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Zoom vs Facetime: Which is right for you?

Zoom and Facetime are very different, but the gap between them might be closing soon.
August 2, 2021
Zoom Meetings on smartphone next to office equipment stock 1
Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority

With video calls and meetings becoming a common work tool, it’s no surprise to see people confused about which service they should opt for. There are so many out there! Those choosing between Zoom vs Facetime have plenty of factors to consider, especially considering these apps are made for very different purposes. Let’s dig into the differences and see which best suits your needs.

Here: What is Zoom Meetings, how much does it cost, and is it worth it?

Is Facetime enough?

Zoom vs Facetime group call on iPad and iPhone - Zoom vs Facetime

Those debating between using Zoom vs Facetime might not need too much research to reach a conclusion. These video calling services are made with very different types of users in mind. While Zoom is for professionals who need a wide selection of features and tools to conduct online meetings, Facetime is a casual video calling app mostly made for friendly conversations.

Facetime’s feature set is minimal compared to Zoom. Now, this doesn’t mean you can’t use Facetime for professional purposes. If all you need is a simple app to quickly video call your co-workers, Facetime can get the job done.

Facetime can make group video calls with up to 32 people. Once in a call, you can add people using their contact’s name, phone number, or email. Each contact needs to be added individually. You can’t create a link or preset groups for easily calling everyone simultaneously. Screen sharing is also non-existent within Facetime, so you might need other Apple or third-party services to do this.

Here: What Android does better than iOS | What iOS does better than Android

Facetime allows you to change video/audio settings, use fun camera effects, and take advantage of custom Animoji or Memoji. The latter two features might not be great for professional calls, but they can be fun.

That’s about it for Facetime! As previously stated, it’s made to be as simple as possible. Facetime will work great as a no-frills video calling app. We believe it could be sufficient for casual conversations and shorter hit-and-go calls. Or maybe just one-on-one meetings where things like annotations, recordings, and other fancy capabilities are unnecessary. Any serious users should look elsewhere.

Zoom vs Facetime: Device compatibility

2019 camera shootout

Facetime’s biggest limitation is that it only works with Apple devices. This makes it simple to make a choice in the Zoom vs Facetime dilemma. If any participants are outside the Apple ecosystem, Zoom is the obvious option. This may be changing soon, though. You can read more about that in the last section of this article.

Read also: 10 best alternatives to FaceTime on Android

Meanwhile, Zoom is on every important platform. Supported operating systems include Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS. Zoom can also be used from a web browser, and you can even call in with a regular phone call. There is a plethora of plug-ins, extensions, and other additional software users can take advantage of. There is no denying Zoom has the upper hand when it comes to device compatibility.

Note: Apple has announced users with no Apple devices will soon be able to use Facetime. Read the last section of this article for more details.

What do you get with Zoom?

Zoom Meetings on smartphone next to office equipment stock 6 - Zoom vs Facetime
Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority

Zoom Meetings is an industry-leading video call and conference service with features and capabilities to satisfy the most demanding users. It is one of the best of its class, and very few competitors come near it.

Some of Zoom’s most popular features include the ability to record video meetings, share the screen, have an integrated chat per meeting, create polls, mute participants, and even do virtual hand raises for requesting your turn to speak.

Zoom is one of the best of its class and very few competitors come near it.Edgar Cervantes

Those are the main features Zoom Meetings offers, although there are loads of others as well. These include Virtual Background that allows you to set an image or video as your background during a meeting. This is a great option for those who don’t want people to see the inside of their apartment. Then there’s Touch Up My Appearance, which is basically a filter that smooths out your skin, making you look more handsome for that important meeting. Not only that, but Zoom can host up to 100 participants with its base plans. Those who pay up can raise that number to 1,000. Getting a paid subscription can give you rights to even more awesome features, so let’s talk money.

More: These are 10 Zoom tips and tricks you should know about

Zoom vs Facetime: Pricing

Money Stock Photo 1
Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority

Facetime is free and has no premium plans. It is part of the Apple experience, and anyone with a supported device can take advantage of it. The trick here is that you need an Apple device to use FaceTime. Many would consider Apple products expensive, and it may be an unnecessary expense if you’re already happy with a non-Apple device.

Zoom has a free plan, but it has its limitations. This free plan lets you host up to 100 participants and take part in unlimited one-on-one meetings. However, each group meeting can only be 40 minutes long.

If that’s no good for you, you’ll have to sign up for one of the paid plans on offer. Pricing is affordable, starting at just $14.99 per month per host. You can check out all the pricing plans and the features each one offers in the image below.

Zoom pricing May 2021

Keep in mind that the pricing is per host, not per participant. You don’t need to pay a monthly fee for every user joining a meeting or webinar. The more hosts a company has, the higher the monthly bill is. Keep in mind any user can host even without paying; they’ll just be restricted to all the free plan features.

It’s worth noting that each plan also offers various add-ons. These include increasing the number of participants that can join a meeting, the option to add extra cloud recording storage, and more.

Zoom vs Facetime: Which should you go for?

Zoom Meetings on smartphone next to office equipment - Zoom vs Facetime
Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority

Facetime is a convenient app if you and your video call participants have Apple devices. It requires no extra downloads or signing up for yet another service, as the app comes pre-installed with your iOS, iPadOS, and macOS devices. It’s also easy and simple, with good video quality.

Even the free version of Zoom has much more functionality over Facetime.Edgar Cervantes

With that in mind, we still find it hard to recommend Facetime over Zoom. Even the free version of Zoom has much more functionality than Facetime. The Zoom free plan includes HD video/audio, multiple view options, screen sharing, and 100 participant support.

The only main downside with Zoom is the 40-minute limitation, but this can be fixed by paying for a subscription. Those who want to take advantage of other Zoom features can get plans for as low as $14.99, which isn’t bad if you plan to use it for work purposes. If you would like to learn about other competing services, you can click here.

Coming soon to Facetime

apple facetime android - Zoom vs Facetime

Don’t cut Facetime out of the equation just yet, as the service is about to undergo some major changes that might make it a worthy Zoom adversary. Apple surprised us with some announcements at WWDC 2021. Among them was the news that Facetime is about to become much more serious as a professional video calling and conferencing app.

For starters, Android and Windows users will soon be able to join Facetime calls through a browser. This is a game-changing move for a service known for keeping its doors closed to anyone outside the Apple ecosystem. They’re also introducing invitations via link sharing, spatial audio, background noise reduction, a more organized grid view, shared media watching, and more.

These improvements should come with iOS 15 in the fall, so let’s wait and see how the competition gets after said launch.

Here: Learn more about Facetime improvements

Here are more video calling app comparisons!