Apple rolled out iOS 13.5 worldwide earlier this week, and while most are focused on the COVID-19 contact-tracing tools that allow iOS and Android devices to ‘communicate’ with each other, there’s another big change in Apple’s latest mobile OS update. Since Group FaceTime was introduced back in 2018, users have complained about the shifting nature of its video tiles.

The idea behind the functionality is simple: as people speak in a Group FaceTime call, their video tile gets larger and shifts to centre view while those that stay quiet get smaller and smaller. It’s a smart way to get around the limited screen space on most iPhones and iPads when trying to connect groups of up to 32 people, but some users just don’t like it. And that’s fair enough.

Apple has heard the complaints loud and clear, and within iOS 13.5 is a new setting that lets you disable what Apple calls “automatic prominence” in Group FaceTime calls, keeping the layout nice and static. Here’s how to stop moving tiles in FaceTime. 

Disable automatic prominence in Group FaceTime calls

As mentioned, you’ll need to make sure you’re running iOS 13.5 on your iPhone or iPadOS 13.5 on your iPad to be able to disable the automatic prominence feature. Once your device is up-to-date, follow these steps:

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Tap FaceTime.
  3. Under the Automatic Prominence subheading, tap the Speaking toggle to disable the functionality.

And that’s about it! Next time you’re on a Group FaceTime call, tiles will no longer move around or change size. It’s worth noting that this only changes the layout on your device, so others in the call will have to disable the functionality themselves to stop tiles shifting around on the screen. 

For more handy tips, take how to group video chat on FaceTime, and how to use WhatsApp on an iPad too.