iOS 13.5 will let you disable ‘Automatic Prominence’ while in a Group FaceTime call

Group FaceTime supports up to 35 people on a single video call, which means it can get pretty busy depending on how active folks are.

In an effort to make sure that whoever is talking gets the focus of the group, “Automatic Prominence” will make sure that the square tile the active individual is in surfaces to the top of the virtual stack. The asymmetric layout is an interesting take on the idea of a group video conference, but on a busy call, with a lot of speaking individuals, it can mean a lot of squares growing and shrinking rapidly throughout the call.

Tutorial: How to use Group FaceTime on iPhone

Apple is looking to change that with the upcoming public launch of iOS 13.5 — which the company is currently beta testing right now. 9to5Mac discovered the change today, and outlines that turning off the Automatic Prominence feature is a relatively simple process. Keep in mind that turning it off will make it so that any active speaker in your Group FaceTime won’t be brought to to the forefront anymore, so if this is something you’ve grown accustomed to (or basically require it on to keep tabs on who’s speaking), it might not be worth turning off.

It’s also worth noting this only works in a Group FaceTime call.

However, if you do want to turn it off, here’s how to do it:

  • Open the Settings app
  • Navigate to and select FaceTime
  • Scroll down until you find “Automatic Prominence”
  • Tap the toggle to turn on or off the feature for whoever is speaking

As I mentioned earlier, iOS 13.5 is currently in beta. There is no word on when Apple might release the upcoming software to the public, but it will probably be soon as it does lay the groundwork for its upcoming COVID-19 exposure notification system the company is working on with Google to help stop the spread of coronavirus.

In related news, iOS 13.5 also makes it easier to quickly bypass Face ID to unlock an iPhone while wearing a mask.