It’s apparently possible to join a FaceTime call via an Xbox video game console, but no such luck if you’re using an Apple TV set-top box. We explain what’s going on.
- A user has discovered it’s possible to join a FaceTime call from their Xbox
- No such luck with the company’s Apple TV set-top box though
- Apple TV lacks a camera and doesn’t support web browsers
You can now join FaceTime calls on your Xbox
As explained in the post, the poster used a Logitech C930 webcam hooked up with their Xbox Series S for FaceTime calls. To join an in-progress FaceTime video call, they open an email with a FaceTime link using the Microsoft Edge browser on the console.
The poster did not use any special software, dedicated apps, networking configurations or other tricks to make this happen. So why it’s possible to join a FaceTime call via an Xbox, but not an Apple TV? As it turns out, it’s not Apple’s fault at all…
Why it’s not possible to join a FaceTime call on an Apple TV?
In 2021, FaceTime links debuted to let folks join video calls from non-Apple platforms.
The feature requires the caller to create a FaceTime link and share it with other participants via email, instant messaging and so on. The recipient opens an email message and clicks the underlying link to land on a special webpage where an end-to-end encrypted FaceTime call is running as a web app.
Anyone joining a FaceTime call this way needs a device like an Android smartphone, a Chromebook notebook or a Windows computer running Google’s Chrome or Microsoft’s Edge browser. The problem with Apple TV is that this device lacks a user-accessible web browser. The Apple TV was envisioned as a media streamer for those invested in the Apple ecosystem and the gamble was that users wouldn’t need to run a web browser on their big-screen telly. Read: How to FaceTime with your Android and Windows friends
Without a web browser, it’s not possible to land on a webpage with a FaceTime link.
Even if you could do that, how would your Apple TV record your face and what you’re saying? The Apple TV doesn’t have a built-in camera and until it does, joining FaceTime calls from the device won’t be possible or practical.