Older iPhones get FaceTime HD calls with iOS 14.2

FaceTime video calls are even better now that they’re in high definition.
Photo: Cult of Mac

Apple quietly added support for FaceTime HD to an array of iPhones. Every model newer than the iPhone 8 can make video calls at 1080p resolution as long as the device runs iOS 14.2.

FaceTime is Apple’s proprietary app that lets iPhone, Mac and iPad users communicate in real time using audio and video. It’s been around since 2010. But it’s never looked so good.

Calls look better in FaceTime HD

The new iPhone 12 series came with support for FaceTime HD, but earlier Apple handsets did video chatting at a lower resolution. Then the Brazilian website MacMagazine noticed that at some point this feature had been updated. A bit of research found that it had apparently happened with the release of iOS 14.2 on November 5.

FaceTime HD is reportedly now available for the iPhone 8 series, iPhone X, iPhone XR, the iPhone XS series, the iPhone SE released in 2020 and the iPhone 11 series.

Cult of Mac confirmed that back on October 31, Apple’s specs for the iPhone 11 said, “FaceTime video calling over cellular or Wi‑Fi.” Today, the iPhone 11 specs promise, “FaceTime HD (1080p) video calling over Wi-Fi.”

Curiously, Apple made no mention of this enhancement in the release notes for iOS 14.2. That’s why it’s only now coming to light.