FaceTime has been a tentpole feature across all of Apple’s platforms for many years. However, due to the response to COVID-19, FaceTime became more important than ever, playing a critical role in the way friends and family have stayed connected – and now it’s poised to get a lot better.
So, it’s not surprising that this year’s FaceTime updates focus on fundamentals like audio and video quality and making the app available outside of Apple’s ecosystem, allowing it to compete better with other services…
FaceTime calls are coming to the web. As is common with other video calling services, this fall, you’ll be able to share a link to initiate a FaceTime call… If the person with whom you share a link doesn’t have an Apple device, they can join the call through a web browser, including on a non-Apple device running Windows or Android, for example… the web UI is a lot like FaceTime’s and will certainly come in handy for organizing calls with friends and family who don’t use Apple hardware.
With iOS and iPadOS 15 and macOS Monterey, Apple is adding Spatial Audio, as well as Voice Isolation and Wide Spectrum audio modes to FaceTime… I have only tested FaceTime in one-on-one situations so far, where the Spatial Audio effect wasn’t particularly noticeable, although I imagine it could make a bigger difference on large group calls. However, even a small improvement in some situations is welcome.
The other two audio effects, Voice Isolation and Wide Spectrum, were much more noticeable in my testing. Voice Isolation seems to combine essentially noise cancellation, which boosts vocals while reducing background sounds. In my tests… the results were impressive… Wide Spectrum audio does the exact opposite of Voice Isolation for those times when you want whomever you call to hear the sounds around you. Instead of focusing on the vocals of the caller, Wide Spectrum enhances the full range of sound picked up by your device’s microphone. One obvious use case is for remote music lessons or to share a song you’ve learned on a musical instrument with friends and family.
MacDailyNews Take: Better late than never!