SharePlay on iOS 15.1: Stream Scary Movies With Friends This Weekend Via FaceTime

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The new FaceTime feature lets you enjoy streaming TV, movies and music in a video chat.

Apple / Screenshot by Sarah Tew / CNET

This story is part of WWDC 2021. All the latest coverage from Apple’s annual developer conference.

Apples iOS 15 the upgrade included many exciting new features for iPhone users – Focus mode, real-time weather alerts, facial recognition to safely store your driver’s license and other identifiers in your Apple Wallet. But one of the most exciting new tricks that Apple presented in June at WWDC was a FaceTime feature called SharePlay, which allows iPhone, iPad, and Mac users to share screens – and streams – with each other for virtual sleepovers. SharePlay was not available in the initial version of iOS 15, but it is included in iOS 15.1, which is now available.

Read more: Here are the CNETs iPhone 13 and 13 Mini review and the iPhone 13 Pro and Pro Max

SharePlay is one of the biggest updates to FaceTime yet, making Apple a big contender for Zoom and Teleparty (formerly known as Netflix Party). You can use SharePlay to share your screen with friends to watch movies, listen to songs, and more, while making your FaceTime call. There are a few caveats (both parties should have iOS 15.1 installed, and both parties should also be subscribed to any streaming services you share), but overall, SharePlay looks like it’s on its way to transforming video calling. Here’s how to set it up.


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How to use SharePlay to share your screen in FaceTime

Like Zoom, FaceTime will let you share your screen with other people while on the call when SharePlay is available, so you can share more than just music and videos. Use cases suggested by Apple include planning a trip together, browsing Zillow with future roommates, showing a video game, or helping a friend with a tech issue by walking them through which parameters to modify. This feature will also work on all Apple devices, which means you can share your Mac screen or your iPhone or iPad screen while on a call.

How to stream shows and movies with FaceTime

Organizing a night before in FaceTime is simple and intuitive with SharePlay. When you stream movies or TV shows with a friend, the content syncs across devices and gives both parties access to the controls. And you will continue to see and hear yourself picture in picture as you watch. Streaming services that have already partnered with Apple for SharePlay include Hulu, HBO Max, TikTok, and ESPN Plus.

shareplay-partners.png

Apple has partnered with a number of streaming services to launch SharePlay.

Apple

To use SharePlay, both parties must use FaceTime on an Apple device that supports iOS 15.1, iPadOS 15.1 Where MacOS Monterey 12.1. Another cool feature of SharePlay is that you can stream to your Apple tv while maintaining the FaceTime call on your iPhone. That way, you don’t have to squint at a small screen with your friend’s face blocking the show.

The shared streaming video can be streamed from iPhone to Apple TV when using SharePlay in FaceTime.

Apple

Here’s how to set up SharePlay in FaceTime:

1. Start a FaceTime call.

2. Open a streaming app while connected to the call and choose a show or movie.

3. hurry To play, and both parties can watch the same stream at the same time.

How to listen to music with SharePlay

Using SharePlay to listen to a new album with a friend works the same as a night before. While sharing music, both parties will also have access to controls to pause, play or skip songs in SharePlay. And you can even contribute to shared playlists by adding songs to a queue in Apple Music.

shareplay-queue.png

Both parties can add songs to a shared queue in FaceTime.

Apple

Here’s how to share music with SharePlay:

1. Start a FaceTime call.

2. Open Apple Music and choose a song.

3. hurry To play, and the song will start playing on both devices at the same time.

shareplay-listen-together.png

Share music during a FaceTime call.

Apple

One downside: SharePlay’s subscription issue

Netflix, Spotify and YouTube are some of the apps that don’t sync with SharePlay. Apple also notes that a subscription will be required for both parties in order to share streaming services (like HBO Max or Disney Plus) through SharePlay. In our time with iOS 15, we put this to the test and verified that not only do both parties need a shared app subscription (if applicable), but also need to download the app itself on both devices.

Read more: The best new features in iOS 15

So if your friend wants to share a TikTok video and you haven’t installed the TikTop app, you won’t be able to view the video on FaceTime. And until you get too excited, you also won’t be able to get around that by sharing your video feed through screen sharing rather than through the app itself.

SharePlay is not the only thing Apple recently announced. Discover the new Apple Maps Features, such as step-by-step instructions that make it easier to know where you are going. Apple also announced the new Apple Watch Series 7 with curved edges and faster charging, the AirPod 3 and a pair of new MacBook Pro. And here’s what you need to know about the IPhone 13 lineup if you are planning to buy the new phone.


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Correction, September 21: A previous version of this article incorrectly said that SharePlay was included with the release of iOS 15. It was available in the beta version of the software.


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