You’ve probably been asked if you can FaceTime your closes iPhone and iPad friends from your Android phone more than once. The question is, does Android even have FaceTime? You won’t be pleased with the answer, but you’ll also be glad to know that there are tons of alternatives if you want to chat with your iOS-centric friends.
Can you FaceTime on Android?
The easiest answer is that there is no FaceTime for Android. Apple introduced the feature in 2010, claiming that it would be an open standard, but that never came to pass. Unfortunately, you can only use the feature if you own an iPad, iPhone, iPod touch, or Mac.
This isn’t surprising. It’s easier for Apple to limit the feature to its platform, as there’s a much larger variety of Android phones and tablets. The reasoning is similar to why Apple kept iMessage behind its iOS wall, too.
Limiting Facetime to iOS also helps sell devices — you may be more likely to buy an iPhone if you know friends and family will have an easier time reaching you. Still, it’s frustrating if you want the easiest possible way to video chat with Apple device owners.
Alternatives to FaceTime for Android
Don’t feel guilty if you’re an Android die-hard and don’t want to make the switch. There are tons of universal alternatives, many of which are easy to use and can replicate (or sometimes outdo) FaceTime’s core features. We’ll provide a few of the major options.
The most obvious parallel is Google Duo. Google designed it as Android’s equivalent to FaceTime, with a similar level of simplicity (though without tight integration on iOS). It supports group video chats, works on the web, and is based on phone numbers rather than accounts. You might already have it on your phone, although your Apple-using friends will have to download it.
After that, your next choice is Facebook Messenger. While it’s not quite as simple as Duo, it’s linked to Facebook — something you and your friends probably already have. It’s ubiquitous on mobile devices and the web, and you’ll have a robust text chat app beyond that.
While Zoom is more commonly used for meetings and larger group conversations, it’s still a great FaceTime alternative. There’s a chance you’ve had to use it for work, or your kids have had a class using Zoom. It’s effortless to use, though the free version of Zoom comes with a few limitations.
We’d also be remiss if we didn’t mention Skype as a FaceTime alternative on Android. It’s one of the longest-serving video chat apps, and it’s well-integrated with Microsoft’s software and services. You can call real-world numbers and send text messages, too. Just remember that it’s not as popular of an option as it was a few years back.
Will we ever see FaceTime for Android?
At this point, probably not. It would certainly be a surprise for Apple to come back a decade later and launch FaceTime for Android devices. We’re hoping to see an equivalent to iMessage too, but who knows. At least we’ve given you a solid list of alternatives, so hopefully, you can convince your iOS friends to try a new app.