Apple Delays FaceTime Group Chat

Posted on August 13, 2018 by Paul Thurrott in iOS with 18 Comments

Apple today revealed that it will no longer provide FaceTime group chat functionality in the initial shipping version of iOS 12.

“Group FaceTime has been removed from the initial release of iOS 12 and will ship in a future software update later this fall,” Apple notes in the release notes for iOS 12 Beta 7, which is heading out to private beta testers today.

FaceTime group chat was announced with much fanfare at Apple’s WWDC 2012 conference in June. In typical Apple fashion, the feature is coming late to the party, given that virtually all other chat solutions have support group chats, many for several years. But it also provides a unique visual display, with undulating tiles representing each user in the chat.

“It’s beautiful,” Apple’s Craig Federighi said during an on-stage demonstration of the feature. “With big, gorgeous tiles right up front [for the participants that are current interacting]. Down at the bottom, there’s an area we call the roster that contains everybody else.”

Whether it’s beautiful—I find the weaving and bobbing to be distracting—is open to debate. But that it is now delayed is a fact. And with that, it becomes yet another example of a creeping problem for Apple where it can never seem to deliver on its promises on time.

As a Microsoft fan, I understand completely.

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Comments (18)

18 responses to “Apple Delays FaceTime Group Chat”

  1. Jason Peter

    Like my Mom used to say before dinner, “it will come out of the oven when its fully baked. Until then, shut up...”

    Tech companies could learn a lot from my Mom...

    • darrellprichard

      In reply to Jason_P:

      Your mom is very wise. Unfortunately, shareholders will punish mom, bloggers will eat the half baked dinner and then write about how crappy a meal it was and tech enthusiasts will complain about how shareholders and bloggers are nothing but haters.

  2. SvenJ

    Why can't the two companies try to adopt the best of their competitors, instead of the worst?

  3. prebengh

    Based on the headline for the story, I had to read how you would twist the story, as always as negative on Apple as possible.

  4. David Berk

    Or delivering on time an/or buggy as hell?

  5. rwest

    "FaceTime group chat was announced with much fanfare at Apple’s WWDC 2012 conference in June" -- I didn't realize that this was 6 years in the making!

  6. Patrick Yore

    but but what doesn't support group chat already! lol

  7. GT Tecolotecreek

    Umm, reminds me of a story I recently read...

    Microsoft Finally Fixes Surface Pro Pen Problems Barely a week after it was buried under a mountain of firmware updates, Microsoft’s latest Surface Pro is getting patched again. The good news? This time, Microsoft is finally fixing an “intermittent pen inaccuracy when [one’s] hand is on the screen” issue that its customers first reported over a year ago. “If my hand is not on the screen, the pen is perfectly accurate, even at an angle,” the original complaint explains. “About 50 percent of the time, if I begin a stroke with my hand already resting on the screen, there is a significant offset of the pen line to the actual tip position. This makes hand-writing nigh impossible.” Well, Microsoft is listening. They’re just moving very slowly… …I can only assume this was a difficult computer science problem.

    Maybe being late on the initial release, but having it work as advertised, is far better than having a flagship feature not work for over a year...?

  8. dstrauss

    Kind of like Timeline; or was that Longhorn....

  9. dcdevito

    Wow, 7 betas - seems like an awful lot. If I had an iPhone I'd wait it out a couple months before upgrading.

  10. dontbe evil

    but but apple is the best, they never delay anything, just works

  11. johnbaxter

    "Software takes longer and costs more." --someone

  12. michael_babiuk

    "As a Microsoft Shrill, I understand completely." (Corrected your last sentence for you.)

    But these are the dog days of summer after all so I can't blame dogs for howling about something inconsequential. Then again, how is that promised Microsoft Windows 10 support for iPhone users for Windows 10 Phone App coming along, Paul? Hmm, guess we (and every Android user also-not just some chosen few) will have to wait for some version after 1803 for that or any promised added functionality.

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