FaceTime

FaceTime could be the generic “video call”, but Apple won’t allow it

FaceTime could be the generic “video call”, but Apple won’t allow it

The brand name "FaceTime" could be genericised if Apple were willing to release it to alternate platforms. Here in June of 2021, Apple revealed that FaceTime would soon move just a TINY bit beyond iOS and macOS devices, courtesy of a web browser-based system for the video call platform. Once iOS 15 is out for new iPhones and iPadOS 15 is out for iPad, Windows and Android devices will be able to participate in FaceTime calls.

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FaceTime gets cross-platform support in iOS 15

FaceTime gets cross-platform support in iOS 15

As expected, today Apple introduced iOS 15, and when talking about the improvements the new operating system will offer, Apple's Craig Federighi started by talking about FaceTime. FaceTime is actually getting several major new features in iOS 15, but on top of that, it's also getting some degree of cross-platform support through a new feature called FaceTime Links.

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FaceTime users spammed with group calls from strangers

FaceTime users spammed with group calls from strangers

There are two standard features of Apple's platforms that users of other systems, especially Android, seem to always desire. Even with the likes of Google's Duo and Messages, iMessage and FaceTime seem to remain the standard in instant messaging and video chats. That doesn't mean they are perfect, however, and recent events have revealed some of FaceTime's glaring flaws. Although these flaws have been around since forever, it seems that the number of people abusing the system to make FaceTime spam calls has suddenly surged in the past few days.

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iPhone 8 onwards now enjoy FaceTime video calls in 1080p with iOS 14.2

iPhone 8 onwards now enjoy FaceTime video calls in 1080p with iOS 14.2

Despite how selfies have become a global practice, Apple has remained quite stingy when it came to its front-facing FaceTime camera. Sure, it boosted the sensor's capabilities to support Face ID, which became the iPhone's sole biometrics component since the iPhone X, but the normal capabilities of the camera haven't seen much action in years. That changed with the iPhone 12 series when Apple finally enabled 1080p video calls in FaceTime, but it seems that it quietly flipped the switch for older iPhones as well.

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FaceTime broken with new iPhone update

FaceTime broken with new iPhone update

The latest update to iPhone and iPad devices seems to have broken a crucial component of the video chat system FaceTime. Reports have shown the update to iOS 13.4 for iPhone and iPad caused an issue with FaceTime audio and video calls. The bit that doesn't work seems to be the connection between these newly-updated devices and those still running iOS 9.3.5 or iOS 9.3.6 - the newest software some older devices can get.

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FaceTime in iOS 13 will use AR to fix video call eye-contact

FaceTime in iOS 13 will use AR to fix video call eye-contact

Video chat like FaceTime is a useful feature for a lot of people, but it can paradoxically end up feeling a little bit impersonal due to the simple fact that you're hardly ever making actual eye contact with the person you're talking to. Instead of looking into the camera - which would be necessary if you actually want to make eye contact - often times most people look at their display, making their eyes appear off-center.

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FaceTime bug-finding teen gets bounty cash from Apple

FaceTime bug-finding teen gets bounty cash from Apple

Yesterday, Apple delivered an iOS update that fixed an alarming Group FaceTime bug. The issue potentially allowed callers to hear audio and see video from the recipient even before they answer the call, which is of course a major security concern. Though Apple currently finds itself at the center of controversy, it seems the story has a happy ending for the teenager who discovered the bug.

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iOS 12.1.4 is now available with Group FaceTime bug fix

iOS 12.1.4 is now available with Group FaceTime bug fix

Last week, reports of a scary Group FaceTime bug started making the rounds. If you're an iOS user, you've likely already heard the details, but essentially the bug allowed a caller to hear audio - and in some cases see video - from a recipient's phone before they even answered the call. It was a fairly easy bug to replicate too, which of course makes things worse.

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FaceTime bug puts Apple in US House hot seat

FaceTime bug puts Apple in US House hot seat

It was really only a matter of time. Given how big the Group FaceTime bug has been, it was inevitable Apple would be slapped with a lawsuit. And since that has already happened, the next step would be to put the company under the microscope off the US government. That has also just happened with a letter sent by the US House of Representatives Committee on Energy & Commerce questioning Apple on its response to such an egregious security exploit.

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Apple FaceTime bug statement: Group calls return soon

Apple FaceTime bug statement: Group calls return soon

Earlier this week, the world was alerted to a supremely bad FaceTime bug that let callers hear audio from the recipient's end before they answered the call. Obviously, that's a major security concern, but it gets worse, as the bug also allowed callers to see video from the recipient's front-facing camera in some instances, even when the recipient never joined the call.

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FaceTime bug was already reported more than a week ago

FaceTime bug was already reported more than a week ago

Just a day before Apple was scheduled to share its quarterly earnings to the world, it was hit by what could be one of its biggest privacy issues since the iCloud leak in 2014. But while Apple has thankfully (and rightly) sped up its process to address the egregious FaceTime bug, it might also be trying to wash its hands clean. Because while it was only recently that the bug became public knowledge, a teen and his mom reportedly tried to inform Apple of the bug more than a week ago.

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FaceTime is down, bug fix hopefully coming soon

FaceTime is down, bug fix hopefully coming soon

Software bugs, just like their physical counterparts, are a fact of life. They can be avoided, yes, but not completely. There are some bugs, however, that are so terrible they might make you squirm uncomfortably. The recently discovered FaceTime bug could be one of those considering its dire consequences for user privacy. Now the service is seemingly down for the count, hopefully, because Apple is scrambling to fix it.

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