With the release of iOS 15, Android users now have access to all the wild FaceTime parties iPhone users have been hosting for years. (You’ve all been having them, right? No one ever comes to mine.) All it takes is a simple shareable link.
What you need to create a shareable FaceTime link
Because FaceTime is an Apple product, someone with iOS 15 or iPadOS 15 has to create the link. This ability will also be available on Apple computers when macOS Monterey comes out later this year.
If you don’t have the 15th version of the iPhone or iPad operating system, you’ll need to update your device. Enter Settings, tap General, and hit Software Update. It’s a sizable download (2.67GB on iPhone), so if your device is too full, it will ask if you’d like to temporarily remove apps to free up space for the install; it will restore them when the update finishes. The process took about 30 minutes for me, and I couldn’t even tell which apps it booted.
How to create, share, and use a FaceTime link
Once you have the newest OS, creating a link takes less than 30 seconds. Open the built-in FaceTime app, tap Create Link at the top of the screen, and you’re basically done. You can stick with “FaceTime Link” or go into Add Name to give it a unique name like “very cool party.”
Now you’re free to share the link at will. You can send it out on any of the channels you typically use to blast things from your phone or tablet (AirDrop, text message, email, etc.). Or just copy a link that you can paste anywhere.
You can’t schedule a meetup this way like you can on other video calling apps, so be sure to pick a time and tell everyone when to join after you share the link. You’ll also need to join your own call before anyone else can: Just tap Join. If you don’t, the other callers will be stuck in a virtual waiting room.
Once you’re inside, you grant access to anyone waiting, and can tap the call name at the top of the screen to add more contacts. You can also Silence Join Requests if too many people are trying to crash your extremely cool party.
The link will stay at the top of your FaceTime call log until you delete it, so you can use it repeatedly for regular calls with the same people. If you’re done with it, though, tap the i icon on the right side of the link listing and select Delete Link. Once it’s gone, you’ll no longer be able to join the call yourself, so no one else will be able to use it.
How to access a FaceTime link from Android or PC
If you ever receive a FaceTime link on Android or PC, you’ll be asked to enter some kind of identifier so the creator can see who you are. Then you’ll hit a waiting screen until the link creator lets you in. Because you’re accessing FaceTime through a browser, you may have to adjust your microphone and camera permissions for the call to work.
And with that, you’re in—welcome to the party.