SharePlay lets FaceTime callers listen to songs together, watch TV shows/movies in sync, and share their screen
Image Credit: Apple
The new feature coming to Apple’s phones, tablets, computers and TVs improves shared experiences while apart.
WWDC saw updates to all of Apple’s core operating systems, including iOS, iPadOS, macOS, watchOS and tvOS. One of the biggest updates to come to iPhone, iPad, Mac and Apple TV was FaceTime. Among other FaceTime features such as spatial audio, grid view, portrait mode, mic modes and FaceTime links allowing Windows or Android users to join calls, one of the biggest updates coming is SharePlay.
SharePlay is one of the best ways to watch something together, show off your photos or collaborating with coworkers while apart. The new feature allows those on FaceTime calls to listen to songs together with Apple Music, watch a TV show or movie in sync, or share their screen to view apps together. For music, TV shows and movies, playback controls are shared with all of those in the call. Volume adjusts automatically, so you can hear both your friends and the content. For music, the queue is shared with all, so anyone can add songs.
SharePlay is launching across iOS 15, iPadOS 15, macOS 12 and tvOS 15, meaning you can pick up a call on any Apple device and enjoy the same experience cross platform. While viewing the content, the FaceTime call stays open Picture in Picture. You can even extend the SharePlay to your Apple TV, so you can watch shows and films on the telly, while keeping your friends on your iPhone, iPad or Mac. Sharing TV shows and movies isn’t just limited to Apple TV+ either. Developers can build SharePlay support into their apps. So far, Apple have announced Disney+, ESPN+, HBO Max, Hulu, MasterClass, Paramount+, Pluto TV, TikTok, Twitch and more are already integrating SharePlay into their video streaming apps. Whether other top streaming services such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and YouTube will play ball against one of their biggest competitors remains to be seen.
The betas for iOS 15, iPadOS 15, macOS 12, tvOS 15 as well as watchOS 8 are available to developers now, with a public beta arriving in July. The public release is due in the fall. To see all of the top new features announced at WWDC, see our full recap here.