One of the most exciting announcements from Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) keynote which held on Monday, 7 June to Friday, 11 June, was that Facetime, a feature known to be exclusively for iOS devices will be available on the release of the next iOS software, iOS15. As part of its unveiling of iOS 15, Apple stated users of other operating systems will be able to join FaceTime calls when invited via a link sent by an Apple user. The expected release date to the public in September 2021 coincides with the new iPhone models.
The facetime service however is not fully available to non-apple devices. At least one participant in the group has to be an Apple user and then create a facetime call link to share with family and friends. Then other users can join the call using a web browser on any device regardless of platform – Android, Windows or any other.
This is quite a surprising move by Apple because Apple is known for maintaining its Ecosystem with some ‘Apple-only’ applications, like iMessage and Facetime (before now). Although Apple’s reason for doing this is not fully known, here’s my take on the issue.
Apple has been pressured by the results of the pandemic, where we saw video calling platforms like Zoom and Google meet soar in popularity and value.
For many people, this feels like Apple is going against one of its core principles because Apple-only features like this help them to keep their customers in the Ecosystem, but at this point, I think Apple really wants to expand its territory in the video calling/work from home area, plus Apple already has a lot of iPhones in circulation so opening up this platform might not really hurt them in terms of monetary gains nor affect their Ecosystem.
Remember that for non-Apple users, the Facetime application is not yet available, it can only be accessed via a web browser. So this might just be kind of a test run for Apple to see how this new decision turns out.
For non-Apple users is this something you see yourself using often in the future? Leave your thought in the comments below.