Apple’s video and audio chat app, FaceTime, adds the ability to schedule calls with multiple attendees and making the software compatible with Android and Windows devices. Unlike Zoom, Microsoft Corp’s Teams and other video conferencing services, FaceTime was limited to Apple devices.
The move comes as video conferencing services have seen a meteoric rise, with users shifting to remote work and online learning during the pandemic.
Other Highlights from Apple Developers Conference
iCloud Becomes iCloud+
Apple overhauled its storage service subscription, iCloud+. New features include “private relay” that hides a user’s identity and browsing data from both Apple and advertisers on its web browser, Safari.
Macs can be used to control other Apple devices
Apple added a feature that would let users control several devices at once, including moving the cursor and dragging objects across screens, thus giving them control over other Apple devices from Mac computers and laptops.
The new SharePlay feature will enable real-time interaction between people while on FaceTime calls, including co-watching videos, streaming shows and films, as well as listening to music and screen sharing. SharePlay will keep everyone’s playback in sync and is set to work with Disney+, ESPN+, HBO Max, Hulu, MasterClass, Paramount+, Pluto TV, TikTok, Twitch.
iPhones to Replace ID Cards
The iPhone maker is also looking to offer the ability of storing digitized versions of state-issued identification cards on its smartphones. It is working with the U.S. Transportation Security Administration for the acceptance of digital IDs at airports, one of several updates to the software that runs on its devices.