The popularity of FaceTime exploded during the pandemic, as more and more people were forced into remote contact. Even now, it shows no signs of stopping, and Apple has added some great new features with iOS 16.
Handoff is a great benefit of the Apple ecosystem, allowing you to start a task on one device and seamlessly continue on another, so long as they’re both logged into the same Apple ID. But for a long time, FaceTime calls didn’t get such treatment.
That’s all changed in iOS 16, with the ability to transfer a voice or video chat to another device halfway through the call. That means you could answer on your iPhone but then hand off to your iPad for easier viewing, or start a call on your Mac and hand off to your iPhone so you can leave the room. Or any other combination you can think of!
This feature is largely automated: when you’re on a FaceTime call with another device in close proximity, it will flash up a banner offering you the chance to Move Call To This Device. Simply tap the banner to make the switch! If you have a set of Bluetooth headphones connected, they will automatically hand off to the new device too.
If that doesn’t seem to be working for you, double-check a few things. Both devices need to have Wi-Fi and Bluetooth turned on, and be logged into the same Apple ID. You’ll also need to ensure Handoff is toggled on in the Settings app under AirPlay & Handoff > Handoff.
Apple’s continuity camera features have been around for a couple of years, allowing users to snap a photo with their iPhone to beam directly into a document on a nearby Mac. For example, if you’re making a presentation in Keynote, you can press the Media button and then iPhone > Take Photo to capture something directly into the file with your iPhone.
That feature has been expanded with iOS 16 and macOS Ventura to essentially turn your iPhone into a webcam for video calls. The iPhone’s camera is significantly better than Apple’s built-in Mac webcams, and saves you buying additional gadgets if you want higher quality video in FaceTime.
To get the most from this feature, you’ll need an iPhone mount to clip it to the top of your display. Apple has one in the works, but there are several third-party alternatives out there already. You could also use an existing tripod or phone mount if positioned carefully.
Mount your iPhone to the top of your screen, and when you launch a compatible app, it should automatically connect. If not, you can select your iPhone’s camera input from the Video menu on the Mac.
Using an iPhone as a webcam has some really cool benefits even beyond video quality. Once you’re connected, click the Control Center button on the Mac and you’ll see a Video Effects section. Depending on your iPhone model, you can select from Center Stage, Portrait, Studio Light, and even Desk View. The latter uses the iPhone’s ultra-wide camera to split the video feed in two, with a shot of your face accompanying a top-down view of your desk. It’s really clever stuff!
Apple added a few smaller things worth mentioning, too. Those with difficulty hearing will be very pleased to see the addition of BetaLive Captions, which automatically transcribe what people are saying on your FaceTime calls.
Collaboration is now possible via the Share button, allowing you to co-work on projects from Files, Pages, Numbers, Keynote, Safari, and more. Finally, it’s now easier to discover things to do over SharePlay, as FaceTime will now surface all your installed apps which support the feature.