How to use the new features of FaceTime in Macus Monterey.

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Apple has officially released macOS Monterey to the public, and FaceTime is one of the apps that received a major update this year. For the first time, Apple is adding new features to FaceTime on Mac, such as Portrait Mode, Grid View and more. Scroll down for full details.

What’s new in FaceTime at MacOS Monterey?

Fashion portrait

One of the most popular features of the camera on the iPhone is the portrait mode, which blurs the background with a bokie effect and focuses on the subject. Apple is now bringing it to the Mac for the first time. Portrait mode in FaceTime blurs your background and focuses on you when you’re on a FaceTime video call.

To manage this setting, in the FaceTime app on Mac during a video call, do one of the following:

  • In the menu bar, click Control Center, click Video Effects, then select Portrait under FaceTime.
  • Click your tile, then click the Video Effects button.

Lattice view

Like other video communication applications like Zoom and Skype, FaceTime has added a new grid view interface with MacOS Monterey. This new design allows you to call people in the same size tiles in your group facetime, and features an existing speaker so it’s easy to know who’s talking. You can see 18 faces in the grid at a time.

To manage your Group FaceTime call view, hover your mouse over the Call window, then click Grid at the top right of the window.

Local audio, wide spectrum, and sound isolation

Apple has added a handful of new audio features to its FaceTime application. These include local audio, voice isolation mode, and wide spectrum mode.

  • Local Audio – Creates a sound field that allows conversations to flow smoothly as they come face to face. The voices of your friends are spread out as if they are coming from the direction in which they are standing on the call.
  • Voice Isolation Mode – This microphone mode spotlights your voice so that it can detect and block ambient noise using machine learning. So a leaf flying outside or a dog barking in the next room will not interrupt your call.
  • Wide Spectrum Mode – This microphone mode captures every single sound in your call. This is ideal for when you are taking music lessons or want your friend to hear everything that is happening in your place.

To manage the audio settings of a FaceTime call, in the FaceTime call, click Control Center in the menu bar, then click “Mic Mode”. Here, you can choose between wide spectrum and voice isolation mode.

Face time links

Finally, the biggest change to FaceTime with this year’s update for Mac, iPhone, and iPad: Support for FaceTime links. It allows you to invite people to a FaceTime call using a web link that can be shared anywhere, including with people who use Android and Windows.

Yes, for the first time, people on Android and Windows can join FaceTime calls via the web, including both group and one-on-one calls. To create a FaceTime link, just look for the “Create Link” button in the FaceTime app on your Mac.

To come now

One of the great features of MacOS Monterey is not yet available: Share Play. Apple describes SharePlay as “a new way to share synced experiences in FaceTime”, and while it was originally supposed to be included in the first release of MacOS Monterey, Apple delayed Continue to improve performance.

A new version of macOS Monterey with SharePlay is currently in beta testing – macOS 12.1 – and we expect it to be released to the public soon.

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