FaceTime

How to FaceTime with Vision Pro

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FaceTime call on Vision Pro showing three people floating in windows in a hotel room
FaceTime on Vision Pro puts people around the room in your space.
Photo: Apple

Making a FaceTime call in Vision Pro is a bit more involved than on iPhone or Mac. After all, you have a computer strapped onto your face, which is not typical with other devices.

Step 0, of course, is setting up your Persona — the dynamic, digital version of yourself that Vision Pro uses for FaceTime calls. If you didn’t create a Persona during the Vision Pro setup process, or your Persona looks less fantastic than you’d like, we wrote a separate explainer for you:  How to create your Persona in Vision Pro (or make it better).

Once your Persona is set, here’s how to FaceTime in Vision Pro.

How to create your Persona in Vision Pro (or make it better)

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Woman holding a Vision Pro in front of her face, capturing her Vision Pro Persona
You need to hold the Vision Pro in front of your face to capture your Persona.
Photo: Apple

The Vision Pro Persona is a 3D representation of yourself that will appear to others in FaceTime calls. It also fuels the EyeSight feature, which shows a ghostly 3D version of your eyes on the outside of the headset to make the device seem less isolating. 

Many people criticize the Personas for looking unnatural, so the feature very much deserves its beta label. However, there are some things you can do to create a better one. If you didn’t create a Vision Pro Persona while setting up your headset, or want to redo it to make yours look a little less uncanny, I’ll show you how to do it at any time.

How to leave a FaceTime voicemail

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Leave A Message After The Beep
More like “videomail” or “videomessage.”
Image: D. Griffin Jones/Cult of Mac

You can send a FaceTime voicemail to someone if they don’t answer when you need to video chat. It’s better than leaving a regular voicemail, because it’s video — you can relay a message quickly or show something off on camera.

For instance, if your dog or your human child is doing something cute, or if you want to get a second opinion on an outfit, you might want to show someone. If they don’t answer your FaceTime call, you can record a video to send them to watch later.

Here’s how FaceTime voicemail works.

How to turn off Mac webcam video reactions in macOS Sonoma

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Fireworks!!!!
Fireworks are fun, but occasionally, inappropriate for the situation.
Screenshot: D. Griffin Jones/Cult of Mac

How do you turn off the webcam video reactions on your Mac in macOS Sonoma? This feature, which puts full-screen animated effects on your video calls, made a good demo when it was introduced, but has since confused many people who trigger it accidentally in serious situations.

The Off button isn’t where you would expect — it’s not hiding in Skype, Google Hangouts or Zoom at all — it’s in the Mac’s menu bar.

Let me show you what’s going on and how you can turn it off.

iPhone 15: How pro can Apple go? [The CultCast]

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The CultCast episode 613: iPhone 15 Pro is so pro ...
Titanium FTW!
Image: Cult of Mac

This week on Cult of Mac’s podcast: The first reviews of iPhone 15 Pro rave about everything from the phenomenal titanium finish to the fantastic 5x zoom. Sounds like Tim Cook has another winner on his hands.

Also on The CultCast:

  • Loads of great new iOS 17 and iPhone 15 features fly below the radar. We discuss some of our faves.
  • Apple’s new FineWoven cases, on the other hand, sound like a huge, synthetic miss.
  • Some haters are trying to get “Printgate” started, but we can’t believe iPhone 15 Pro’s sweet titanium frame is gonna be a fingerprint magnet.
  • With tvOS 17, the Apple TV finally gets a no-brainer capability: FaceTime calls.

Listen to this week’s episode of The CultCast in the Podcasts app or your favorite podcast app. (Be sure to subscribe and leave us a review if you like it!) Or watch the video live stream, embedded below.

tvOS 17 brings FaceTime to Apple TV 4K

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With the tvOS 17 update, FaceTime comes to Apple TV 4K for the first time.
With the tvOS 17 update, FaceTime comes to Apple TV 4K for the first time.
Photo: Apple

Apple TV 4K became a more versatile living room device with Monday’s launch of FaceTime on tvOS 17, Apple said, referring to it as “a powerful integration of hardware and software.”

“Users can make calls directly from Apple TV 4K, or start calls on iPhone or iPad, and hand them off to Apple TV 4K,” Apple noted. “FaceTime on Apple TV 4K takes advantage of Continuity Camera support to wirelessly connect to iPhone or iPad, and leverages the devices’ cameras and microphones to bring participants together on the TV.”

