How to FaceTime on Android

Apple FaceTime with multiple people on one phone

Image: apple

For far too long, Android users have been locked out of Apple’s thriving apps and services, including iMessage and FaceTime. While the former requires a process to fix, and your texts from Android devices will remain green for the foreseeable future, Apple has been a bit 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 invite link to their Android friends to join a video call, much like 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 sender/host: Go to the FaceTime app on your iPhone, iPad or Mac and select the “Create Link” option in the top left corner. You will then receive a unique link that you can distribute to a contact – regardless of the phone brand. You can also add a name to the link for a more formal or personal touch.

As receiver: Once your Apple ally has sent you a FaceTime invitation, click the link in your Messages app and your internet browser will open a new window. Then allow your browser to access your camera and microphone if you haven’t already. After the link loads, you will be prompted to enter your name before joining the call. Tap Next when done.

Likewise: How to record a call on your Android phone

FaceTime link on a Samsung phone

Screenshot by Christina Darby/ZDNET

As sender/host: After you send the link, Apple automatically sends a message to the recipient, prompting the user to join your FaceTime. Once your guest clicks on the invitation, you will be prompted to accept or decline their request to join by clicking a check mark or X as appropriate. Make sure to check the app regularly so you don’t leave your guest hanging.

As receiver: Android users, it’s your turn. All you need to join FaceTime is the call link and a stable WiFi or internet connection. To join, just click the link and then click the green join button. If all goes well, your face will appear in a small box in the lower 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.

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Accept FaceTime when an Android user enters a link

The FaceTime host’s perspective.

Screenshot by Christina Darby/ZDNET

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

As receiver: In classic Apple fashion, you can’t get the full FaceTime experience from an Android device. Unlike Apple users, you can’t attach a Memoji sticker or filter to add some color and pop to your call. You also can’t take pictures with the FaceTime screenshot button like you would on an iPhone. However, you can take screenshots manually. And unlike an Apple device, the other user won’t be notified that you’ve taken a photo. Use this information with care.

Likewise: How to record a call on iPhone

Memoji on FaceTime

While ZDNET’s Sabrina Ortiz could cosplay as her new favorite robot – Amazon’s Astro – I couldn’t do that from my Android device.

Screenshot by Christina Darby/ZDNET

frequently asked Questions

Can Android phones initiate a FaceTime call?

Since FaceTime is a service from Apple, no. Android users can only join FaceTime calls hosted by Apple users.

Is there a FaceTime app for Android?

Unfortunately, FaceTime is not available in the Google Play Store. However, there are alternative apps like Google Meet that offer a similar face-to-face calling experience on mobile.

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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