PSA: Group FaceTime's Video Chat Not Available on Older iOS Devices

Apple today released iOS 12.1, which reintroduces the Group FaceTime feature that was removed during the iOS 12 beta testing process.

Group FaceTime is designed to let iPhone, iPad, and Mac users conduct video and audio chats with up to 32 participants at one time, with new camera effect features like filters, stickers, Animoji, and Memoji included.


Unfortunately, Group FaceTime is limited on older Apple devices. On the iPhone 5s, iPhone 6, and iPhone 6 Plus, it is available in an audio-only capacity with no video. In its recently released iOS 12.1 user guide, Apple says that Group FaceTime video is not compatible with these devices.

"Note: iPhone 5s, iPhone 6, and iPhone 6 Plus support only audio Group FaceTime calls. Group FaceTime may not be available in all regions."

Group FaceTime is also limited to audio-only on the iPad mini 2, iPad mini 3, iPad Air, and iPod touch.

According to Apple's official Group FaceTime support document, Group FaceTime with full video is limited to the iPhone 6s or later, iPad Pro or later, iPad Air 2, or iPad mini 4, and iOS 12.1 is, of course, required for the feature to work.

groupfacetime
Group FaceTime calls can be initiated via the FaceTime app or through a group conversation within the Messages app. When you're on a Group FaceTime call, the interface is organized into tiles, with the tile of the person speaking at the time getting larger so you can focus on each person.

Like regular FaceTime calls in iOS 12, Group FaceTime calls support a range of camera effects so you can use stickers, Animoji, Memoji, and filters during your calls.

Group FaceTime supports ringless notifications to let people join calls without disrupting conversations already in progress, and there are built-in tools for seamlessly adding or removing people from your chat. For more details on how to use Group FaceTime, make sure to check our our Group FaceTime walkthrough and how to.

Top Rated Comments

bpeeps Avatar
48 months ago
That's good. People on older devices are now forced to update if they want Group FaceTime.
I don't think group facetime is a killer feature to force people to upgrade 4 year old phones. Likely if they're holding onto their phones now, they still will.
[doublepost=1540929360][/doublepost]
Yay, planned obsolescence...
If this were limited to the latest phones, you'd have a real case for this. But phones that were released ibefore 2014 are lucky they receive updates at all.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
madKIR Avatar
48 months ago
In other words, it’s available in its full capacity on the devices with at least 2 gigs of RAM. There go all those Apple defenders claiming that 1 gig was enough lol
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
keysofanxiety Avatar
48 months ago
That's good. People on older devices are now forced to update if they want Group FaceTime.
People on an iPhone 5S or 6.

6S upwards still works fine.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
PGVIDEO Avatar
48 months ago
Yay, planned obsolescence...
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
CarpalMac Avatar
48 months ago


6S upwards still works fine.
Yay! Still rocking my 6S, IMO it's still the best of the iphones and certainly the best for my specific needs. Facetime is the best app for those with limited data connections. I tried several when in the Scottish Highlands where the WiFi was <1meg and it was the only one that gave great image and sound quality. Hangouts and Skype (the major other options) were awful by comparison.

Will be the end of my ios journey though when it dies. Apple's priced me out of the market.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
840quadra Avatar
48 months ago
Yay, planned obsolescence...
Then why offer it on anything older than an Xs or Xr?

I am sure they wanted the full experience, or audio only, as a way to bring consistency for users.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

macbook air m2

Exclusive: Apple Plans to Launch MacBook Air With M2 Chip on July 15

Wednesday June 29, 2022 5:23 pm PDT by
The redesigned MacBook Air with the all-new M2 Apple silicon chip will be available for customers starting Friday, July 15, MacRumors has learned from a retail source. The new MacBook Air was announced and previewed during WWDC earlier this month, with Apple stating availability will begin in July. The MacBook Air features a redesigned body that is thinner and lighter than the previous...
original iphone 2007

15 Years Ago Today, the iPhone Went On Sale

Wednesday June 29, 2022 4:43 am PDT by
Fifteen years ago to this day, the iPhone, the revolutionary device presented to the world by the late Steve Jobs, officially went on sale. The first iPhone was announced by Steve Jobs on January 9, 2007, and went on sale on June 29, 2007. "An iPod, a phone, an internet mobile communicator... these are not three separate devices," Jobs famously said. "Today, Apple is going to reinvent the...
maxresdefault

Video Comparison: M2 MacBook Pro vs. M1 MacBook Pro

Tuesday June 28, 2022 2:45 pm PDT by
Apple last week launched an updated version of the 13-inch MacBook Pro, and it is the first Mac that is equipped with an updated M2 chip. As it's using a brand new chip, we thought we'd pick up the M2 MacBook Pro and compare it to the prior-generation M1 MacBook Pro to see just what's new. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. For the video comparison, we're using the...
iPhone vs Galaxy Larger

Apple Executive Says Samsung Copied the iPhone and Simply 'Put a Bigger Screen Around It'

Tuesday June 28, 2022 8:59 am PDT by
The Wall Street Journal's Joanna Stern today shared a new documentary about the evolution of the iPhone ahead of the 15th anniversary of the device launching on June 29, 2007. The documentary includes an interview with Apple's marketing chief Greg Joswiak, iPhone co-creator Tony Fadell, and a family of iPhone users. One segment of the interview reflects on Android smartphones gaining larger...
iPhone 11 Pro vs iPhone 14 Pro

iPhone 11 Pro vs. 14 Pro: New Features to Expect if You've Waited to Upgrade

Monday June 27, 2022 11:22 am PDT by
With many customers choosing to upgrade their iPhone every two or three years nowadays, there are lots of iPhone 11 Pro users who might be interested in upgrading to the iPhone 14 Pro later this year. Those people are in for a treat, as three years of iPhone generations equals a long list of new features and changes to look forward to. Below, we've put together a list of new features and...
Mac Studio IO

Apple Begins Selling Refurbished Mac Studio Models

Thursday June 30, 2022 7:42 pm PDT by
Apple today began selling refurbished Mac Studio models for the first time in the United States, Canada, and select European countries, such as Belgium, Germany, Ireland, Spain, Switzerland, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom. In the United States, two refurbished Mac Studio configurations are currently available, including one with the M1 Max chip (10-core CPU and 24-core GPU) for...
rootbug

Major macOS High Sierra Bug Allows Full Admin Access Without Password - How to Fix [Updated]

Tuesday November 28, 2017 12:33 pm PST by
There appears to be a serious bug in macOS High Sierra that enables the root superuser on a Mac with a blank password and no security check. The bug, discovered by developer Lemi Ergin, lets anyone log into an admin account using the username "root" with no password. This works when attempting to access an administrator's account on an unlocked Mac, and it also provides access at the login...