Apple kicked off its annual developers conference with a jam-packed keynote on Monday, introducing a slew of new features for its entire product range. Aside from a focus on health and and privacy, Apple put an emphasis on features that help people stay connected in the digital world, including SharePlay that enables users to watch video content or listen to music together via FaceTime.
Speaking of FaceTime, Apple also announced a rare exception from its walled garden approach by enabling Android and Windows users to join FaceTime calls on the web. That turns the popular video chat app into a more serious competitor for Zoom, Skype or Facebook’s Messenger, all of which have long been open to cross-platform use.
According to results from Statista's Global Consumer Survey, FaceTime is already among the most popular messaging/video chat services in the United States. Opening the service up to non-Apple users could go a long way in further building the service’s reach, particularly outside the U.S. where FaceTime is not as widely used as it is in Apple’s home market.