How to use SharePlay on macOS Monterey and iOS 15

How to use SharePlay on macOS Monterey and iOS 15

Apple announced iOS 15 and macOS 12 Monterey, alongside other upgrades across their operating systems during WWDC21, back in June. These OS updates brought some features to the iPhone and Mac that we had been waiting for and missed out on a few others. Some of these features include Shortcuts and AirPlay support on the Mac, in addition to SharePlay, which is supported on other Apple operating systems too. SharePlay allows people to enjoy consuming digital goods together through FaceTime.

Availability

SharePlay is not available on iOS 15.0 unfortunately. Users will have to wait for a future update coming this fall to have it enabled. SharePlay was first made available during early iOS 15.0 betas, but then it was later removed before public release. It’s currently being tested on iOS 15.1 beta, but whether it makes it to the stable release is yet to be seen. macOS 12 Monterey is still in beta testing, so it’s also unclear if SharePlay will ship with 12.0 later this fall or if it will require an additional update.

SharePlay feature shown on an iPhone

The Basics

If you’re on iOS 15.1 beta, you must be wondering how to use SharePlay with friends and family. What content is supported? What are the prerequisites? Don’t worry, we will be mentioning everything you need to know.

What content is supported?

  • Music
  • TV
  • Fitness+
  • Screen Sharing

Can third-party developers support SharePlay?

Yes, Apple has provided developers with a SharePlay API, so you won’t be limited to Apple Music and Apple TV+, assuming other developers adopt the API and support the feature.

What are the prerequisites?

  • Having friends (optional, but recommended for the best performance).
  • All people in a FaceTime call should be running an Apple OS that supports the feature.
  • They should be subscribed to whatever service a user is SharePlaying. So for example, if you want to listen to music together, all of you should have Apple Music subscriptions.

How to actually use SharePlay

  • Start a FaceTime call in whichever way you usually do, whether it be through Messages, Phone, Siri, Spotlight Search, or the FaceTime app itself.
  • In the call screen, to the very right, you will find a screen share button. Press it if you just want to share your screen with the other call participants.

shareplay-ios-15-music-app-1

  • If you want to SharePlay media, go to Apple Music or TV app, and a banner will pop up asking you to choose content to SharePlay.
  • Hit play on an episode or playlist, and you’ll be prompted whether you want to play the media privately or share it with everyone in the FaceTime call.
  • Choose SharePlay, and, as long as all prerequisites are met, other participants should be able to listen/watch with you.
  • Apple Music and TV support queue controls, so others can add/remove items and pause/play.

shareplay-ios-15-music-app-2

  • You can view how many people are listening with you when the player is minimized, at the bottom of the screen.
  • Once you’re done with SharePlaying, click on the far right button in the call screen we mentioned earlier, and click End SharePlay.
  • Alternatively you could just end the FaceTime call, if you no longer want to talk.

SharePlay pushes FaceTime a step further and makes it a valid competitor in the video conferencing battle. Not to mention FaceTime now supports link sharing, enabling Android and Windows users to use the service from their web browsers.

Are you already using SharePlay or are you waiting for the stable release? What content are you looking forward to SharePlay the most? Let us know in the comments section below.

About author

Mahmoud Itani
Mahmoud Itani

Mahmoud is an Istanbul-based Beiruti who has always sought freedom through writing. His hobbies include keeping up with tech news, writing articles about Apple devices & services, crocheting, meditating, and composing poetry. You’ll likely find him jogging at a park, swimming in open water, brainstorming at a coffeehouse, or merely lost in nature. His personal pieces are available on his website, MahmoudItani.com, and he can be reached via [email protected] or the provided social links.