At last, we finally have what everyone has been requesting since forever, group FaceTime. Well, that’s not exactly what it is, but it sure is something. It’s called “Fam”. It’s available for free download through the new iMessage apps introduced with iOS10.
This new feature isn’t too difficult to use. You just navigate through your iMessage apps until you get to Fam and tap on “Create Group Video.” This sends a message similar to any game you would play and prompts the people on the other side to “Join group video chat.”
I suggest coordinating with your friends if you plan on chatting or you’ll be stuck waiting on them to enter the “Fam Room.”
As soon as the other person taps on the “Join me here!” box, your group message will be transformed into a FaceTime-esque screen with multiple video boxes. Granted you all join at the same time, you will be able to talk in a group video chat. The only minor downfall is that you can’t pause the video from your end. If you want to stop the video, you must tap the minus on the top then join back in when you’re ready. Other than that, the app doesn’t seem to have many obvious cons, but we will see as we become more familiar with it in our everyday lives.
In theory, an actual group FaceTime would function exactly like the original 1-on-1 but with more people. Maybe this was just meant to stop us for a while until an actual group FaceTime feature is developed, but who knows. For now, all we can say is that this new app is pretty similar to FaceTime. Of course, the question becomes, will people accept this as a gift from Apple or will they keep pushing until we get the real deal?