iOS 13.5 Lets You Disable Automatic FaceTime Face Zoom In

Apple is currently letting developers beta test its iOS 13.5 release with a release to the public likely imminent. The same update brings with it the much talked about coronavirus contact tracing API, but there’s another change that many people working from home will be pleased to see.

With iOS 13.5, users will be able to disable FaceTime’s face zooming feature.

In its current state, FaceTime will zoom into the face of a person who is talking during a group video call. That makes them appear larger than everyone else which at first seems like a good idea. But it’s hugely disorienting when you’re in a call with a ton of people with faces moving all over the screen.

Apple seems to have now sussed that this isn’t as great as it thought, so it’s great to see an option added to disable it at a time when everyone is using it more because of lockdowns.

In order to disable the automatic zooming:

Step 1: Launch the Settings app and head over to FaceTime settings.

Step2: Scroll down and locate the section labeled Automatic Prominence. Here, simply turn off the toggle switch for Speaking.

Users who have the zoom feature disabled can still make a face larger on-demand by tapping twice.

Group FaceTime supports up to 32 people at a single time, so having it switch between multiple faces in quick succession is the kind of thing that would quickly drive us insane. We’re glad to see we aren’t alone.

With iOS 13.5 now in beta we’re seeing more changes, too. The iOS lock screen now notices when someone is wearing a face mask, automatically skipping Face ID authentication and requesting a passcode be entered.

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