You have finally made the switch from your Mac to the wonderful world of Windows! Your shiny new laptop is ready, Windows 10 customized, and your favorite software installed.
This is when it hits you: Where is FaceTime?
Apple really got something going with its video telephony platform. FaceTime is one of the most used features on the Apple ecosystem, with millions of people using the service on their iPhones, iPads and Macs to make video calls.
It is here you wonder. Can you get FaceTime for Windows? Is there a way to make FaceTime calls from Windows? Maybe even using a workaround? An emulator perhaps? Anything that lets you stay in touch with your friends, family and loved ones.
Time to find out.
FaceTime on Windows PC using Bluestacks?
Short answer? No.
Although the FaceTime protocol makes use of several open industry standards, it is not interoperable with other video-telephony systems. Not just that, Apple has not even opened it up on competing operating platforms like Windows and Android.
Bluestacks is the most popular Android emulator around, with more than 370 million users. Yet, you cannot use it to download an unofficial FaceTime app and connect to the service. That has all got to do with how Apple has locked down the service for use only on its own devices.
You simply need a device with the Apple logo to use FaceTime, whether an iPhone, iPad, iPod or a Mac.
Be aware that there are websites that promote this functionality, promising FaceTime on Android or Windows. These are fake and malicious, and best avoided.
But that does not mean you cannot make video calls to someone who is an Apple user. There may not be a way for someone using Windows to make a FaceTime call to someone who is on an iPhone or Mac, but there is no shortage of great video calling alternatives that can fill in this space.
FaceTime Alternatives on Windows 10
Luckily, for Windows users have a whole array of quality services that fill this gap. As long as you and the person you are calling has the same application, both parties can make video calls to each other no matter the kind of devices you two are using.
We list some of the best FaceTime alternatives below that you can use on your Windows device:
- Skype: Skype needs no introduction. It is one of the most widely used video chat apps, a mainstay on the Windows platform. Microsoft continues to refine this free software, adding in features that rival or supersede FaceTime.
- Facebook Messenger: You probably already knew that you can make video calls using Facebook Messenger. What makes this really great is that you can use this feature on pretty much any operating system or device, even your browser on Windows.
- Google Hangouts: Google also offers video chat abilities using Hangouts, along with really nice integration with the larger Google ecosystem. You can make video calls straight from the Gmail interface, for example.
- imo: You can make a case that imo is the best of the rest, this side of the big three above. It’s excellent, take a look.
- LINE: One of the finest solutions available for video calls, LINE offers a slick interface with even slicker features that make it sublime.
- Viber: This is another feature-rich app that can be used for video calling. Viber has some 500 users spread across the globe, and its services can be accessed on a variety of platforms.
- WeChat: If this is the first time you are hearing this name, then you are not alone. Despite over a billion users, WeChat is not that well known in all countries. Still, this video chat app has international appeal, particularly in China. If you have acquaintances there, you probably need to use this one.
Use any of these, and you will find yourself with an experience parallel to FaceTime.
The Promise of FaceTime
FaceTime has come a long way from back when it was introduced, picking up a range of excellent features along the way. But few people actually know the story behind what is one of the most popular apps on iOS and macOS platforms.
Apple CEO Steve Jobs introduced FaceTime alongside iPhone 4 in 2010.
Back then, he promised that the company would be making FaceTime an open industry standard, meaning anyone could create software compatible with the platform. That would have opened the doors for third-party developers to cook up their applications on Windows and Android.
Not long after its debut on iPhone, Apple added support for FaceTime on the desktop operating system, allowing Mac users to make video calls to iOS users. But since then, there has been little progress on making FaceTime an open technology.
Here we are at the close of the decade, and FaceTime remains a proprietary standard that is not available outside the ecosystem. This is not something that is going to change any time soon, either.
At its core, FaceTime is just another audio and video communications platform, albeit one with excellent usability and a nice array of features. It works by establishing a connection between two supported devices. And if both ends have an HD camera, then the service automatically switches to high-definition.
It is this simplicity that has played a large part in popularizing this VoIP service.
Almost all Apple devices introduced after 2011 support FaceTime, though availability is limited by your region and iOS version. FaceTime also supports group audio and video calls with up to 32 people. Apple announced this functionality in June 2018 starting with iOS 12 and macOS Mojave.
FaceTime is a core element of the macOS and iOS ecosystems, offering solid video-telephony and even social networking features that Apple has baked in. However, you, as a Windows user, have several choices comes to video communication services.
Use any of the above listed apps, and you will be able to connect with anyone, anywhere, anytime!