How to set up and receive a FaceTime call
The FaceTime call must first be initiated by an Apple user. Here are the minimum system requirements for supported devices:
As sender/host: Go to the FaceTime app on your iPhone, iPad, or Mac and select the “Link” option in the top left corner. You will then receive a unique link to distribute to a contact, regardless of the brand of their phone. You can also attach a name to the link for a more formal or personal touch.
As a receiver: Once your Apple ally has sent you a FaceTime invitation, click on the link for your messaging app and your internet browser will open a new window. Next, allow your browser to access your camera and microphone if you haven’t already. Once the link has loaded, you will be prompted to enter your name before joining the call. Press “Continue” when ready.
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As sender/host: After sending the link, Apple will automatically send a message to the recipient, inviting the user to join your FaceTime. Once your invitee clicks on the invitation, you will be prompted to accept or decline their entry request by clicking a check mark or an X accordingly. Be sure to check the application frequently so you don’t leave your guest hanging.
As a receiver: Android users, it’s up to you. All you need to join a FaceTime is the call link and a stable Wi-Fi or internet connection. To register, simply click on the link and then on the green Join button. If all goes well, your face will appear in a small box in the lower right corner. If the call host has not yet joined the call, the surrounding screen will remain black, with a “Waiting for other participants” notification at the top.
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As sender/host: From there, you’re free to use FaceTime on your iPhone as you normally would. You can add a sticker or a Memoji filter, take in-app screenshots, and chat as you like. The functionality is however more limited for Android users. More on that later. When the call ends, hang up as usual.
As a receiver: In classic Apple fashion, you won’t be able to use the full FaceTime experience from an Android device. Unlike Apple users, you can’t apply a Memoji sticker or filter to give your call a bit more color and pop. You also cannot capture images using the FaceTime screenshot button like you would on an iPhone. However, you can take a screenshot manually. And unlike an Apple device, the other user won’t be notified that you’ve taken a photo. Use this information wisely.
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Can Android phones initiate a FaceTime call?
Since FaceTime is an Apple-owned service, no. Android users can only join FaceTime calls hosted by Apple users.
Is there a FaceTime app for Android?
Unfortunately, FaceTime is not available on the Google Play Store. There are, however, alternative apps like Google Meet that provide a similar face-to-face calling experience on mobile devices.
Can I send a FaceTime link to multiple people?
If you have an Apple device, you can FaceTime link multiple people and multiple users can join.