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Still chatting with just one person on FaceTime? That's so ; since iOS Using either the FaceTime or Messages app, you add all the people you want to chat with and then place the call, or place the call to one or more people first and add others once the call has started.
Start a facetime group call
And to have fun with your own face on the call, add filters, text, Animoji, Memojiand other effects. Older iOS devices can participate in a group call but they'll receive only the audio feed and no video. Group FaceTime has been hit by various bugs and problems in the past, so your best bet is to update your device to the latest version of iOS or iPadOS. Before you decide to place your first call, make sure you're on the latest version of the OS. Your device will tell you if the operating system is up to date. If it's not, you'll be prompted to download and install the latest update.
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In the To field, start typing the name or of the first person you wish to call. As you type, a list of suggested contacts pops up. The ones in gray either have not updated or own an older, unsupported device.
To add another person to the call, type a name or after the first person. At that point, the contact either appears in blue with the Audio and Video buttons accessible, or they appear in gray with the Audio and Video buttons grayed out and inaccessible.
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Each person you add to the call receives a notification on their iPhone or iPad. By tapping the notification, each person will then answer the call and be added to the chat. If FaceTime is already open, the person can also tap on the call to it.
Open iMessage and tap the group message thread for the people you wish to call. Tap the image icon at the top of the screen and select FaceTime. The FaceTime call is then placed to everyone in that message thread.
Enter additional participants
Each person can tap the notification to the call. Most of us probably won't be chatting with upwards of 30 people on a FaceTime call, but with even a half dozen people, you're probably wondering how you keep the conversation straight. When you call more than one person, FaceTime triggers a notification so each person can the call.
If the call is placed from an iMessage group chat, the active call will display in your conversation. The video call will start when the first person you invited answers, with the screen indicating you're waiting for other people. Each participant can see the other people in their own individual thumbnail windows.
The image of the person currently speaking is highlighted and appears at the top of the screen, while the other participants show up below. The group chat also resizes each person's image based on how active they are in the conversation, how long the person is speaking, the volume of speech, and the person's movements.
Anyone not actively speaking appears toward the bottom of the screen until they chime in. You can also tap a person's image to enlarge it. You can also add people after the call has already started. To do this, kick off the call with at least one other participant. Tap the screen and swipe up on the small panel of icons to enlarge it.
Tap the command to Add Person. Once you have found the person, tap Add Person to FaceTime. Just open FaceTime and tap the video call among all those participants, and each of them will receive a notification to the call. Want to spice up your face on a FaceTime call?
You and any of the other participants can do that by adding stickers, text, AnimojiMemojiand other effects. Tap the screen and then tap the star icon from the small panel of icons. From there, tap the icon for the effect you want to add, such as the lizard icon for an Animoji, the three colored circles icon for filters, the Aa icon for text, and the red squiggle icon for shapes. With shapes and other images, you can move them around the screen.
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Surviving a long and varied career in publishing, advertising, and IT, Lance Whitney now wears a few different technology hats. By day, he's a journalist, software trainer, and sometime Web developer. By night, he's asleep. These days, he writes news stories, columns, and reviews for CNET and other technology sites and publications. PCMag editors select and review products independently. If you buy through affiliate links, we may earn commissions, which help support our testing.
Learn more. Updated March 20, Copy Link. Enter Additional Participants To add another person to the call, type a name or after the first person.
How FaceTime Group Calls Work Most of us probably won't be chatting with upwards of 30 people on a FaceTime call, but with even a half dozen people, you're probably wondering how you keep the conversation straight. Thanks for ing up!
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