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Group FaceTime won't be available for initial iOS 12 or macOS Mojave release

Apple's Group FaceTime feature apparently isn't ready for prime time, and won't be available to the general public when iOS 12 is made available to customers in the fall.

The much-touted feature has been present throughout the beta, but for reasons unknown will now not be included in the initial public release which is expected in September alongside new iPhones.

The company released the information as part of its notes to developers in today's release of the latest beta. It says the feature "has been removed from the initial release of iOS 12 and will ship in a future software update later this fall."

When it finally rolls out, users will be able to have video calls with up to 32 participants, a feature competitors have had for years. A carousel along the bottom shows all participants, while those talking are brought into the majority of the screen. Individual windows can be brought full-screen as well.

Calls can be answered right on the Apple Watch, before jumping over to the video FaceTime call on an iPhone or iPad.

The feature is designed not just for iOS 12, but for macOS Mojave as well. The Mac version of FaceTime on Mojave lacks camera filters, video stickers and the face tracking Animoji and custom Memoji features available to iOS clients.