How to stop FaceTime from resizing video on iPhone, iPad

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Apple recently added an option to FaceTime on iPhone and iPad that will stop automatically making the video box larger for the person who’s speaking.

It fixes a big problem I’ve noticed now that I’m using FaceTime a lot more to speak with family. When lots of people talk at once, FaceTime would get tripped up and the video box bubbles for speakers would bounce all over the place as it tried to identify who was speaking.

This is still on by default, but Apple added an option to turn it off in iOS 13.5 and iPadOS 13.5, which were released earlier this month. If you turn it off, FaceTime will act a bit more like Zoom and other video chat software, without boxes that resize all of the time.

Here’s how to use it:

  • Make sure you’re running the latest iPad and iPhone software by going to Settings > General >  Software Update. You should be on iOS 13.5, and you will see an option to update your software if you’re on an earlier version.
  • Open Settings.
  • Choose FaceTime.
  • Scroll down the page and turn off the toggle next to “Speaking” under the section called “Automatic Prominence.”

Chatting with two of my colleagues.

Todd Haselton | CNBC

Now, during group FaceTime calls, the tile of the person speaking will stay the same size. I’ve found it’s much easier to see everyone at once, in the same-sized box, and less hectic without boxes moving all over the screen highlighting the speaker. You can always turn it back on if you prefer the default mode.

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