I did mention both systems include new features that is obvious with every software update. One of the new features is called SharePlay.
1. What is SharePlay?
It is a feature that has been introduced on the FaceTime app that mainly lets you do three things:
a). Share and listen to music tracks from your device’s playlist together with your friends during a FaceTime call.
b). Watch movies and TV Shows together with your friends on FaceTime from any app that works with SharePlay and continue chatting at the same time. (In this case for example; Apple TV is a compatible app).
c). Share your iPhone’s screen or iPad’s screen with your friends on FaceTime so they can see for example what sort of apps, programs, browsing history or any other information that’s on your device’s screen.
All of these you will be able to do without having to abandon/leave the FaceTime call you’re in. If that doesn’t sound or look cool to you guys then I honestly don’t know what is.
2. How do I access or find SharePlay?
First things first…head over to the FaceTime app on your device. Tap on it to open.
3. Which devices work with SharePlay?
Currently this feature is available only on iOS 15 for iPhone, iPadOS 15 for iPad, macOS Monterrey for Macintosh computers and tvOS 15 for Apple TV.
4. How to use SharePlay
a). Make sure you and all your friends doing a video call are using iOS 15, iPadOS 15 or macOS Monterrey on their iPhones, iPads and Mac Computers respectively.
b). Start a FaceTime call…you can do a group call or a one on one (single) call, any can do.
c). Exit the app, in this case your device switches to a picture-in-picture window as you continue chatting with your friends.
d). Head over to an app compatible with SharePlay. Select a TV show or maybe a music track of your choice. A pop-up menu appears, select ‘SharePlay‘ then press ‘Play‘ and just like that it will begin playing for everyone.
Every user on the call will have playback controls so they can pause, play, rewind, fast forward or adjust the volume for a song or video all of you are listening to or watching.
- Sharing your screen using SharePlay
i). Go to FaceTime app on your iPhone or iPad
ii). Start a video call with any of the folks on your contact list. You can also create a FaceTime link and share it with your contacts, they can use it to join a call.
iii). At the top of your screen you will see a control panel. Tap on the ‘Share My Screen‘ button at the top right end which is the last option on that panel. Start moving around your device doing your own stuff, those on the video call can now see what you’re doing.
Note: SharePlay controls are the same for iOS 15, iPadOS 15 and macOS Monterrey users.
The same steps I have outlined above just apply them on any of those three platforms and you’re good to go.
For tvOS 15 the procedure is a bit different but nothing hard or complicated. First thing to note & remember is, tvOS is the software version for Apple TV. You cannot start or participate in a FaceTime call using an Apple TV.
To use SharePlay with Apple TV, Press and hold the ‘TV‘ button on your Apple TV remote. From there you will be able to select the ”SharePlay” icon.
It works in a similar way to Bluetooth or Xender. An iPhone, iPad or Mac compatible with SharePlay must be near an Apple TV for all of this to work.
5. Which apps and services support SharePlay?
As for now the number of apps compatible are quite few. According to Apple these apps are; “Apple TV app for movies and TV shows, Apple Music app for music and Apple’s Podcast app for podcasts.”
The tech firm is promising to include other apps to work with SharePlay once it launches the different operating systems for its wide range of devices.
Some of the apps you can expect to be added are; HBO Max, Disney Plus, TikTok, Paramount Plus, Hulu, ESPN Plus, Twitch and many more that we’ll get to know soon.
6. Can I watch or listen to media using apps compatible with SharePlay without a subscription?
Well…as you now know, the current apps working with SharePlay…Apple Music, Apple TV and Apple Podcasts usually require someone to have an active (paid) subscription on those apps for you to use those services.
If you don’t have an active subscription then you won’t be able to enjoy the SharePlay experience.
7. Apart from Apple devices, can I use SharePlay with Android, Windows or any other device?
For now unfortunately, SharePlay applies only to Apple devices. Apple users can FaceTime their friends who use Android and Windows devices through a new FaceTime web link however those users cannot access SharePlay.
8. When is SharePlay available to use?
Like I mentioned earlier, SharePlay is available exclusively to iOS 15, iPadOS 15, tvOS15 and macOS Monterrey. These operating systems will launch sometime later this year. However, there are Beta Versions for each OS available for download incase you want to get an early head start on what to expect from these new software.
I highly recommend not downloading those Beta Versions, instead, wait for Apple to release the final (official) version for each OS (Operating System) before you can begin using any of them.
SharePlay honestly is a big plus for Apple as it now allows the FaceTime app to compete much better against other video conferencing apps like Zoom, Skype, Slack, Google Meet etc.
Incase you have any questions or comments about this cool feature that’s coming to FaceTime or even any other feature/app on your iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch and MacBook, please meet us on social media by clicking/tapping on the links below:
Note: This article will be updated once Apple releases the official versions for iOS 15 and iPadOS 15.