If you’re an Apple devotee, there’s a good chance the company’s Messages and FaceTime services are two of the key features that keep you locked into the Cupertino ecosystem. But now, Apple has opened the floodgates just a crack, allowing us to invite anyone to a FaceTime call — even those on Android and Windows.
Unfortunately, Apple hasn’t made a FaceTime app for Android or Windows. That would be too cool. Instead, Apple is giving us a bit of a compromise: We’ll be able to share FaceTime links with friends that they can open in a web browser. As long as you have that link, you can join a FaceTime call on any platform — Android, Windows, or Apple.
There is a catch (but not a big one)
The new feature isn’t available for just anyone, mind you: Apple is including it as part of its big iOS 15 update later this year. The software doesn’t have an official release date as of this writing, but it is currently in beta testing. Bit if you’re willing to install unfinished software on your iPhone, you can try out FaceTime calls with Android and Windows devices today. If you need help installing the iOS 15 beta on your iPhone, follow our instructions here.
How to share a FaceTime links with anyone
With iOS 15 running on your iPhone, open the FaceTime app. Here, you’ll see a slightly redesigned interface versus iOS 14, but the important part for our purposes is at the top of the window: the new Create Link option. Tap that to continue.
Once you do, iOS will open up the share sheet. Here, you can share the FaceTime link any way you want. Text it, email it, slack it, tweet it (not recommended) — whichever way you’d like to get the link to those you want to chat with. You can even give the link a unique name by tapping Add Name under FaceTime Link.
Once your friend gets the link, all they have to do is open it in the web browser of their choice. That goes for Android, Windows, or any other conceivable OS that supports both the latest version of Google Chrome or Microsoft Edge as well as H.264 video encoding.
When they join the call, they’ll get the full FaceTime experience, only in their browser rather than within the FaceTime app. Will Apple ever make an Android or Windows FaceTime app? Only time will tell. Until then, this is the next best thing, and a major step to bridging the gap between platforms.