Apple has made a number of notable announcements at its annual WWDC developer conference this week.

One of the most significant announcement concerns FaceTime, which since 2011 has been a video and messaging app exclusively on Apple devices.

But now Apple has revealed from the Autumn this year, Android and Windows users will be able to join FaceTime calls.

WWDC developments

The move is notable as Apple tends to operate a closed ecosystem, and the move shows the iPhone maker is beginning to lessen its ironclad grip and open up its services to other platforms.

The move will also give users (if they wish) an option to move away from using competing video chat apps such as Zoom, WhatsApp, or Microsoft Teams.

However it should be noted that Apple is not going to be offering Android or Windows users a dedicated FaceTime app.

Instead users on those platforms will have to use to a browser and join a FaceTime call via a unique web link.

So an Apple device will still be required to start a FaceTime call.

Those calls will be still be encrypted and users on non Apple platforms will need to be using the latest version of Google’s Chrome or Microsoft’s Edge web browser.

Other announcements at the WWDC include iOS 15 for iPhones and iPads; watchOS 8 for Apple Watch; Apple updating its maps software with new 3D data; and finally a number of privacy changes.

Apple’s bolstering its privacy credentials will see the firm deploy tracker-blockers in its Mail app, which which will help hide a person’s IP address and location.

It will also prevent senders from seeing if and when you open an email.

Apple is also going to hide IP address from trackers in Safari.

Furthermore, in settings, Apple will add an App Tracker Report section, so users can see how often apps use info in last seven days and find out third party domains app is contacting.

Tom Jowitt

Tom Jowitt is a leading British tech freelancer and long standing contributor to Silicon UK. He is also a bit of a Lord of the Rings nut...

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