5 best iMessage, FaceTime and phone features in iOS 17

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Live Voicemail & More Best Features
Live Voicemail, FaceTime video messages, Check-In and others are some of the best iOS 17 features.
Image: D. Griffin Jones/Cult of Mac

iOS 17 brings with it a lot of new features to the apps you use to communicate every day: iMessage, FaceTime — and last and certainly least — Phone. If you’re trying to call someone and have a missed connection, you have many more options for leaving them a message to pick up later. Changes to iMessage bring small but impactful improvements to stickers, threaded replies and sharing your ETA.

iOS 17 is out now. If you bought a new iPhone 15, you’ve got it already. Otherwise, head over to Settings > General > Software Update to get it. Upgrading may take about 20 minutes after downloading, so make sure you don’t start it at a bad time.

Apple won’t be forced to pull iMessage and FaceTime out of the UK

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iMessage and FaceTime
U.K. residents, looks like you get to keep using iMessage and FaceTime.
Image: Apple/Cult of Mac

The U.K. government dropped a plan that would have allowed it to access the contents of any online message looking for illegal content. It had sought a way around the encryption that protects messaging services like iMessage and WhatsApp.

Apple threatened to disable iMessage and FaceTime in the UK rather than submit to the proposal on the grounds that it would completely compromise the privacy of all users. Other companies said the same about their apps.

Why Apple threatened to pull iMessage and FaceTime out of UK

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iMessage and FaceTime
iPhone users in the UK might want to talk to the government if they’d like to keep using iMessage and FaceTime.
Image: Apple/Cult of Mac

The U.K. government has proposed an update to the Investigatory Powers Act that Apple and other tech companies strongly oppose because it they argue it would substantially weaken the security of their messaging applications.

The updated act would allow the government to require security features in the apps be disabled immediately and without informing users.

Apple reportedly warned that it’ll disable iMessage and FaceTime in the UK before it’ll comply with the law.

Today in Apple history: iOS 4 brings FaceTime and multitasking

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Next year's iPhone could resemble the classic iPhone 4.
iOS 4 brought important new features to iPhones and the recently released iPad.
Photo: Yutaka Tsutano/Ste Smith

June 21: Today in Apple history: Apple releases iOS 4, which brings multitasking and FaceTime 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.”

Today in Apple history: iPhone 4 preorders set an impressive record

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Steve obs
The iPhone 4 sold 1.7 million units in its first weekend on sale.
Photo: Matthew Yohe/Wikipedia CC

June 16: Today in Apple history: Apple receives record preorders for iPhone 4 June 16, 2010: Apple reports a massive surge of interest in iPhone 4, with 600,000 sales on the first day of preorders.

The company calls the number “far higher” than expected. At the time, it’s the most iPhone preorders Apple has ever taken in a single day. AT&T suffers server problems thanks to the demand — with 10 times the usual traffic on its website. It’s proof positive that Apple is onto a winner!

tvOS 17 takes FaceTime to the big (TV) screen

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With the tvOS 17 update, FaceTime comes to Apple TV 4K for the first time.
With the tvOS 17 update, FaceTime comes to Apple TV 4K for the first time.
Photo: Apple
WWDC23

Apple said Monday in the WWDC23 Keynote that tvOS 17 brings FaceTime to Apple TV 4K for the first time. So you can put your calls with family, friends and colleagues on the biggest screen you have.

“tvOS 17 transforms the biggest screen in the home with FaceTime and new video conferencing capabilities, giving Apple TV 4K users the ability to easily connect with anyone right from their living room,” said Bob Borchers, Apple’s vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing.

“New features and enhancements make Apple TV simpler to use and even more enjoyable, reinforcing it as the absolute best option in the living room for Apple customers,” he added.

Hands-on: All iPads get these great new iPadOS 16 features

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Hands-on: All iPads get these great new iPadOS 16 features
Improved Files and Mail apps are just a couple of the great new iPadOS 16 features coming to non-M1 iPads.
Image: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

There’s more to iPadOS 16 than floating app windows. The Files app gets some significant improvements in the upcoming upgrade. There’s a Weather app and great new features in the Mail and Messages apps. Plus, you can hand off a FaceTime call between your Apple computers.

These enhancements are available to every iPad that supports iPadOS 16, which is currently in developer beta. So don’t think there’s nothing coming this fall for tablets without an Apple M1 processor. That’s just not true.

Continuity Camera brings iPhone optics to macOS

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Craig using Camera Continuity on macOS
It might look a little silly, but Camera Continuity could be a huge win for video calls AND video streaming
Photo: Apple
WWDC22 - Brought to you by CleanMyMac X

Continuity Camera, a new feature coming in iOS 16 and macOS Ventura, will upgrade video calls by bringing the iPhone’s pristine camera to the Mac.

“With Continuity Camera, you can use iPhone as your webcam,” said Craig Federighi, Apple’s SVP of software engineering, during Monday’s live-streamed WWDC22 keynote. “It’s powered by the advanced capabilities of the iPhone camera system, letting you do things that were never before possible with a webcam.”

