Here’s Why You Won’t Get FaceTime for Android

Ben Stegner 22-01-2018

Jealous of your iPhone-owning friends being able to FaceTime with each other? Wondering how you can put FaceTime on your Android phone? Want to find an Android equivalent of FaceTime?


We’ll discuss all these topics and more in our guide to FaceTime for Android.

What Is FaceTime?

First, we should review what FaceTime is and how it works.

FaceTime is Apple’s video and audio-calling service. It launched in 2010 for iOS, and 2011 for Mac. It’s a free service on all compatible Apple devices, including iPhone, iPad, Mac, and iPod touch. Anyone with these devices can call anyone else on a compatible device as long as they have their phone number or email address. Using a Mac, you can even share your screen over FaceTime How to Share Your Mac's Screen Using Messages (You Don't Need FaceTime!) Here's how to share your Mac's screen using Messages: no online accounts, software downloads, or unnecessary ads. Read More .

While FaceTime is a video-calling app, FaceTime Audio supports voice-only calls. This provides an alternative to phone calls if you’re on a limited-minutes plan. In addition, FaceTime only supports conversations between two people. You’ll have to look elsewhere for group chats The 10 Best Apps to Make Free Group Conference Calls Here are the best free group video call apps to talk with friends or business colleagues, without paying a cent! Read More .

The reason that FaceTime is so convenient is that it comes pre-installed on every iPhone. You’re required to log into or sign up for an Apple ID when you set up an iPhone A Complete Beginner's Guide to iOS 11 for iPhone & iPad Here's everything you need to know to get started with iOS 11. Read More , so a video call with anyone you know who owns an iPhone is just a tap away. You don’t have to fumble around with setting up any new accounts or downloading a different app.


Can I Use FaceTime on Android?

FaceTime is a proprietary app (the opposite of open source Your Complete Guide to Living a 100% Free and Open Source Life Windows and macOS are commercial, proprietary, closed source operating systems. Linux, and its many applications, are free and open source. Want to use only free and open source software? Here's how. Read More ), which means that it’s not available for use everywhere. Because Apple created FaceTime, it decides which devices it will work on. Unsurprisingly, given Apple’s design philosophy, FaceTime is only available on Apple devices.

You won’t find FaceTime available for download on the Google Play Store or Microsoft Store. If you don’t have a compatible Apple device, that means you’re out of luck and need to use an alternative app for video calling.

Thankfully, you’ll find plenty of alternatives to FaceTime that work great on Android.

What Is the Android Version of FaceTime?

Let’s take a look at some of the best apps that are similar to FaceTime that you can use on Android. If these don’t work for you, you’ll find many similar apps Sick of Skype? 7 Best Free Skype Alternatives Skype alternatives can free you from mediocrity and greatly improve the video chat experience. This article covers eight options. Read More .


Google Hangouts

Google Hangouts has gone through several confusing changes Say Goodbye to SMS: The Best Google Hangouts Alternatives On May 22, 2017, Google Hangouts will lose SMS integration. Here's how to prepare for that day. Read More recently, but it’s actually a great chat app. It combines not only FaceTime’s video-calling functionality, but also Apple’s iMessage functionality, all into one app. It comes pre-installed on nearly every Android phone, and you can use it to make video or audio calls easily.

Pop open Hangouts on your phone to start. Click the Plus icon floating in the bottom-right corner, and you can start a text chat or video call with any of your contacts who also use Hangouts. As long as you have their email address or phone number that’s tied to their Google account, you can start a conversation or call with them here.

why no facetime for android

In a text conversation, you can tap the buttons at the top of the screen to start a video or audio call. Unlike FaceTime, Hangouts supports up to 10 users in a video call at once. And since Hangouts is available on iOS as well as the web, you can talk with anyone — Apple device or not. Check out our tricks for Google Hangouts 10 Awesome Google Hangouts Tricks You Should Definitely Check Out Google Hangouts has several useful hidden features that promise to make chatting and video calling smoother and more fun for you. We'll show you what you can do with them. Read More for some neat secrets.


Download: Google Hangouts for Android | iOS | Web (Free)

Google Duo

For some reason, Google decided that the perfectly functional video calling in Hangouts wasn’t enough. Thus, it created an entirely new video calling app called Duo. This app features a slimmed-down interface with a focus on one-to-one calling, just like FaceTime.

Duo does have a few differences separating it from Hangouts. It’s optimized for poor connections, so you should experience a solid call even on a below-average network state. Duo also uses phone numbers for contacts, which makes it more convenient for your friends to get on board since they don’t have to sign up for a Google account.

In 2017, Google updated Duo to support audio-only calls Google Duo Now Lets You Make Voice Calls Worldwide Google has added the ability to make voice calls to Google Duo. So what started out as an app purely for making video calls now does voice calls too. Which is... odd. Read More . It also has a feature called “Knock Knock” that lets you see a few seconds of live video when someone calls you. Finally, Duo calls are encrypted How Does Encryption Work, and Is It Really Safe? Read More , which is a welcome addition.


Overall, Duo is the closest app to an Android version of FaceTime. It’s a no-frills solution that doesn’t do as much as Hangouts The Best All-in-One Messaging & Calling App for Android: Google Hangouts What if there was one app that could do it all? Meet Google Hangouts for Android. Read More , but that simplicity has an appeal for some. Duo is also available for iOS, so if your iPhone owning-friends don’t mind installing another app, they can talk to you easily.

