How to Make a Group FaceTime Call

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Apr 12, 2001
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Group FaceTime, which lets you chat with up to 32 people at one time, is relatively easy to use, but it may not be immediately obvious how a call is initiated nor how all of the group chat options work, which is why we've taken an in-depth look at the new feature. To use Group FaceTime, all participants must have iOS 12.1.4 or later installed.


Placing a Call

There are two ways to initiate a Group FaceTime call, using the FaceTime app or the Messages app.

FaceTime App

  1. Open up the FaceTime app
  2. Tap on the "+" button in the upper right hand corner.
  3. In the "To" field, type a name and tap it.
  4. Type another name.
  5. Continue typing in all of the names of the participants who you want to chat with.
  6. When ready to place the call, tap on either the audio or the video option and participants will receive a popup letting them know that you want to FaceTime with them.
Messages App

  1. Open up an existing multi-person conversation or create a new iMessage chat thread.
  2. At the top, where the names of the chat participants are listed, tap to bring up a menu bar.
  3. Choose the "FaceTime" option to transition from a text-based conversation to a video or audio call.
The Messages FaceTime interface works with just one person or with a group of people, and it's perhaps the easiest way to initiate a multi-person FaceTime call.

Receiving an Incoming Call Request

When a Group FaceTime chat is initiated either via FaceTime or through the Messages app, you will get a notification letting you know that a FaceTime call is initiating, which you can tap to join.


Joining an Existing Group FaceTime Call

When you're in a group chat in the Messages app and someone initiates a Group FaceTime conversation, any person in the chat can join the call at anytime.


In the Messages interface, there's a chat popup that lets you know a call is ongoing, with a "Join" button available and the number of people active in the conversation.

Joining a conversation is as simple as tapping that "Join" button, which automatically adds you to the call. There's no approval interface, so be aware that if you're in the middle of a conversation, anyone from a group Messages chat can interrupt and join in.

While in a Group FaceTime call, you'll also see a chat bubble that lets you know how long the call has been going on.


Adding Another Person Through FaceTime

While in a FaceTime call, you can easily add another person to the chat.

  1. In an active call, tap on the icon that features three dots.
  2. Tap on "Add Person."
  3. Choose a name from the list to send them a notification to join in.
Leaving a Group FaceTime Call

As with a standard FaceTime call, exiting a Group FaceTime chat is as simple as tapping the big red "X" button to end the chat.


Focusing on Chat Members

All Group FaceTime calls are displayed with a tiled interface that highlights the person who last spoke. If you have a call with multiple people, you'll see tiles of various sizes focusing on main participants, with those who haven't spoken recently minimized in small tiles.


You can double tap on any person's tile to make it the focal point in your FaceTime view, enlarging the tile to its biggest possible size. Tap again to go back to the standard tiled view.


Applying Effects

In addition to multi-person FaceTime calls, iOS 12 adds a new FaceTime effects camera that you can use while chatting. While in a FaceTime call, tap on the star-shaped icon to the left of the end call button to access options that include Animoji and Memoji, filters, stickers, shapes, and text.


Multiple effects can be applied at once, which are displayed to all chat participants. The people you're chatting with can also choose different effects to use, leading to chats filled with different Memoji and Animoji characters. Memoji and Animoji are limited to devices with the TrueDepth camera system.

Article Link: How to Make a Group FaceTime Call
 
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dirtylilhobo

macrumors regular
Oct 16, 2014
117
171
The Southwest
Well, great, and with Emojis too..

But, Apple still won’t allow us to conveniently create groups in Contacts without some convoluted process through iTunes and a desktop...
 
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BruceEBonus

macrumors 65816
Sep 23, 2007
1,337
1,326
Derbyshire, England
George Orwell would be proud.its like a premonition of what the future could be like if we let technology take over our natural interpersonal behaviour.

"Yeah. Well. That don't apply to me cos I don't ave any of them intra professional skills anyway. Whatever that is. And the funny pictures with mouths speaking is funny innit? Look. A talking cat. Cat talking. Funny"

Ah yes. I see your argument Yes It is a lot easier to use than going to the hassle of actual social interaction

Pass me that iPhone thing again and I'll ring a few people and tell them I'll not pop over but will show a not-very-accurate caricaturised representation of myself instead It'll be exactly the same experience. Won't it? Good. Thank you Apple
 

Morgenland

macrumors 6502a
May 28, 2009
720
709
Europe
BruceEBonus said:
George Orwell would be proud.its like a premonition of what the future could be like if we let technology take over our natural interpersonal behaviour.

