When you call someone and it goes to voicemail, it’s disappointing, but you can always leave a message so they know what you were calling about. When someone doesn’t pick up your FaceTime call, however, that’s it: The call ends, leaving you to stare at your phone with no one to talk to.
That won’t be the case for much longer: With iOS 17, Apple is introducing video messages for FaceTime. So long as you and the other caller have iOS 17 installed on your iPhones, you can leave video voicemails for any missed FaceTime call going forward.
How to leave video messages on FaceTime
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At this time, iOS 17 is still in beta testing. If you want to try video voicemails, as well as all of the other new features, you’ll need to install the iOS 17 public beta. However, think twice before installing it on your primary iPhone, as beta software is, by nature, unfinished and potentially problematic.
Once you and your contact have iOS 17, open FaceTime and place a video call. If they don’t answer or decline the call, you’ll see an option called Record Video on screen. Tap it, and you can begin recording the video message. Feel free to make them feel bad for missing your very important video call, especially if they declined it.
If you aren’t happy with your recording, that’s fine: You’ll have an option to record a retake. When you’re happy with the recording, send the video message along. (Note that the Record Video button will be greyed out if your contact is on an older version of iOS, as both of you need to be on iOS 17 for this feature to work.)
Once your contact receives the video message, they’ll have the option to save it to their photo library, which is a nice touch from Apple. You probably have some voicemails from friends and family you keep on hand, and video voicemails may be no different.
If you or the people you FaceTime have an older iPhone that won’t be compatible with iOS 17, you won’t be able to take advantage of this new feature. Instead, you can always fall back on dropping a text message, filming a video, or recording a voice note to let them know why you called.