In WWDC 2021, Apple showed off a new feature called SharePlay, which allows iPhone and iPad users to watch content (videos, movies, or TV shows) together on a FaceTime call. With the release of iOS 15.1, the feature is finally available for everyone to try.
In this article, we’ll explore how to use the SharePlay feature within FaceTime to watch movies, shows, or videos together with friends.
Note: Before proceeding, ensure that everyone who wants to SharePlay (including you) has an iPhone or iPad running iOS 15.1 or later (iPadOS 15.1 or later).
Follow the steps below to watch movies and TV shows together in sync with SharePlay on iPhone or iPad.
- Open the FaceTime app on your iPhone or iPad.
- Invite others to join your FaceTime by tapping on the Create Link or New FaceTime button. Wait for them to join.
- Once everyone has joined, swipe from the bottom to go back to the Home Screen and open a streaming app where SharePlay is supported, like Apple TV+.
- Tap on the movie or TV show episode you want to watch together, and hit Play.
- From the pop-up that appears, select SharePlay.
The content will now start playing in sync on all the participants’ devices.
While in SharePlay mode, any participant can pause, play or scrub through the media, and the same is synced with everyone.
If you want to end SharePlay, tap on the video screen and then tap the Close (X) button from the top-left corner. You’ll have to choose whether to End SharePlay for everyone, or just for you.
Alternatively, you can go back to the FaceTime app and tap on the Person icon from the top right corner, and then tap End SharePlay, then choose either “End for Everyone” or “End Only for Me”.
Note: SharePlay is not currently available on macOS Monterey as of this writing, but it’s expected to be released with macOS 12.1. When it does, similar steps will also apply to Macs for enabling SharePlay with supported apps.
As of this writing, a decent number of apps provide support for the SharePlay feature. It’s being implemented in several ways that extend beyond a simple watch party feature.
For example, Apollo for Reddit, one of the most popular Reddit clients, has a feature to let friends view a subreddit together on a FaceTime call. Bluebird – Focus Timer and Tasks app has introduced a Focus Together mode which allows you to work on tasks together on a FaceTime call. Night Sky lets you stargaze together in a FaceTime call.
And, with Apple opening up the SharePlay API for developers, we can hope for the list to expand even more.
The below (non-exhaustive) list of apps supports SharePlay at the moment.
Apple Apps that support SharePlay:
- Apple Music
- Apple TV+
- Apple Fitness+
Third-party Apps that support SharePlay:
- Apollo for Reddit
- Carrot Weather
- Digital Concert Hall
- Guessing Game
- HBO Max
- Moon FM
- Night Sky
- Piano with Friends
- Pluto TV
- Redfin Real Estate
- Relax Melodies
- Translate Now
Apple even has an App Store featured story that features some of the popular SharePlay supported apps,
Thus, you can watch movies, TV shows, or videos from supported apps using SharePlay on iPhone and iPad.