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You’re the only one I talk to on WhatsApp, confessed a close college friend who previously told me it was super convenient.
Two friends I speak to primarily on Facebook Messenger told me about their excitement for moving our chat to iMessage, and then I realized one of them had never even given me their phone number.
And another friend rarely had any interest in doing video chats with me when I used Android, but now that they can FaceTime, I get unprompted calls.
My family members, graciously, have not cared whether or not I’m using an iPhone. While I know using FaceTime is a preference for them, one thing was more important: Does it work? So at least with them, video chats over WhatsApp and Skype are still viable.
Even Apple is starting to acknowledge that facilitating a fast and easy conversation no matter what device people are on is what’s most important. FaceTime opening up a little bit to include participants on Android, Windows and anywhere a web browser loads is a half-step: ideally when it launches it will let iOS people include anyone they want in a conversation, but actually starting a FaceTime call looks to remain exclusive to Apple devices. In an interview with UrAvgConsumer, Apple Senior Vice President Craig Federighi acknowledged that opening up FaceTime has become what its customers want.
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“Very often there was someone in a large group who maybe didn’t have an Apple device and you don’t want to shut them out of the party, and yet we didn’t want to have to use something other than FaceTime and so we thought as an Apple customer, what do you want, you do want to be able to pull in all of your friends,” Federighi said in the interview with the YouTube channel.
And while that’s great, it’s also about being competitive. Apple knows that if it doesn’t catch up with rival services like Zoom, even the most loyal Apple customers may turn away from services like FaceTime.
As for me, making the switch didn’t change much. I still communicate with everyone in my life. It’s just that now because of my “blue bubble,” it’s a little bit easier for my friends and family who prefer using an iPhone.
What’s your favorite app for texting and video chatting? And is it particularly important for your friends and family to use iMessage or FaceTime? Tell us in the comments.
First published on June 24, 2021 at 3:00 a.m. PT.