Apple normally recommends that users who cannot make or receive FaceTime calls update their devices to the latest software version, but iOS 9.3.5 or iOS 9.3.6 are the last supported software versions for several older devices, including the iPad 2, third-generation iPad, iPhone 4S, the first-generation iPad mini, and the fifth-generation iPod touch.
Devices running iOS 13.3.1 or macOS 10.15.3 can still make FaceTime calls with older devices, so it is unclear if this is a bug introduced with iOS 13.4 and macOS Catalina 10.15.4 or if this was an intentional decision. Apple did not immediately respond to our request for comment, but we will update this story if we hear back.
In any case, the timing of this is unfortunate due to the ongoing pandemic. Many affected users have mentioned being unable to reach a grandparent who still uses an older iPad, for example, during a time when social distancing is strongly recommended.
Hopefully this proves to be a simple bug that is resolved in short order.
@AppleSupport @Apple I need to submit a bug report regarding FaceTime connectivity and have it escalated to engineering. FaceTime Audio and Video calls are not connecting between devices currently running iOS 13.4 and older devices running iOS 9.3.5/9.3.6.
— Ibrahim Homsi (@ibrahimhomsi) March 26, 2020
@AppleSupport updated my iPhone and iPad to iOS 13.4 yesterday and now cannot FaceTime my mother who has my old ipad3. She is in isolation due to her health and Covid19 and we have no way to FaceTime her now. Please fix this ASAP.
— Neil B (@bertrum) March 28, 2020
@AppleSupport Since updating my iPhone 11 Pro and iPad Air 2 to 13.4 I can no longer FaceTime an old iPad running iOS 9, one that my elderly grandparents are using during this difficult time.Just says “connecting”, thx for that Apple.This really needs a fix ASAP. #CoronaLockdown
— Ali Kahn (@aKahnR) March 27, 2020
@AppleSupport Hey Apple, since iOS 13.4 i can‘t call an iOS 9 Device over Facetime. That‘s a real Problem at these Days because it‘s the only way for me and my 2 childs to see our 90yrs. young Mother/Grandmother. Please fix. 🙏
— Jonny Castaway (@jonnycastaway) March 27, 2020