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Group Calling on FaceTime: iPhone, iPad, Mac Guide

Social distancing and constantly upgrading remote work policies have made video conferencing our essential daily routine. Apple provides a superior proprietary conferencing solution for all owners of iOS and macOS devices, the FaceTime app. If you’re using one of the products by Apple, and you’re tired of looking for the app that is both convenient and secure for your privacy, FaceTime is an excellent alternative to all third-party services.

The app is preinstalled on your iPhone, iPad, and Mac, letting you utilize the entire set of features for free. The important thing is that FaceTime can let you create secure video chats for up to 32 people. Let’s figure out how to do it.

Group Calls on iOS Devices

apple iphone ipad white background photo

Let’s start with learning how to use FaceTime on your iOS and iPadOS devices that include iPhone, iPad, and iPod. In fact, it’s the easiest way. If you’re looking only for macOS instructions, skip to the next subheading.

Launch the Facetime app on your device. You will see the “+” amongst other buttons. Press it to add a person to the conversation. If the person is already on your contact list, you can simply start typing the name and select it from the list of suggested contacts. If not, you have to enter the full phone number of the person you want to contact. Names of people who use an iPhone or iPad are always colored in blue. If you see it, you can call or add them to your ongoing conversation. Grey numbers and names mean that callers don’t have access to FaceTime.

To start a chat, you have to tap Video or Audio and wait for others to join you. You can invite up to 31 participants before starting the call, as well as during the conversation. Swipe up during the call to open the options and tap Add Person to invite people without interruptions. To quit the call, just tap the red cross icon.

Mac Group Calls

woman communicating via laptop

The MacOS version of the app is a bit more versatile as it lets you contact users of any OS unless you need video. To start, launch FaceTime, then enter names and numbers of people you want to call, and tap Video or Audio to make a call. Independently of your choice, Android users can join only with audio. The Finder-like icon in the left bottom corner lets you reveal the contact list during the call and add/remove people from the conversation. This feature is similar to the iOS/iPadOS version.

Group Calls via Messages

Do you have a group chat in the Messages app? Then you can start a group call directly from there. When chatting with friends or colleagues on the group thread, tap the header of the conversation to reveal chat options. You will see audio and video call options there. Tap the one you need at the moment, and the system will switch you to FaceTime automatically. If you miss a call from another user, you can join anytime later, if the call is still going.

This Messages feature is available for MacOS users as well. To access it, click the Details menu button in the upper right corner of the active group thread that you want to chat with. Similarly to the iOS app, there are video and audio call icons. Click the one you need, and your Mac will immediately start calling all the people in the thread who are online.

Recording FaceTime Calls

If you need to make a record of your chat, first, you should ask people you talk to for their permission. If they agree, launch QuickTime Player, choose the screen record, and select the FaceTime window to record it separately from the desktop. If you’ve updated to Mojave or Catalina, use the Screen Record tool. On iOS/iPadOS, ue the Screen Record tool that’s available in the quick-access menu, near flashlight, airplane mode, and other options.

Stay Home

It’s high time to learn how to use video conferencing capabilities of your iPhone and Mac to feel more convenient during the quarantine. Even when it ends, you will be able to save loads of time, solve various work tasks, and have fun using FaceTime. Do you know any other exciting or hidden features of this app? Tell about them in the comments and share this article with other Apple users.