Apple group FaceTime features: What you need to know
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Apple has announced there will be a group FaceTime feature available for iOS coming soon and if you’re someone who already participates in group chats with friends and family, the group FaceTime feature will bring you closer to all the people you chat with.

When Apple releases the new iOS 12 update, you’ll be able to use the group FaceTime feature with up 32 simultaneous participants. This feature is bound to enhance the regular group chat that you’ve been using.  

As of now, Google Hangouts allows up to 10 people in a video call, which is fine in most situations, but Apple figures why not allow users the ability to have a group FaceTime call with 32 people.  The new group FaceTime feature could potentially change the way we have conference calls at work or how we keep in touch with friends and families.

According to Apple, the new FaceTime will be integrated into the Messages app to make it easy to turn the group chat into a group FaceTime call.  From there, members of the group call can choose to ignore the FaceTime request or drop out of a call at any time. 

 

The announcement was made during the 2018 Apple Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) event in San Jose, California, which also included other new features and updates coming to iOS 12. 

How FaceTime for iOS 12 works

During the WWDC 2018 Conference, Apple senior vice president of Software Engineering Craig Federighi conducted a live demo to show the functionality of group FaceTime showing how it integrates with Messages and how easy it is to use.  In the demo, he joined an existing FaceTime with the tap of a button from Messages.

As soon as you tap into a call, you will see an array of tiles showing other people on the group FaceTime call.

At the bottom of the screen, you’ll see a smaller group of tiles that display others in the call.

When a person starts to speak their tile will become more prominent on the screen so you’ll see who’s chatting.  Group FaceTime also lets you tap on any user to bring them forward on the screen.

In addition to being able to have up to 32 people in a group video chat, users will also have access to Apple's camera features such as Animoji, filters and sticker packs to make the group chat fun.

Group FaceTime features: Chat with up to 32 people plus Animojis

iOS release date: When does group FaceTime come out?

According to Apple, group FaceTime will become available when iOS 12 is rolled out.  Tech Radar reports that paid Apple developers will have access to iOS 12 as early as June 4.  According to their predictions, a public beta version of iOS 12 is likely to be released on June 26. Based on prior predictions, iOS 12 the release date for iOS 12 should be in September to coincide with the release of new iPhone devices for 2018. 

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