FaceTime gets Zoom-like with scheduled calls and Android, Windows support in browser

Apple’s FaceTime will soon look a lot more like Zoom. The company on Monday said it’s adding features to its videoconferencing software that lets users schedule calls and even access them via a browser on Google Android and Microsoft Windows devices.

“You can generate a link for a FaceTime call and share it anywhere,” Craig Federighi, Apple’s head of software, said during the company’s Worldwide Developers Conference keynote address. “It’s a terrific way to plan ahead for a call.”

Apple also built new features to improve audio. The addition of spatial audio in FaceTime will make it sound like the people you’re talking to are in the same room, and voice isolation on the microphone will dampen ambient noise and prioritize the speakers’ voices. Portrait Mode in FaceTime will blur the background and make the people in focus.

The aim was to make FaceTime “more natural, comfortable and lifelike,” Federighi said.

The FaceTime news came as part of Apple’s rundown of iOS 15, its new iPhone software. The next release of iOS is one of the most important announcements at WWDC. The company’s iPhones are among the most popular smartphones in the world, and it makes iOS updates available to people who own older phones. That means a significant percentage of people in the world likely will use iOS 15 within the next year. Most iPhone owners typically download the latest software within weeks or a few months of its release, helped by the prompts Apple sends them. As of June 3, 90% of all phones introduced within the last four years use iOS 14, the software introduced last fall.