Download: Google Duo for Android | iOS (Free)


Good old Skype is the original video-calling app. While it works just fine, there’s not much of a reason to choose it over Hangouts or Duo unless all your friends only use Skype. The former apps are better integrated with Android, and Skype requires you to use a Microsoft account. Plus, Skype’s recent redesign Microsoft Redesigns Skype for the Next Generation Microsoft has launched a new version of Skype which has been redesigned from the ground up. Skype's makeover borrows elements from Snapchat, Instagram, and Facebook Messenger. Read More adds a lot of bloated nonsense that you probably don’t care about.

If you do go with Skype, follow our tips for the best experience 10 Tips to Make You a More Efficient Skype User Skype can do more than you think. With this article, you'll learn all about its best hidden and advanced features. It's the Skype productivity manual. Read More .

Download: Skype for Android | iOS | Web (Free)

Calls Between Android and iPhone

So what’s the best solution if you want to “FaceTime” your iPhone-owning friends while you have an Android phone?

Google Duo is your best bet. It’s simple to set up, so if you’re trying to video chat with a relative who’s not tech-savvy, they don’t have to do much to get started. Having your Duo entry tied to your phone number also eliminates the extra step of signing up for a Google or Microsoft account. And Duo doesn’t get bogged down by a lot of unnecessary features.

If you want to talk to Android users, Duo is still the best choice! Google is starting to include it by default on new Android phones. Hopefully soon, Duo will become the standard video chat app for Android users just like FaceTime is on iOS.

Duo’s only weakness is that you can’t call people who are using on desktop Best Smartphone Apps for Free Cross-Platform Video Calls It doesn't matter your platform -- from Mac to PC to Android and everything in between -- one of these apps will let you make video calls. Read More . For that, you should keep Hangouts around.

Will We Ever See FaceTime for Android?

Chances are, Apple will never make a version of FaceTime for Android.

Apple did break new ground by making Apple Music available on Android, which was its first real Android app (not counting the “Move to iOS” debacle Why are Fanboys Trashing Apple's First Android App? Apple's first Android app is for helping people switch to iOS, and fanboys are predictably ticked. But why do people take the time to leave scathing reviews? Read More ). But that was only so it could make more money from Android users — Apple Music has no free tier.

FaceTime is different. It’s a free service, and part of the “magic” of using an Apple device Drinking the Kool Aid: 8 Reasons People Love Their Macs When you can buy a laptop for under $500, and a Chromebook will satisfy most people's computing needs, why do people insist on spending well over $1000 on a Mac? Read More . Making FaceTime available on Android or other platforms would cheapen the experience it’s created to make its own devices work in harmony. FaceTime would go from a way to video chat between Apple devices to just another video-calling app.

Plus, Apple’s engineers are familiar with the Mac and iOS platforms. Designing an app to work on Android would take a lot of time, and hurt the brand in the process. That’s why we’re not likely to see FaceTime come to Android.

Video Chatting, No FaceTime Required

So that’s the story of FaceTime for your Android phone. While you can’t use FaceTime on Android outright, you’ll find some free suitable replacements. Google Duo has promise as the Android version of FaceTime, and it even lets you video call iOS users.

You don’t need to worry about FaceTime coming to Android. Any iPhone-owning friend worth a video call will take two minutes to download an app for you.

For another alternative, did you know that the cross-platform WhatsApp can also make video calls WhatsApp Video Calling Guide: Everything You Need to Know WhatsApp video calling enables user-to-user video chat. We cover everything you need to know about communicating over live video. Read More ?

What app will you use as a FaceTime alternative for Android? Is there another app you prefer? Let us know what you think about FaceTime, and your favorite video calling app, in the comments!

Related topics: Android, Google Hangouts, Video Chat.

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  1. PrasantaShee
    April 19, 2018 at 10:14 am

    Alternatives to Facetime are R-HUB HD video conferencing servers, gomeetnow, gotomeeting etc. They work well.

  2. Coal
    January 23, 2018 at 8:20 am

    One of the main reasons Apple won't make Facetime for non-Apple platforms is because it relies almost entirely on hardware acceleration for video and audio processing and decoding. This is why in a wi-fi environment, the video quality from the other side of the world is indistinguishable from just playing a video file, and its power requirements are negligable above what it would normally take to just have the screen switched on for however long the call is.

    Writing versions for non-Apple platforms would mean they'd have to rely on software encoding, and then it would be no better than any other video chat system.

  3. McD
    January 23, 2018 at 6:31 am

    Inaccurate article. Firstly, all video chat apps are proprietary, usually for anti-spam/security reasons. If they weren’t a call could be made between them i.e. FaceTime & Duo & Skype so please stop with the Apple walled garden propaganda / so are all the others. You can’t use Duo to call an iOS device unless it has Duo which is extremely unlikely and after the Google Maps debacle nobody trusts Google’s pretence at supporting other platforms. Also Skype isn’t the original video calling app, it was still voice-only when iChat (FaceTime’s precursor on MacOSX) had video & when Skype got 2-way video, iChat had 4-way. iChat was copied by Google as Hangouts a decade later.

    Either way until a common standard is agreed all systems will leave this a fragmented market. Imagine if your folks had half a dozen telephones all in different networks with different groups of people - ridiculous!

  4. len
    January 22, 2018 at 9:43 pm

    Whatsapp definitely. Just use other users phone contacts to find them. Great with 3g and 4g. Seems to be the choice of all generations young and old here in not-apple land.

  5. Davin Peterson
    January 22, 2018 at 4:46 pm

    I hate that Apple won't make its app for Android. They should as there is no need to be proprietary. Google makes its apps for iOS and Android, so Apple should do the same