Apple’s new SharePlay: How screenshare on FaceTime will work in iOS 15

Apple's new SharePlay: How screenshare on FaceTime will work in iOS 15

The brand new FaceTime characteristic permits you to expertise streaming TV, films and music inside a video chat.

Apple/Screenshot by Sarah Tew/CNET

This story is a part of Apple Occasion, our full protection of the most recent information from Apple.

Apple’s new iOS 15 is right here and it virtually makes us really feel like we have purchased a model new cellphone (talking of which, the iPhone 13 is offered for preorder now). Apple’s newest software program replace comes with a number of new options, together with Focus mode, real-time climate alerts so when it begins raining, and facial recognition to securely retailer your driver’s license and different IDs in your Apple Pockets. Fairly nifty, huh? 

Learn extra: Listed here are CNET’s evaluations of the iPhone 13 and 13 Mini and the iPhone 13 Professional and Professional Max

However iOS 15 comes with FaceTime’s greatest updates but, making Apple a giant competitor for Zoom and Teleparty (previously often called Netflix Social gathering). SharePlay, certainly one of iOS 15’s most talked-about options, enables you to share your display with pals to observe films, hearken to songs and extra — all whereas in your FaceTime name. It takes video calling to the subsequent stage with out the additional apps and subscription charges. The SharePlay characteristic, which we performed with in the course of the iOS 15 beta however will not be but out there within the iOS 15 public launch, could make the iOS 15 and iPadOS 15 upgrades even higher when it is added in (this is find out how to obtain and set up the present model of it). 

Between display sharing, name scheduling, background blurring and FaceTime’s new compatibility with Android and Home windows units, iOS 15 is shaping as much as be a fairly thrilling improve (although you should still need to wait to put in it). 

Learn extra: Here is the most recent iOS 15 options for HomeKit and HomePod

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How to use SharePlay to share your screen in FaceTime

Like Zoom, FaceTime will let you share your screen with others on the call when SharePlay is made available, so you can share more than just music and videos. Apple’s suggested use cases include planning a trip together, browsing Zillow with future roommates, showing off a video game or helping a friend with a technical problem by walking them through which settings to change. This feature will also work across Apple devices, which means you can share your Mac screen or your iPhone or iPad screen in a call.   

How to stream shows and movies with FaceTime 

Having a watch party in FaceTime is simple and intuitive with SharePlay. When you stream movies or TV shows with a friend, content will sync across devices and allow both parties access to controls. And you’ll still see and hear each other in picture-in-picture as you watch. Streaming services that have already partnered with Apple for SharePlay include Hulu, HBO Max, TikTok and ESPN Plus.

Read more: Apple’s next 2021 event could show off AirPods 3 and new MacBook Pros in October


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


In order to use SharePlay, both parties need to use FaceTime on an Apple device that supports iOS 15, iPadOS 15 or MacOS Monterey. Another cool feature of SharePlay is that you can cast to your Apple TV while maintaining the FaceTime call on your iPhone. That way you’re not stuck squinting at a tiny screen with your friend’s face blocking the show.

Shared streaming video can be cast from an iPhone to an Apple TV when using SharePlay in FaceTime.


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. Press Play, and both parties can watch the same stream at once.

How to listen to music with SharePlay

Using SharePlay to listen to a new album with a friend works similarly to having a watch party. When 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 within Apple Music. 


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


Here’s how to share music with SharePlay:

1. Start a FaceTime call.

2. Open Apple Music and choose a song.

3. Press Play, and the song will begin playing from both devices at the same time.


Sharing music in a FaceTime call.


One drawback: SharePlay’s subscription problem

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

Read more: iOS 15’s best new features

So if your friend wants to SharePlay a TikTok video and you don’t have the TikTop app installed, you won’t be able to see the video over FaceTime. And before you get too excited, you also won’t be able to circumvent this by sharing your video stream via screen-share instead of through the app itself.

SharePlay isn’t the only thing Apple announced recently. Check out the new Apple Maps features, like turn by turn directions that make it a lot easier to know where you’re going. Apple also announced the new Apple Watch Series 7 with curved edges and faster charging. And here’s the latest on the iPhone 13 lineup if you’re thinking about buying the new phone.

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

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