moving faces group FaceTime Automatic Prominence tutorial

When you’re using group FaceTime, the tile of the person speaking is automatically enlarged. The idea is to provide some context and prevent losing track of the conversation. In reality, moving faces in group FaceTime add up to the confusion because person tiles get bounced around as multiple chat participants start speaking over one another. Thankfully, Apple gives us the option to stop automatic enlarging for person tiles. Follow along with our step-by-step tutorial if you’d like to learn how to disable moving faces in group FaceTime calls.

Moving faces in group FaceTime

Group FaceTime supports up to 35 people on a single video call, but it can get pretty busy depending on how active participants are. With multiple people talking at the same time (a typical problem plaguing other videoconferencing solutions), things can spiral out of control.

TUTORIAL: How to use group FaceTime on iPhone

To help make it clear who’s speaking at any given time, group FaceTime employs the dynamic zoom effect which automatically enlarges the tile of the person who’s currently speaking.

moving faces group FaceTime Automatic Prominence tutorial

Some people have found this to be a major distraction, prompting Apple to bring a dedicated switch in the iOS 13.5 update to toggle this effect at will. They’re calling the feature Automatic Prominence and it prevents person tiles from growing and shrinking rapidly throughout the call.

TUTORIAL: How to take Live Photos during FaceTime calls

Follow along with our step-by-step tutorial right ahead to learn how to toggle off Automatic Prominence to disable moving faces in group FaceTime calls.

How to disable moving faces in group FaceTime

Here’s what you need to do to turn Automatic Prominence off in group FaceTime calls:

  1. Open Settings on your iPhone or iPad with iOS 13.5 or later.
  2. Choose FaceTime from the root list.
  3. Slide the toggle Speaking below the heading Automatic Prominence to the OFF position.

Doing so shall stop moving faces in group FaceTime for whoever is speaking.

FaceTime will switch to a grid view where each person tile is fixed, with participant images all taking up the same space. Many other popular videoconferencing apps provide similar layout options, like Zoom which automatically focuses on the person speaking by default.

Even with moving faces disabled, you can still focus on a desired participant by double-tapping their face to make it the prominent tile filling up the majority of your iPhone or iPad screen.

moving faces group FaceTime Automatic Prominence tutorial

Toggle this off to stop person tiles from bouncing around in group FaceTime

Once Automatic Prominence is disabled, any active speaker in your group FaceTime video call won’t be brought to the forefront anymore. If you don’t use group FaceTime often or rarely, if ever, participate in chats with more than a few people at a time, then it might not be worth turning off the Automatic Prominence feature in order to better keep tabs on who’s speaking.

moving faces group FaceTime Automatic Prominence tutorial

Automatic Prominence is currently unavailable in macOS FaceTime

Needless to say, this feature only works for group FaceTime video calls. Keep in mind that the Automatic Prominence toggle is currently unavailable on Mac computers.

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