Apple releases new ‘Shareplay’ feature to public

Here’s why you should update your phone as soon as possible

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The new feature allows music to be shared in real-time with one another. 

While the release of iOS 15 saw yet another “big” update come and go through the general public without any breakthrough or Earth-shattering features, there was one feature that was announced to be released within the coming months after iOS 15’s initial release.

Shareplay, now officially released in iOS 15.1, is a new feature that calls for the attention of all iPhone and iPad users. Shareplay is essentially a new, forward-thinking way to screen share with other iPhone and iPad users via Facetime.

According to Apple, with the newly released feature, users can stream movies and television shows, share music and even show their own screens in real-time with their friends and family. Should an elderly family member have trouble finding the website to reset their Facebook password, we can now view their screen in real-time and tell them which buttons to click.

There are only a few steps required to access this new feature. First, every party involved in the Facetime call must have their phone updated to iOS 15.1, which is the latest software update at the time of writing.

Once both users have updated their Apple devices, a general Facetime call must be initiated. Next, there is a new button on the right side of the menu bar at the top of the Facetime screen. This “share my screen” button will invite the other Facetime members to join the screen share.

Once accepted, all guests can hear and see what is on your screen. It’s a slick and efficient method of exchanging information with one another or casually enjoying streaming content with each other. However, some users will want to be careful, as users can hear and see exactly what is on your screen. In reality, it all depends on how you want to take that information.

Another note regarding the update is that both users in the Shareplay Facetime call must be subscribed to the service that’s going to be shared between one another. For instance, both callers have to have a Netflix or Apple Music subscription if one of them wants to show the other a television show or song through either of those services.

This wild new feature extends further beyond one-on-one Facetime calls as well. Shareplay is also supported by Group Facetime calls. As long as everyone has their personal Netflix, HBO Max, Hulu, etc. app and is logged into their account, a large group of people are able to simultaneously watch a new movie or show together.

While it may not be the same as going to the movie theater together, it’s currently the next best thing and also one of the best ways to include people that are most susceptible to the ongoing pandemic.

For those that may be spending time with one another long-distance, they can still get in on showing each other funny videos as if they’re next to one another in person. TikTok is supported by Shareplay, meaning that people are now able to see how hilarious, or messed up, their friend’s sense of humor is.

Apps that are already supported with Shareplay, outside of core Apple applications such as Safari or Photos, include video streaming services Paramount+, ESPN+, NBA, Digital Concert Hall, Apple TV+, as well as the services previously mentioned in the article. While the list is small, there are plenty of other services that will be available for Shareplay in the coming weeks to months.

Music and game services include Apple Music, Vinyl’s, Relax Melodies, Soundcloud and Moon FM. While many will wait for Apple Music rival Spotify to be included, there’s a surefire chance that they will eventually be in on Shareplay soon enough.

With many apps on the way to being supported by Shareplay, the feature is sure to change the Facetime game. Whether it’s bringing friends and family closer together while apart, making a conversation more efficient or simply enjoying time together watching a movie, there’s something for everyone in the new update.

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