How to use Group FaceTime video and voice calls

Group FaceTime video and audio calls are part of the biggest updates to ever come to FaceTime, since it was first launched with iPhone 4. With iOS 12, Apple enabled support for Group FaceTime calls with up to 32 users, between iOS devices and Macs. This is a significant update and a much awaited feature, as most other popular services have already offered group video and voice calling. Along with the group calls, Apple also added support for various filters, stickers, Animojis and Memojis in FaceTime calls. Here’s a run-through of all the new features in Group FaceTime in iOS 12.1 and macOS Mojave 10.14.1, and how you can use them.

How to use group FaceTime calls on iPhone and iPad

Here’s what you can do on iPhone and iPad, on iOS 12.1 and above:

  • Start and accept group FaceTime video and audio calls
  • Use filters, Animojis and Memojis

To start a group call, open the FaceTime app on your iPhone or iPad and tap the plus button on the top right. In the To: field, start typing the names of the contacts you want to add. The list will auto-populate and you can tap your contact name to add them in the group. You can also tap the + button, to add them from your contacts list. Once done, tap on either the Audio or Video button to start the group call.

New FaceTime Group iOS

Alternatively, you can also call someone on FaceTime and during the call, swipe up to reveal the below menu. Tap Add Person, and this will open your contact list. From here, you can add users to your group call.

FaceTime Group Add Person

Once users are added to a group call, their video appears in tiles. The size of the tile is dynamic and smartly enlarges based on the people who are talking at that moment. You can also double tap a person to just see them instead – Apple calls this Focus View. If there are users who have disabled their video, their initials and name will show on their tile.

iOS 12 Group FaceTime Video

You can also use stickers, shapes, text effects, filters, Animojis and Memojis in FaceTime. These work just like the iMessage camera. Simply swipe up during a call and tap Filters. This will bring up a list of different personalization options and one of then is the new Memoji, introduced with iOS 12 for iPhones with TrueDepth camera.

You can select any of these filters and swipe down the menu to keep using it in your call. You can use an Animoji or Memoji and the camera will reflect your facial expressions so it’ll look like that the characters are talking.

Read more: How to create and use Memoji in iOS 12

FaceTime call effects

How to use group FaceTime calls on Mac

Here’s what you can do on macOS Mojave 10.14.1 and above.

  • Start and accept group FaceTime video and audio calls

To start a group call, open FaceTime app on your Mac. In the field which says Enter a name, email or number, type the information of different contacts that you want to have a call with. Once done, click the Audio or Video button to start the Group FaceTime call.

Group FaceTime macOS Mojave

To add a person in an existing call, click on the menu button on the bottom left of the app. Click Add Person.

Group FaceTime Mac Menu

You can add name, email or phone number of the multiple people in this field to add them to the call.

Group FaceTime Mac

In macOS, you can use the FaceTime app to initiate and participate in group calls, however, you can only view other participant’s filters but not use any yourself. This is because neither iMessage nor FaceTime in macOS have filters or other interactive features that these apps have on iOS devices.

Using group FaceTime on Apple Watch

From an Apple Watch, you can only answer group FaceTime calls. While it’s not very functional, it’s convenient to be able to answer group calls right from your wrist. This feature also works for Apple Watch LTE users.

Read more: Apple shows off Group FaceTime in new ad using Elvis impersonators