At the WWDC 2021 keynote yesterday there was quite a lot to take in, with Apple revealing details of iOS 15 and macOS Monterey. But there were other big reveals too, including the news that using FaceTime will soon be possible on non-Apple platforms.
In what many will see as something of a surprise move, Apple announced that FaceTime is coming to web browsers. This means that it will be possible to FaceTime from Windows and FaceTime from Android. No specific mention was made of Linux, but with a browser-based version of FaceTime in the pipeline, there’s no reason to think this won’t be possible.
While it would have been preferable to see a FaceTime app released for other platforms, a web-based version of the video chat tool will suffice. The move to cross-platform communication with its own messaging service will find Apple competing more directly with the likes of WhatsApp.
The company has not shared much detail about when we can expect to be able to used FaceTIme on Android and Windows. In a news release Apple says:
FaceTime calls also extend beyond Apple devices with the ability to create a link from iPhone, iPad, or Mac, and share it through Messages, Calendar, Mail, or third-party apps, so anyone can join a FaceTime call from their web browser on Android and Windows devices. FaceTime calls on the web remain end-to-end encrypted, so privacy is not compromised.
A footnote points out that: “Users with non-Apple devices can join using the latest version of Chrome or Edge. Sending video requires H.264 video encoding support.”