Use Group FaceTime on your iPhone or iPad to video chat with your entire family over the holidays

“If your family is like mine, chances are you might find yourselves split up over the holidays. Some folks are on one coast and maybe some family members are traveling out of the country,” Todd Haselton reports for CNBC. “Normally, you might video chat with individual families or people separately, but, now you can Group FaceTime with (almost) everyone at once.”

“In its latest iOS 12.1 update, Apple included Group FaceTime and the ability for up to 32 people to video chat at the same time on iPhone or iPad,” Haselton reports. “Keep in mind that this only works for devices that support FaceTime, so Android users won’t be able to join. But I like FaceTime because it lets you use someone’s regular phone number to place a call, so you don’t have to worry about them being logged into a service like Skype.”

MacDailyNews Take: “Android users won’t be able to join.” Not a problem. 🙂

Haselton reports, “You can make the video chat a little more fun by adding filters or stickers to your video.”

• While the chat is going, tap the star icon on the bottom left of the screen.
• You’ll see the standard iMessage app menu. Tap through the icons to add various effects to your chat.
• One lets you use your Memoji to chat.
• Play around with the different effects and have some fun.

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Group FaceTime works well. We do recommend creating a group chat in Messages with everyone, to make sure everyone’s available, and then simply initiate Group FaceTime directly from Messages.


  1. From 2003 …

    If you want to text, audio, or video chat with more than one buddy, you can connect an unlimited number of people in one text conference, up to 10 total people in an audio conference, and up to four total people in a video conference, as long as your system supports it (visit the iChat Support page for information about iChat AV system requirements). Here’s how to set up a conference …

    I wonder if we’ll ever learn the truth about about this 15 year hiatus?

    1. How much you want to bet it had to do with the potential for someone suing Apple over a patent. Given that patents have a 20yr life, a 15yr hiatus to let some threatened patent litigation expire is a possibility. Certainly shouldn’t have been technical.

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