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FaceTime is coming to Windows and Android, but will you use it?

Facetime Icon Iphone X Hero
Facetime Icon Iphone X Hero (Image credit: Windows Central)

Apple held its annual WWDC conference this week, and many Windows fans and users looked across the aisle at Microsoft's competitor. While the biggest pieces of news are iOS 15, iPadOS15, and macOS Monterey, there were several other announcements from Apple. The one that affects Windows users the most is the fact that FaceTime will no longer be exclusive to Apple hardware.

After years of being behind Apple's walled garden, FaceTime will make its way to Windows and Android through the web. Some features will remain exclusive to iPads, iPhones, and Macs, but the ability to use FaceTime on hardware from a non-Apple company at all is the headline.

After the announcement, I saw a mixture of reactions across the web. Some were excited to be able to use the service on Windows and Android devices, while others didn't care at all. This comes down to a few factors, the biggest of which may be geography.

While FaceTime is popular in the United States, it's not nearly as much of a factor in other countries. In many areas where Android reigns supreme on the mobile side of things, FaceTime isn't that big of a deal.

FaceTime also has more competition than ever from the likes of Zoom, WhatsApp, and Microsoft Teams, though the latter is used more for work than chatting with friends and family.

Some around the web asked why anyone would use an exclusive communication platform like FaceTime when Zoom or WhatsApp are available on every major platform.

Our question for you this week is, do you care about FaceTime coming to Windows and Android through the web? Please let us know in the poll above and share your thoughts in the comments below.

Sean Endicott
News Writer and apps editor

Sean Endicott brings nearly a decade of experience covering Microsoft and Windows news to Windows Central. He joined our team in 2017 as an app reviewer and now heads up our day-to-day news coverage. If you have a news tip or an app to review, hit him up at sean.endicott@futurenet.com (opens in new tab).

