Every year, Apple adds a few small new features and improvements to FaceTime, but this year, the video call service is getting a sizable overhaul. Thanks to iOS 15, iPhone’s latest software update, one of the biggest features coming to FaceTime is Portrait Mode — allowing you to blur the background and place an emphasis on your face while you video chat.
Of course, the feature in itself is not new. Portrait Mode has been available in the Camera application for quite some time now, but never before has it been compatible with FaceTime. All you need to do is start a video call and tap a button, and you can enjoy the brand new background blur feature while chatting with friends and family on iOS 15.
Use Background Blur During FaceTime on iOS 15
To use Portrait Mode during FaceTime on your iPhone or iPad:
- Update to iOS 15 (if you already haven’t already)
- Start a FaceTime call
- Tap on the Portrait Mode icon in the bottom middle
As soon as the button is pressed, Portrait Mode will turn on and instantly blur your background. To turn it off, simple tap the same Portrait Mode icon and the background will unblur.
If the video call is picked up however, you’ll have to take a few more steps to blur your background, because the Portrait Mode icon will be elsewhere. Once you’re on a call, tap on the video preview of yourself to maximize it, and then tap on the Portrait Mode icon, which should now be on the top left. To turn it off, maximize your window once again and tap on the same button.
Note: This feature is only available on iPhone and iPad models with the A12 bionic chip and later, which include the iPhone XR, iPad (8th generation), iPad Mini (5th generation), and the iPad Air (3rd generation) and up.
Portrait Mode isn’t the only new feature to FaceTime on iOS 15. In addition to background blur, there’s also spatial audio to make video calls sound more natural, voice isolation to separate your voice from background noise for clearer calls, grid view during group calls to see more people at once, links to allow anyone to join a call from their web browser on Android and Windows, and more.
Which of these new iOS 15 features on FaceTime or otherwise have you tested out for yourself? Let us know in the comments below.
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