FaceTime on Android is now a thing. Thanks to Google’s excellent first-party apps and the openness of Android, there are several ways you can get Apple’s video chat service on your phone or tablet. However, things aren’t quite as straightforward as you might expect. Google has restricted access to its own APIs for camera and video recording, meaning most third-party apps that use these features don’t support FaceTime (so no VidChat for you). The good news is that Google has also unlocked the ability to mimic Apple services so developers can build their own implementation — but again, not without some limitations. Let’s take a look at how you can get FaceTime on Android.
Installing FaceTime on Android
To get started, you’ll need to download one of the available apps that support FaceTime-style video calling. We’ve listed our top three recommendations below. First, you’ll want to make sure your device is compatible. FaceTime requires an iPhone from the iPhone X onward, or an iPad from the 5th generation or higher. You’ll also need to be using an OS version that supports FaceTime. On Android, that means OS version 4.3 (or newer). Next, you’ll need to make sure everything’s set up properly. Install one of the apps below, make sure your device is connected to the internet, open the app, and log in with your email address. You’ll then receive an email with a verification link. Once you’ve verified your email address, you’re good to go.
Google’s FaceTime-like app: Duo
The duo is Google’s own take on video calling, and it’s the most straightforward of the apps on our list. There’s no additional login process, no downloading contacts, or adding friends. Just open the app, hit the “Call” button, and wait for someone to answer. Duo’s biggest selling point is its simplicity. Once you’ve installed the app, it works out of the box. You can’t use it to send text messages or make audio calls, but for video calls, it’s as simple as can be.
Skype for Android
If you’ve used Skype in the past, you’ll find that its Android app is almost identical to its desktop version. When you first open the app, you’ll need to log in with your email address and password, and then wait for Skype to send you an SMS with a PIN. Once you receive this code, input it into the app, and you’ll be ready to go. There are a couple of notable differences between Skype and Duo. To begin with, Skype doesn’t require an account to use — but it also doesn’t have a “call” button. Instead, you need to manually add people to your Skype contact list. To do this, select “Contacts” from the app’s main menu, select the person you want to call, and hit the green “Add to favorites” button. Once you’ve added someone to the favorites menu, you can call them at any time.
Google Video Calling
Google Video Calling is Google’s own take on FaceTime-style video calling, but with one significant difference: it works on both Android and iOS devices. This app is almost identical to Duo, offering a simple user experience with no login process and no contact list required. As with Duo, you can use Google Video Calling to make one-on-one video calls. There is no group video calling feature as you’d find in Skype, Google Hangouts, or WhatsApp. However, there is one additional feature that is notably missing from Duo: audio-only calling. Google Video Calling allows you to make voice calls without having to switch to a different app or plug in a headset.
Which is the best option?
As we mentioned, all three apps are very similar in terms of their user experience. All three support SMS-free calls, work on both Android and iOS and don’t require an account. Which app you should choose comes down to one thing: which app your friends and family are already using? If you’re looking to switch away from FaceTime, you’ll want to use the app that your contacts are most likely to be using. If you’re an Apple user, the choice is obvious: you should use Google’s Google Video Calling app. If you’re a Windows or Mac user, though, you have a choice between Skype or Google Video Calling. The main decision factors here are which app your contacts are using and which app has the best cross-platform functionality.
Wrapping up: Should you install FaceTime on Android?
Apple’s FaceTime has long been the de facto standard for video calls, but with Google’s new apps, Android users can now experience the same simplicity and ease of use. That said, to get the full FaceTime experience on Android you’ll need to use one of Google’s apps. If you want the best experience possible, we recommend using Google Video Calling. If you don’t want to use Google’s apps, there are a couple of alternatives. Video chat is a great option if you’re looking for a video call app that works across a variety of devices. VidMate, VidBee, and a host of others are also decent options, but they don’t quite match up to the smooth user experience provided by Google’s first-