At WWDC 2021, Apple introduced many excellent features and massive updates to FaceTime. But of all, SharePlay got me most hyped up! With this new feature, FaceTime competes head-to-head against video conferencing apps and watch party apps, gaining tremendous popularity due to the WFH situation.
I spent some time exploring FaceTime SharePlay. In this detailed guide, you’ll learn everything about SharePlay and how to use it on FaceTime in iOS 15.
Update: If you’re unable to access SharePlay on your iPhone, update it to iOS 15.1 as Apple disabled the SharePlay feature initially.
- What is Apple SharePlay in iOS 15?
- Which devices and services support FaceTime SharePlay?
- How to use FaceTime Screen Share in iOS 15
- How to share music on FaceTime in iOS 15
- How to start a watch party using FaceTime SharePlay
- Can I use FaceTime SharePlay with Android and Windows?
SharePlay enables you to share your iPhone, iPad, or Mac screen during a FaceTime call to watch movies or shows and even listen to the same songs in sync with your friends.
Everyone gets control of what’s playing, so a person on the call can play, pause or skip forward according to their convenience.
While there’s nothing new about FaceTime SharePlay that other services don’t already offer, the essence of this feature lies in its deep integration within the Apple ecosystem.
Thus, you can share and enjoy various types of content in real-time with your friends more conveniently.
FaceTime SharePlay will be available later this year with iOS 15, iPadOS 15, tvOS 15, and macOS Monterey.
However, the feature is also available on the developer beta versions of all the operating systems. If you have Apple’s developer account, you can easily install the beta versions on your supported device. I strongly recommend waiting till the public beta is rolled out.
Compatible apps and services:
Moreover, as of writing this article, SharePlay supports Apple Music and a few other streaming services like Disney+, TikTok, HBO Max, and more (as seen below). The list is expected to grow in the coming months as developers can use Group Activities API to integrate their services into FaceTime.
Now that you know the requirements, follow along to use this feature.
As you may already know, screen sharing refers to the ability to present your screen and enable others to watch it in real-time using video conferencing apps like Zoom. FaceTime now enables you to do this and beyond using its SharePlay feature (as explained above).
- Open FaceTime on your iPhone.
- Now, start a video call with any contact.
You can also create a FaceTime link and share it with your contacts.
- Next, tap the Share My Screen button at the top right of the new FaceTime control panel.
Similar to Spotify Group Sessions, you can now listen to music together with your friends on FaceTime. Here’s how.
- Open FaceTime and voice-call any of your contacts.
- Now, open Apple Music.
- Select a song and press Play.
This will start playing the same song on both devices. Moreover, you can invite more of your friends and listen to the song together in sync, and everyone on the call will have control over the playback.
Note: For watching movies or shows together with your friends on FaceTime, you’ll need to have the supported app, and you also need to be subscribed to the streaming service being used during the call.
- First, open the FaceTime app.
- Now, call or share the invite link with your friends.
- Open any supported app, and play whatever you want to watch together.
The movie or TV show will start playing in sync on everyone’s device. You will also be able to chat with each other. In addition, every user on the call will have playback controls.
Note: You can also use your Apple TV to stream the content while chatting with your friends on your iPhone.
As of now, SharePlay is exclusive to Apple devices. Sharing screen, music, or streaming content with Android or Windows devices over FaceTime is not possible.
However, you can now FaceTime call your friends on Android or Windows devices using the FaceTime link with the new update.
I hope this guide helped you understand everything about SharePlay and how to use it on your iOS 15 device. What do you think about this feature? And do you want to know more about the new features announced at the WWDC21? Share in the comments below.