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How Android users can join their iPhone friends' FaceTime fun

Did you know that Android and iPhone users can now FaceTime each other? Here's how to do it.
Written by Christina Darby, Associate Editor
Reviewed by Alyson Windsor
Apple FaceTime with multiple people on a phone

For far too long, Android users have been excluded from Apple's flourishing apps and services, including iMessage and FaceTime. 

While texts from Android devices to iPhones will continue to remain green for the foreseeable future, Apple has been a little more generous about sharing its video-calling platform. 

Android users still can't initiate a FaceTime call, or download the dedicated app, but Apple users can now send an invitation link to their Android friends to hop on a video call, kind of like a one-way Zoom link

Also: How (and why) to clear the cache on your Android

Here's a breakdown of how to do it.

How to set up and receive a FaceTime call

1. Make sure the iPhone user has installed the latest software version

The FaceTime call must be initiated by an Apple user first. 

Also: Apple makes contact sharing easier in iOS 17

Here are the minimum requirements for the supported devices:

  • iPhone: iOS 15 or later

  • iPad: iPadOS 15 or later

  • Mac: MacOS 12 Monterey or later

2. Sending and receiving a FaceTime link

As the sender/host: Go to the FaceTime app on your iPhone, iPad, or Mac and select the "Create Link" option on the top left corner. You'll then be given a unique link to distribute to a contact -- no matter their phone brand. You can also attach a name to the link for a more formal or personal touch.

Also: New iPhone 'Contact Posters' feature lets you set your photo when calling other iPhone users

As the receiver: Once your Apple ally has sent you a FaceTime invitation, click the link from your messages app and your internet browser will open a new window. Then, allow your browser access to your camera and your microphone if you haven't already. Once the link has loaded, you'll be prompted to enter your name before joining the call. Tap "Continue" when you're set. 

FaceTime link on a Samsung phone

An Android user's view of the FaceTime link. 

Screenshot by Christina Darby/ZDNET

3. Accepting and joining the FaceTime call

As the sender/host: After you send out the link, Apple will automatically send a message to the receiver, prompting the user to join your FaceTime. Once your guest clicks on the invitation, you'll be prompted to accept or decline their entry request by clicking a checkmark or an X accordingly. Make sure to frequently check the app so you don't leave your guest hanging.

More: How to record a call on your Android phone

As the receiver: Android users, it's your turn. All that's required for you to join a FaceTime is the call link and a stable Wi-Fi or internet connection. To join, simply click on the link and then the green Join button. If all goes well, your face will appear in a small box in the bottom right corner. If the host of the call hasn't joined yet, the surrounding screen will remain black, with a "Waiting for others to join" notification at the top. 

accepting FaceTime when an Android user enters on link

The point of view of the FaceTime host.

Screenshot by Christina Darby/ZDNET

4. Using FaceTime

As the sender/host: From here, you're free to use FaceTime on your iPhone as you normally would. You can add a Memoji sticker or filter, take screenshots within the app, and chat as you please. The functionality is more limited for Android users, though. More on that later. When you're done with the call, hang up like usual. 

Also: The best Android phones you can buy

As the receiver: In classic Apple fashion, you won't be able to use the full FaceTime experience from an Android device. Unlike Apple users, you can't apply a Memoji sticker or filter to give your call a little more color and pop. You also can't capture images using the FaceTime screenshot button like you would on an iPhone. You can, however, screenshot manually. And unlike on an Apple device, the other user won't be notified that you snapped a photo. Use that information wisely.

Memoji on FaceTime

While ZDNET's Sabrina Ortiz was able to cosplay as her favorite new robot -- Amazon's Astro -- I couldn't do the same from my Android device.

Screenshot by Christina Darby/ZDNET


What iOS do you need to FaceTime an Android? 

In order to have a successful iPhone to Android FaceTime call, the Apple user will need to be running iOS 15 or later on their iPhone, MacOS 12 Monterey or later on their Mac, and iPadOS 15 or later on their iPad. 

Can Android phones initiate a FaceTime call?

Since FaceTime is an Apple-owned service, no. Android users can only join FaceTime calls hosted by Apple users.

Is there a FaceTime app for Android?

Unfortunately, FaceTime is not available on the Google Play store. 

Also: How to take a screenshot on Android

There are, however, alternative apps like Google Meet that offer a similar face-to-face call experience across mobile devices. 

Can I send a FaceTime link to more than one person?

If you have an Apple device, you can send a FaceTime link to more than one person and multiple users can join.

Can you just use Wi-Fi to FaceTime on Android? 

Unfortunately, no. Just like the FaceTime app, where initiation function is exclusive to iOS products, the ability to just use Wi-Fi to FaceTime is as well. 

Also: The easiest way to transfer contacts from your Android to an iPhone

Because Android users have to click on a text via a link to join the call, cell service is a requirement. 

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