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Apple Finally Updates FaceTime – But Is It Going To be Useful?

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I’m a bit skeptical about the new features that Apple has introduced when it comes to FaceTime.  I mean – you can FaceTime with up to 32 people at a time?  On one hand, this is great as it will mean you can use an existing product on your device, to do things that you would otherwise need a different app.  But at the same time, it seems a bit excessive, doesn’t it? Not only that, but FaceTime hasn’t changed much since it was introduced. I mean, you’re now able to make phone calls using FaceTime audio (which is a favorite of mine), but for the most part, the app has remained the same.  Which is why it’s no surprise that Apple is giving it an update.

That said, this is the only real major change that they’re making.  You are getting cool effects like live Animoji’s, filters and stickers, but this group chat is really the big news.  I do like the fact that you can use FaceTime instead of another conference calling app, but it’s a bit weird, don’t you think? FaceTime will now support both audio and video group chats for up to 32 participants at once.  In addition to starting them through the FaceTime app, you’ll also be able to begin a group call through group conversation in Messages on your iPhone or iPad, as well as join one already in progress.

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Place a FaceTime Call on an iPhone/iPad

  1. Open FaceTime on your iPhone or iPad.
  2. Tap the + button in the upper-right corner.
  3. Enter the name or number of a person you want to call.
  4. Enter up to 30 additional contacts.
  5. Tap Video or Audio to place your FaceTime call.

Place a FaceTime Call on a Mac

  1. Open FaceTime on your iPhone or iPad.
  2. Enter the name or number of a person you want to call.
  3. Enter up to 30 additional contacts.
  4. Click Video or Audio to place your FaceTime call.

Place a FaceTime Call Using Messages on iPhone/iPad

  1. Open Messages on your iPhone or iPad.
  2. Tap on a group conversation or start a new one.
  3. Tap the avatars of the conversation participants in the top-center of the screen.
  4. Tap FaceTime.

Join a Group FaceTime Call in Messages on iPhone/iPad

  1. Open Messages on your iPhone or iPad.
  2. Tap on a group conversation with an open FaceTime call.
  3. Tap the green Join button in the FaceTime message bubble.

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Outside of work contacts, I wouldn’t have close to 32 contacts to be able to pull this off.  That’s not to say that I don’t have friends or family members that I could talk to, but who wants or needs to talk to that many people at once?  That’s at least my take on it.  I’m sure that’s not the case for many of you.  Which is why I’m going to pose a question to you this time.  Is this a feature that you would actively use?  Again, I think that there is an opportunity to be able to use it, but I’m unsure just how useful it will be to the world in general.  You tell me!

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