In the work-from-home era, there are some must-have features for video calling apps. One of them is the ability to notify you that you are on mute when you are speaking. Personally, I have had several incidents where I spoke the whole thing without unmuting myself. However, some video conferencing apps let you know when you are on mute and speaking. Now, this feature is coming to FaceTime.
It seems like Apple wants FaceTime to compete with other video conferencing services like Zoom and Google Meet. While the new feature could be useful for personal calls as well (competing with WhatsApp), it would mainly come into use when there are several participants in a call, and you are needed to mute yourself. Hence, helping you escape the embarrassment of trying to talk, only to discover later that no one heard you due to your muted microphone.
With iOS 15, Apple is introducing a nudge as a subtle reminder to unmute your microphone so others can hear you on FaceTime. The Verge first spotted the development. A similar prompt is not present in macOS Monterey beta 1 as of now. However, it could be added in a future beta release.
FaceTime is getting a slew of updates with iOS 15. You get a Portrait mode in FaceTime that blurs your background and puts the focus on you. There is new Spatial audio that creates a sound field, which helps conversations flow as easily as they do face to face. It enables your friends’ voices to be spread out to sound like they’re coming from the direction in which they’re positioned on the call.
Further, Apple is introducing a Voice Isolation mode that spotlights your voice by using machine learning to identify ambient noises and block them out. Hence, a dog barking in the next room won’t interrupt your call.