So you’ve recently jumped from using an iPhone to an Android smartphone. Don’t tell me, I already know that you’re missing the ability to FaceTime your contacts at a moment’s notice. FaceTime is one of those apps that Apple has really done well.
So now that you’re on Android, you’re probably asking if you can use FaceTime for Android because of course, anybody who has used it would want that. Or you may find yourself in any one of these positions. Click them to take your straight to the answer:
- Are you a new Android user?
- Are you looking for FaceTime alternatives on Android?
- Are you looking for technical reasons around FaceTime on Android?
If you’re asking any of these three questions, read on and get the answers you have to these burning FaceTime questions.
If you’ve been using an iPhone for a long time and just recently jumped on to an Android device, there’s a big chance that you’re missing FaceTime. Don’t worry, I would too.
FaceTime is such a solid video calling app, and so easy to use, that you’re hoping it is somehow usable on Android. Here’s the difficult truth: You can’t use FaceTime on Android.
Apple’s architecture is locked, which means FaceTime can only be used for video calls between Apple devices. And as much as Android is tweakable and “hackable”, you will not find some kind of FaceTime hack to make FaceTime usable on Android.
This might be a sad thing for you as a user, but fret not! There are numerous alternatives for video calling cross-platform from Android to iOS, and a lot of the great ones are free to use.
Check out this next section for alternatives you can use for FaceTime on Android.
Fortunately for us, FaceTime is only one of the many apps you can use cross-platform – that is, video calling from Android to iOS and Apple devices.
Here are the best recommendations I can give you. These are great apps, and most of them you can even use free.
Facebook Messenger is probably not the best among these apps, but this should be the easiest recommendation I can make. Most of your friends who use an iPhone are probably on Facebook anyway.
Facebook Messenger is Facebook’s chat app, but it also allows you to make voice and video calls for free on data and WiFi connections.
The greatest thing about this is that you won’t have to convince a lot of people to get a new app or service, because they probably have Facebook, to begin with.
Skype is probably one of the oldest and well-known messaging apps that have scaled well into the video calling generation. The app does well as a video calling medium because a lot of people still use it.
Skype is a free messaging app that has premium features, the latter allowing you to do overseas calls for a price. If you use a WiFi or data connection, you can easily do video calls.
You need to have your iPhone friends download the app to use it, but that’s not going to be much of a problem because the app supports a wide range of devices, even being compatible with some smart TVs and game consoles.
Google Duo is probably the simplest app on this list – and by “simple”, I mean that it does nothing else but video calls, person-to-person, 1-to-1.
There are no overly complicated features here – you install Google Duo and it ties your phone number to the app. Ask your iPhone friends to download and install the app and you’re good to go.
This Google app may not have fancy features like group chat and other stuff, but for good old video calling, this will do the job. It’s the closest you can get to FaceTime for Android.
Google Hangouts is Duo’s big brother – it is Google’s full-fledged chat app, with all the bells and whistles. If you want to message in any form, Hangouts is how Google wants you to have it.
Hangouts will allow you to do video calls and so much more. You can have a “hangout” on video call (hence the name), and you can be joined by up to 9 of your friends in one hangout.
You will need to have your iPhone friends download and install Hangouts on their iPhone, but once that’s done – it’s like having FaceTime for Android, only that it’s for Android.
WhatsApp is another popular messaging service, and it only grew more in popularity when Facebook stepped in and bought the company in 2014. There’s a big chance your iPhone friends already have WhatsApp installed.
The users of WhatsApp already enjoy a lot of great features within the app – voice calls, private messaging, group chat, and yes, even video calls. You can even send recorded audio and video messages to your friends if they’re not online.
WhatsApp will probably be one of the “go to” choices if people want to do video calls, so you might want to try it as a great alternative for FaceTime on Android.
You will have to chalk this down to the difference in strategies between Google and Apple when it comes to their mobile operating systems. These two giants have very different approaches when it comes to apps on their platforms.
Apple, if you still don’t know, uses a closed ecosystem for most of its software. The iOS operating system on Apple devices is not open to tweaks and third party add-ons. You can only do it one way, and that is Apple’s way.
So for FaceTime, the only real way to use the app is to have two Apple devices using it. There is just no way that Apple will allow FaceTime to be used cross-platform.
Google has championed the open source ecosystem with Android, and it reflects on its open approach to apps. Android is heavily customizable, and the apps on Android are distributed from a wider range of sources.
This obviously makes Android the “less secure” platform of the two, but it also opens up the operating system to a lot of customizability and it is friendly to cross-platform processes.
This is why a lot of video calling apps on Android are usable on Apple as well. Android’s strategy just makes for better cross-platform usage.
Are you sad that you can not use Facetime for Android. Don’t be! While FaceTime is indeed one of the best video calling apps known to man, there isn’t any reason why you can’t use an alternative.
And these alternatives not only work, but they also give you great features as well! Your friends using iPhones certainly won’t mind using an app that has great features and allows you to video call between Android and Apple.
So enjoy cross-platform video calling with the apps I’ve suggested. Who knows, you might just start falling in love with Android.
Still, have questions? Know of any other great FaceTime alternatives? Have other suggestions for video calling on Android? Drop them in the comment section below!