"Yeah. Well. That don't apply to me cos I don't ave any of them intra professional skills anyway. Whatever that is. And the funny pictures with mouths speaking is funny innit? Look. A talking cat. Cat talking. Funny"

Ah yes. I see your argument Yes It is a lot easier to use than going to the hassle of actual social interaction

Pass me that iPhone thing again and I'll ring a few people and tell them I'll not pop over but will show a not-very-accurate caricaturised representation of myself instead It'll be exactly the same experience. Won't it? Good. Thank you Apple
I'm in London right now, meet me in an hour for a quick catch up?
Trying to make fun of him? I found BruceEBonus' contribution very good and mature.
 
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fairuz

macrumors 68020
Aug 27, 2017
2,342
2,443
Silicon Valley
Wait, there were cell phones with group video chat in 2003? Do tell.
Kinda close. I don't know about on cell phones, but AIM video chat existed in 2003. Group video chat also existed in iChat at that time. AIM had a Flash version, but I don't remember if it supported group video chats in 2003. Maybe there was a smartphone that had Flash, but I doubt such a phone also had a front-facing camera that Flash could use. Not like the old cell network would have the bandwidth anyway.

These features keep getting re-released, requiring probably 100X faster hardware to do the same thing as before. Experts call Flash inefficient, but it ran a video call fine iBook G4-era Macs, and Google Hangouts with its new web technology manages to use 200% CPU on my 2015 rMBP. FaceTime is much better but still a total CPU hog compared to the 2003 tech.
[doublepost=1532936208][/doublepost]Hmm, maybe I'll get iOS 12 then. I said I wouldn't update my phone ever again, but these are actually nice features to have.
 
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armhol

macrumors member
Jul 15, 2007
43
25
Why are you telling us this now? Would't it be more sensible to wait until IOS12 is publicly available and a few more people than just beta testers are using it?
 
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charlituna

macrumors G3
Jun 11, 2008
9,631
815
Los Angeles, CA
Well, great, and with Emojis too..

But, Apple still won’t allow us to conveniently create groups in Contacts without some convoluted process through iTunes and a desktop...
Yep.

Also no broadcast mode in this group chat with text commenting by viewers. Everyone else has done it on their systems and the whole “in a group messages chat and go to FaceTime with a click” shows there’s linking between the two.

Broadcast mode would be killer for schools. Even better would be a mode where more viewers could join and there could be limited but multiple speakers. Like say up to 4 speakers. Or even two on a phone but 4 on an iPad, Mac or Apple TV (with a special app for viewing such broadcasts). A teacher could link up two classes even across the planet, do an interview with some special guest etc.
 

ignatius345

macrumors 68030
Aug 20, 2015
2,502
3,364
Experts call Flash inefficient, but it ran a video call fine iBook G4-era Macs, and Google Hangouts with its new web technology manages to use 200% CPU on my 2015 rMBP. FaceTime is much better but still a total CPU hog compared to the 2003 tech.
Yeah, and that video looked like crap, too. Video resolution and bandwidth have gone way up since then, and no surprise it costs more processing power to make that work. But nobody wants Flash back, thank you very much.
 

fairuz

macrumors 68020
Aug 27, 2017
2,342
2,443
Silicon Valley
Yeah, and that video looked like crap, too. Video resolution and bandwidth have gone way up since then, and no surprise it costs more processing power to make that work. But nobody wants Flash back, thank you very much.
The video quality hasn't gotten much better in the average case. They've upped the resolution to 1920x1080 but still bitstarve it. I think it was 500-1000kbps back then and is about the same now. Not that it matters; you don't need a super clear image anyway. And a resolution increase or newer video encoding should not require that much more CPU, if anything less now with the GPU acceleration.

I don't want Flash back, but they should've replaced it with something not horribly inefficient. I'm not one of those efficiency freaks, but my MBP becomes sluggish and drains its battery before I can complete my Hangouts meeting, so it's a serious problem.
 
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newyorksole

macrumors 68040
Apr 2, 2008
3,867
3,998
New York.
Well, great, and with Emojis too..

But, Apple still won’t allow us to conveniently create groups in Contacts without some convoluted process through iTunes and a desktop...
You can create groups on iCloud.com from any desktop. You can’t even manage contacts through iTunes anymore.
 

C DM

macrumors Sandy Bridge
Oct 17, 2011
48,133
16,778
The FaceTime video group call require iOS device with A9 processor or above otherwise you only get to use the audio group call.
[doublepost=1540998269][/doublepost]
They need to be on iOS 12
iOS 12.1 to be exact (or macOS Mojave 10.14.1).
 

HailstormX

macrumors regular
Nov 21, 2012
119
205
I wish they would spend more time improving this.... FaceTime is really only useful one on one. My family gave up on FT and has been using FB messenger... cringe.... But it works way better than FaceTime group chat. Usually when adding a family member to the call it will call a email address and phone number then some mystery box is floating round after the user answers the call. Multi user FaceTime is a mess....

With all this remote from home work etc was really hoping to see apple drop in some useful features or at least clean it up. new Memoji is not what im looking for lol
 
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