Wristcam adds new video calling feature to Apple Watch

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Wristcam adds FaceTime-like video calling to Apple Watch.
Wristcam adds FaceTime-like video calling to Apple Watch.
Photo: Wristcam

Wristcam, the camera-equipped Apple Watch band, now features FaceTime-like video calling, the company said Thursday.

The accessory initially launched in December 2020 with an 8-megapixel camera and a 2MP selfie camera. It was the first watch-band camera to receive the “Made for Apple Watch” designation.

Leaked ‘final’ EU antitrust bill looks bad for Apple

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European Union
The European Union takes another step toward tough regulations on tech giants like Apple.
Photo: Freestocks.org

The European Union may force Apple to make big changes to its App Store as well as services like FaceTime and Messages, if a leaked version of an EU antitrust proposal becomes law.

The draft is said to be the “final version” of the Digital Markets Act, provisionally approved by EU regulators in March. It seeks to restrict how tech giants operate in order to foster greater competition.

How to enable wide spectrum audio for FaceTime calls in iOS 15

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Enable wide spectrum audio for FaceTime calls
Make sure everyone gets heard on a conference call.
Image: Apple/Cult of Mac

iOS and iPadOS 15 bring a number of nice improvements to FaceTime, including some new audio modes that may come in handy in certain situations.

The new wide spectrum audio is one you might want to use during conference calls. Here’s what it does — and how to enable it on iPhone and iPad.

How to enable background blur for FaceTime video calls in iOS 15

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How to enable background blur for FaceTime video calls in iOS 15
Use Portrait mode to bring background blur to FaceTime on iPhone and iPad.
Image: Apple/Cult of Mac

iOS and iPadOS 15 bring a number of big improvements to FaceTime — including voice isolation and the ability to blur your background during video calls like you can on Zoom and other video calling platforms.

We’ll show you how to enable the background blur feature using Portrait mode on iPhone and iPad.

How to enable voice isolation for FaceTime calls in iOS 15

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Enable voice isolation for FaceTime
Keep kids' voices out of your remote meetings.
Image: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac

Remote meetings on FaceTime are a lot calmer in iOS and iPadOS 15, thanks to a feature called voice isolation that blocks out background noise. Even better, the feature works in other video-calling applications, including Zoom and Google Duo.

Here’s how you can enable it on iPhone and iPad.

Oops, some of Apple’s own apps don’t support new MacBook Pro screen notch

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Oops, some of Apple’s own apps don’t support new MacBook Pro screen notch
Apple Logic Pro running on the 2021 MacBook Pro shows a lot of dead space because there’s no support for the screen notch.
Photo: Apple

The just-launched MacBook Pro models are the first with a screen notch. And this apparently came as a surprise to many of Apple’s own software developers as some of the company’s professional apps don’t support the screen cutouts. Which means they can’t fill the new Mac displays and must leave blank areas.

This won’t make it easier for Apple to convince third-party developers to fully support the latest macOS notebooks.

The best thing to happen to videoconferencing? iPad’s Center Stage.

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iPad’s Center Stage is the best thing to happen to video conferencing
Center Stage is Apple’s best creation in years.
Photo: Apple

A highlight of the just-released budget iPad and iPad mini is the addition of Center Stage, a feature that lets the front-facing camera follow someone on a video call. It’s brilliant. It makes FaceTime and Zoom calls so much simpler.

This is perhaps the best new feature Apple has come up with in years. If you have a recent iPad and aren’t using this videoconferencing feature, you’re missing out. And here’s hoping it gets built into the 2022 iPhone.

Apple TV, HomePod combo on the way to combat weak living room strategy

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Apple TV 4K reviews: Finally more than a hobby?
But we'll have to wait a while for it.
Photo: Apple

Apple TV engineers say “there isn’t much optimism” over the company’s weak living room hardware strategy, but there plans to change it with new devices, according to a new report from one reliable reporter.

Cupertino is still planning a combined Apple TV, HomePod and FaceTime camera — but it is not expected to appear until “around 2023.”

FaceTime’s fantastic new features [Cult of Mac Magazine 409]

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Find out how to use FaceTime's hot new features.
Find out how to use FaceTime's hot new features.
Cover: Leander Kahney/Cult of Mac

FaceTime is about to get even better. In iOS 15, which is available now as a free public beta, Apple’s proprietary messaging service gets great new audio and video features. Plus, you can use it to communicate with Android and Windows folks as well.

Find out what these new FaceTime features do, and how to use them, in this week’s free issue of Cult of Mac Magazine. Also don’t miss this week:

Read all about it in our iOS mag, or get the links below.