Apple pulls Group FaceTime from iOS 12

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FaceTime group calls iOS 12
We're going to have to wait a bit longer than we expected for Group FaceTIme.
Photo: Apple

Group FaceTime, one of the hot new features promised for iOS 12, won’t be available when the operating system debuts this fall. Apple now says it will push back the Group FaceTime launch until later this year. The company gave no reason for the delay.

Instagram adds group video chat and redesigned explore tab

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Instagram comment threads
Instagram is becoming a full blown communication platform.
Photo: Instagram

Communicating with your friends on Instagram just got a lot more fun with a new update today that brings group video chat to the photo-sharing social network.

Instagram previewed the new video chat feature last month at Facebook’s developer conference, but now all users can take advantage of the new feature that lets you connect with friends whether they’re on iOS or Android.

Today in Apple history: iOS 4 brings multitasking and FaceTime

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iphone4
iOS 4 brought important new features to iPhones and the recently released iPad.
Photo: Yutaka Tsutano/Ste Smith

Jun21 June 21, 2010: Apple releases iOS 4, which introduces a range of productivity features as well as the FaceTime videotelephony service.

iOS 4 represents a big step forward for Apple’s flourishing mobile devices. Due to the arrival of the first-gen iPad earlier in the year, iOS 4 also brings a transition from the mobile operating system’s original name, “iPhone OS.”

Legal battle may be to blame for Apple breaking its FaceTime promise

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FaceTime
Apple's open wish for FaceTime never happened.
Screenshot: Apple

At WWDC, Apple revealed that it will finally make it possible to do FaceTime group calls for up to 32 people. That’s great news — provided that all your friends, family and co-workers use Apple devices.

But it didn’t have to be like this. Back in 2010, when Steve Jobs introduced FaceTime, he made a big point about how it was set to become an open industry standard that could be used by Apple’s competitors, as well as Apple. Nearly a decade on, that still hasn’t happened. And now a theory has emerged as to why.

iOS 12 wish list: All the features we absolutely need

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iOS 12 wish list
Here's everything we want from Apple's next major update.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

WWDC is right around the corner, which means we’re about to get our very first look at Apple’s next major update to iOS.

We’re expecting big things from iOS 12, including a whole host of improvements that will make our devices more stable, and plenty of welcome bug fixes. Apple will surely surprise us with some nice new features, too.

Here’s our lengthy wish list for this update, which includes a Home screen overhaul, a more powerful FaceTime, better multitasking, and more!

Apple website celebrates accessibility for Global Accessibility Awareness Day

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Apple accessibility homepage
The many ways in which Apple devices improve accessibility.
Photo: Apple

The Apple website has today been updated to highlight the accessibility features of iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, and more. The change is in celebration of Global Accessibility Awareness Day, a yearly event that promotes digital access and inclusion for those with different disabilities.

Ban on FaceTime may soon be lifted in United Arab Emirates

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Facetime
FaceTime has been banned in the UAE for years.
Photo: Mathieu Thouvenin/Flickr CC

Apple may have been voted consumers’ favorite brand in the United Arab Emirates, but one of the iPhone’s most popular features — FaceTime — still isn’t allowed in the country.

That could soon change, however, because Apple is in talks with the UAE federal government to lift the ban on Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) services as far as it affects FaceTime.

Google’s video calling app adds useful feature you don’t get with FaceTime

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Google Duo
Google Duo has added video voicemails.
Photo: Google

Google Duo, the FaceTime rival video calling app from Alphabet, has received an update adding an often-requested feature that FaceTime still doesn’t offer: video voicemails.

That means that, should you try and video call a person who doesn’t pick up, you can still record up to 30 seconds of video and send it them. These video messages can easily be played inside the Google Duo app. Check out the video explainer below.

How to mute iMessage threads, and spot those you accidentally silenced

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shhh mute iMessage
Shut those annoying conversations up right now.
Photo: Shawn Rossi/Flickr CC

Have you ever had your regular (important) iMessages swamped by a flurry of notifications for that inane group conversations about matcha-flavored KitKats? Or maybe you want to keep your iPad’s notifications switched on, but you want to mute iMessages from your boss until Monday, because she has no concept of boundaries?

If so, you need iMessage’s handy conversation-muting feature. It’s so easy to use that you may have turned it on by mistake. If you’re no longer getting alerts for certain messages, you may want to check this, too.