34 Comments
  • This article is a little deceiving. I'm not sure it's fair to say that it's coming to Windows especially considering you can't start a chat if you don't have an iPhone. Seems like it will work like zoom.
  • Yep. It's clickbait to say Facetime has come to Android and Windows. It's not even like Zoom because Zoom n Windows and Android anyone can initiate the meeting. Facetime still relies only on the meeting organiser to have an iPhone.
  • Think I'll stick to Skype and Duo.
  • Or Google meet.
  • And WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger. There are loads of cross platform options. Google Meet and Duo are different. Duo is more like Facetime and WhatsApp. It's mobile number 1:1 based. Google Meet is more like Zoom and Teams. They're all designed to be used from a PC first and foremost. Their primary focus are businesses. Obviously there's cross over now consumers are also using Zoom and you can share a link with Facetime too.
  • No, I know absolutely zero iPhone users
  • FaceTime? What's FaceTime? It's what you do when you look at the mirror when you're brushing your teeth right? /sarscam. I seriously couldn't give two hoots, maybe if they did this years ago it would have been a big deal. But now?
    It's meh and it's an obvious cash grab albeit a belated one - to get into video conferencing and enterprise market. Apple is fortunate to have a loyal cult following, if they didn't they would have gone the way of Blackberry (formerly known as RIM) despite Microsoft's bailout. This is almost similiar to what they did BBM - very late. They should have made that move when everyone was raving about BBM and sharing BBM pins. The customisation market was also booming until RIM decided to use glue for everything.
  • I don't video call people, so no.
  • When it launched in 2010? Maybe. Now, 11 years later? Not really. There are so many other services to use, that truly function cross platform that I genuinely wonder, what's the point?
  • Snobby or Hipster Americans 😂
  • Facetime isn't on the way if you have a windows and android device. Please know that it only works if you have a iPhone. iPhone users can use all the features. The only time Windows and Android users can use it is for the iPhone user to send them a FT link to recipient Android device or WIndows/Chromebook device via email or link. Then you can be in the video call with them. You as a windows or android user can't create facetime calls at all. Only iPhone users can. You can only recieve via a link. No App will be available to download.
  • True. Sean did include that information in the article. Which of course was also share during the WWDC21 keynote. There is a benefit to this however. Particularly to family members or friends of people who use Android or Windows devices, but much of thier circle of family and friends are all-in in the Apple ecosystem. This provides a way for those people to be included in cause or meetings, etc. Its also a benefit to the person in the Apple ecosystem who uses FaceTime a lot and its thier Go-to communication app. But someone they really want to communicate with friend/family is a diehard Windows or Android user. This takes the barrier of communication away for that Apple user making communication easier, or at least more seamless with how they prefer to communicate; and the Windows/Android user, again, doesn't need to feel excluded, or pushed (or annoyed😃 )to switch ecosystems. I think it's a good play by Apple. Interesting and not Apple-esque (going "cross platform" with such an exclusive ecosystem feature)but a smart play. How effective it will be is yet to be seen, and if it was in play prior to the pandemic its impact would bave been tremendous.
  • As an iPhone user, yes. That's nice they are not playing just on their playground anymore
  • What is the advantage of Facetime over Skype? Video quality in live video sessions is more consistent with Skype, Facetime does not always deliver, at least in my experience. Anyway, it's always welcome to have an additional option available.
  • There is no advantage if you've not yourself in Apple's ecosystem. I still use Skype with my Spanish teacher but I don't know anyone else who still uses it though.
  • I'm not going to use Facetime... however, it is more user friendly than Skype. sometimes, you just can't figure out why Skype isn't working. In any case, I'd rather use Teams than either Skype or Facetime...
  • No. We all use WhatsApp.
  • I already have whatsapp, Snapchat and... Signal.
  • I think it's too little, too late. iMessage on multiple platforms would be a bigger deal since I have friends who refuse to use anything else for some reason.
  • How do those friends share photos with you then? MMS is terrible and is pricey.
  • No it isn't, it's included in a mobile plan, like everything else.
  • @Sin Ogaris Actually, Bradavon is correct. MMS might be included in plans in the US whereas in the UK, hardly any plans include MMS. This even applies to the plans with unlimited data and text.
  • I will stay with discord.
  • Not sure what you're expecting to get as answers when you're asking on a forum geared towards Windows enthusiasts.
  • In my family I am the only Android user. Everyone else uses iPhones. Yes for me it's a big deal
  • And your family can't install something cross platform. I'm going to guess your kids also have Facebook so have Facebook Messenger. Use that with them.
  • One of the toughest things during the pandemic is having to onboard not-so-tech-savvy family members to a new app and for them to consistently use it to keep in touch. Discord has too many bells and whistles for the entry-level user to understand. MS Teams is too sophisticated. Skype is easy to use but people forgot about it and don't care it still exists. Google's chat apps come and go which make them unreliable for the long-term. Viber sucks. Not to sound like an Apple shill but FaceTime is commonplace. For the older folks, it is easy for them to tap a contact name to initiate a FaceTime call. Sending FaceTime links will be a bit tricky for them to remember but with enough conditioning, it will be second nature for them should they want to initiate a group FaceTime call in the future.
  • No. Facetime is important to iPhone users. If you aren't you've probably never even used it. I've never used it and would expect iPhones users to install a cross platform app. Like Zoom where everyone is treated equal in the mobile hierarchy. Everyone I know who owns an iPhone is already also using WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and Zoom on their laptops. It just never comes up. On Windows especially why would you use a web app to video call when Windows has excellent video calls apps of it's own? Teams and Facetime do not compete. They exist in very different spaces. Yes Teams has a consumer feature but no one uses it and Microsoft have barely bothered to do anything with it. Teams for consumers doesn't even have er. teams.
  • When Google added Google Chat RCS to Messages I saw so much chatter from American spaces I hang out like YouTube. But here in The UK I couldn't get anyone to go into their Samsung Messages to check it was enabled. They were all like but I use WhatsApp. Google Chat RCS, iMessage, Facetime these are all US centric tech discussions.
  • I prefer Teams Personal, but the more options the better I guess. Seem Apple is still playing games to marginalize Windows and Android.
  • choice is good
  • No 1 use Skype.
  • Me and my family do still use skype!
  • Video calling is one of my sore points about the tech industry and how they have epic failed society; Apple being the biggest failure. Video calling should be an open standard/protocol and it shouldn't matter what type of client or account you are using. Zoom should work with Teams; Teams with Facetime; Facetime with Google stuff; etc. Congress is looking at anti-trust issues. This is one of them where the consumer loses in today's market. Open standards should be encouraged if not enforced. Professionally, I work with DICOM and that standard has revolutionized hospital integrations and workflows. DICOM has made the world a better place. These tech companies should rally behind a video calling standard they can agree on. They need to grow up and truly make the world a better place.