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In macOS Monterey, Apple is adding some much-needed upgrades to FaceTime, and it’s making it a clear competitor to Zoom for small businesses. This week, I want to go in-depth on what’s new with FaceTime in macOS Monterey and examine what Apple could do next to continue to make it a viable video conferencing alternative for businesses.
About Apple @ Work: Bradley Chambers has been managing an enterprise IT network since 2009. Through his experience deploying and managing firewalls, switches, a mobile device management system, enterprise-grade Wi-Fi, 100s of Macs, and 100s of iPads, Bradley will highlight ways in which Apple IT managers deploy Apple devices, build networks to support them, train users, stories from the trenches of IT management, and ways Apple could improve its products for IT departments.
What’s new in FaceTime for macOS Monterey?
FaceTime sees its most significant upgrade in 2021 since its original release. While many of these features would have been nice in the 2020 pandemic, it’s great to see Apple getting in much-needed upgrades in the future. FaceTime is still one of the easiest ways to do video calls, thanks to its integration with iMessage groups.
I am a heavy Facetime user with a few friends who live out of town. So throughout the week, I’ll frequently initiate FaceTime calls with a group text so I can catch up with friends. There’s a simple button in the top right on the iPhone FaceTime app to begin a call.
In macOS Monterey, FaceTime will feature Spatial Audio to create a “sound field that helps conversations flow as easily as they would face to face.” It will also isolate your voice from background noise and blur the background of your video. Android and PC users can now use FaceTime with their Apple counterparts as once they’re invited; you’ll get FaceTime links that can be joined from any web browser.
FaceTime also gains screen sharing so you can give your keynote presentation, collaborate with coworkers, or share a funny meme.
Integration with Slack
One of my favorite ways to start a Zoom meeting is within Slack. Once the Zoom app for Slack is installed, all you have to do is type /zoom, and a one-off meeting starts.
Apple should build a Slack app that allows FaceTime to do the same thing. For Apple hardware users, the link would launch the FaceTime app. For PC/Android/Web users, it would launch the new FaceTime web access.
Dedicated PC and Android app
Although PC and Android users can join FaceTime audio and video calls, they can’t initiate them. I’d love to see Apple release free PC and Android versions of FaceTime so people on those platforms could create the calls instead of just joining them.
Zoom has become a popular way for podcasters to record interviews because it has recording built-in and can record separate audio tracks. I’d love to see FaceTime get a recording option for audio and video calls with some features dedicated to helping podcasts, enterprise trainers, and other types of content creators. Some of these features might include:
- Isolate background noise during recordings (upgraded version of what’s coming)
- Tap on AirPods to mute/unmute
- Live Streaming to YouTube, Twitch, etc.
I love FaceTime, and I think it’s one of the best ways to communicate with people. Apple added many exciting features to FaceTime in iOS 15 and macOS Monterey, so I can’t wait to see what’s coming in the future.