How to FaceTime on Android


Image: Apple

For far too long, Android users have been excluded from Apple’s flourishing apps and services, including iMessage and FaceTime. While the former will take a process to fix, and your texts from Android devices will continue to remain green for the foreseeable future, Apple has been a little more open about its video-calling platform. 

While Android users still can’t initiate a FaceTime call, or download the dedicated app, Apple users can now send an invitation link to their Android friends to hop on a video call, similar to how Zoom links work. 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 be initiated by an Apple user first. Here are the minimum requirements for the supported devices:

As the sender/host: Go to the FaceTime app on your iPhone, iPad, or Mac and select the “Create Link” option on the top left corner. You’ll then be given a unique link to distribute to a contact — no matter their phone brand. You can also attach a name to the link for a more formal or personal touch.

As the receiver: Once your Apple ally has sent you a FaceTime invitation, click the link from your messages app and your internet browser will open a new window. Then, allow your browser access to your camera and your microphone if you haven’t already. Once the link has loaded, you’ll be prompted to enter your name before joining the call. Tap “Continue” when you’re set. 

Also: How to record a phone call on your Android phone

FaceTime link on a Samsung phone

Screenshot by Christina Darby/ZDNET

As the sender/host: After you send out the link, Apple will automatically send a message to the receiver, prompting the user to join your FaceTime. Once your guest clicks on the invitation, you’ll be prompted to accept or decline their entry request by clicking a checkmark or an X accordingly. Make sure to frequently check the app so you don’t leave your guest hanging.

As the receiver: Android users, it’s your turn. All that’s required for you to join a FaceTime is the call link and a stable Wi-Fi or internet connection. To join, simply click on the link and then the green Join button. If all goes well, your face will appear in a small box in the bottom right corner. If the host of the call hasn’t joined yet, the surrounding screen will remain black, with a “Waiting for others to join” notification at the top. 

Also: iOS 16 is out: How to install the latest software update

accepting FaceTime when an Android user enters on link

The point of view of the FaceTime host.

Screenshot by Christina Darby/ZDNET

As the sender/host: From here, you’re free to use FaceTime on your iPhone as you normally would. You can add a Memoji sticker or filter, take screenshots within the app, and chat as you please. The functionality is more limited for Android users, though. More on that later. When you’re done with the call, hang up like usual. 

As the 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 little more color and pop. You also can’t capture images using the FaceTime screenshot button like you would on an iPhone. You can, however, screenshot manually. And unlike on an Apple device, the other user won’t be notified that you snapped a photo. Use that information wisely.

Also: How to record a phone call on iPhone

Memoji on FaceTime

While ZDNET’s Sabrina Ortiz was able to cosplay as her favorite new robot — Amazon’s Astro — I couldn’t do the same from my Android device.

Screenshot by Christina Darby/ZDNET

FAQs

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 offer a similar face-to-face call experience across mobile devices. 

Can I send a FaceTime link to more than one person?

If you have an Apple device, you can send a FaceTime link to more than one person and multiple users can join.



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