was expected to bolster its FaceTime feature with support for groups
with the release of iOS 12
. If you were looking forward to that, we have some bad news to share. Support for FaceTime group chats has been removed from the latest iOS 12 beta (version 7), with a note from Apple saying it will not ship with the initial release.
On the bright side, Group FaceTime support will eventually launch, and barring another delay, it will arrive within the next few months.
"Group FaceTime has been removed from the initial release of iOS 12 and will ship in a future software update later this fall," the note reads.
When the feature finally arrives, users will be able to FaceTime with dozens of other people in a video call, up to 32 simultaneously. Apple announced the feature during its Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) in early June.
In iOS 12, FaceTime is integrated with Messages, making it easy to transition from texting to a Group FaceTime session, at least when it ships. It might seem overwhelming to have that many people in a FaceTime chat. To deal with that, when someone speaks, their tile automatically comes front and center. Users can then double tap a tile to manually make someone bigger.
FaceTime is joining the ranks of several of other chat programs that support groups. Its limit of 32 people is not the highest, though. Facebook's Messenger
, for example, allows video chats with up to 50 people at the same time. Skype
lags behind both, with the limit set at 25 people.