Apple officially launched its new way to watch, listen and play games together with your friends and family using Apple devices with the rollout of iOS 15. Since then Apple has been making tweaks, enhancements and rolling out new features to make Apple SharePlay even more useful. If you are wondering what Apple SharePlay is and how you can use it, this quick guide will help you use it and understand its features. In summary SharePlay has been created by Apple to enable friends and family the ability to watch, play and listen to music together across Apple devices such as iPhones, iPads and Mac computers using the companies FaceTime call service.
Remember to use the SharePlay feature you will need devices that are running iOS 15 or above.
How to SharePlay on facetime
Apple FaceTime provides a similar service to that of Zoom, Skype and other video communication services but is unique to Apple devices running either the iOS or macOS operating systems. The SharePlay feature can be used within FaceTime and allows you to synchronize a movie, music or game with your friends and family to enjoy them together at the same time. Perhaps you would like to watch a new movie with your partner but they are away on business.
Using SharePlay you can both watch the same movie in real time and see and hear the same moment together. Once you have a SharePlay connection your Apple operating system will automatically enable smart volume and media audio is adjusted dynamically, enabling you can continue to chat with your friends or family while all watching or listening. Apple has also made it possible for you to engage in multiplayer games using Game Center and SharePlay through a FaceTime call. To learn more about how you can use the feature to watch movies, listen to audio or play games follow the instructions below.
Apple SharePlay using FaceTime
If you would like to watch a movie or listen to music with a friend or family in different locations simply start a FaceTime call and follow the instructions below to share content.
1. Once you are in a FaceTime call go to the Home Screen on your iPhone or iPad and select an application that supports SharePlay. Such as the Apple TV application or similar. It is worth remembering that some streaming services require a subscription.
2. Select the TV show or film that you would like to watch together and press the Play button.
3. If the option to “Play for Everyone” appears on your device selected and begin watching your chosen media within the FaceTime call.
4. Apple will prompt others in your party to join the SharePlay group and your chosen media will start playing at the same time to everyone who has access to the content during the FaceTime call.
Apple also allows you to use its Picture in Picture feature allowing you to watch the shared content while using other applications on your device. Enabling you to discuss the content with others using messages or similar without interrupting the playback of the content.
Apple TV SharePlay from iPad or iPhone
If both you and your partner or family are equipped with Apple TV set-top boxes, you can use SharePlay to watch movies and TV shows together at the same time, there are a couple of ways you can do this either directly from your mobile device or from the Apple TV set-top box itself. First, we will start with your Apple mobile or tablet.
1. First start a FaceTime call on your iPhone or iPad.
2. Then swipe up from the bottom edge of your Apple device and select SharePlay.
3.Other members of the group might need to allow their device to join the SharePlay party.
4. Once this is complete on your Apple TV Remote press and hold the TV Control Center button. Which looks like a TV screen.
5. Once the Control Center is on your screen, select your user. 6.Then select SharePlay and then Start. 7. Confirm your choices on your iPhone or iPad within the FaceTime call.
Apple has made it easy for everyone within your part to control playback by using play, pause, rewind, or fast forward. Group users can also change volume and closed captioning but these are only local to that user and will not affect the entire party.
Start from Apple TV
1. To start an Apple SharePlay session directly from your Apple TV once again start a FaceTime call from your iOS device.
2. Again on your Apple TV remote press and hold the TV Control Center icon which looks like a TV set or monitor. Select your user.
3. This will open an option on your Apple TV to SharePlay your TV content.
4. Select the TV show or film you would like to watch with your friends or family and press play.
5. Apple then provide a final confirmation that you would like to SharePlay content from your Apple TV. Select SharePlay and enjoy.
Apple has also made it very easy to share any content that you AirPlay from your iOS device to your Apple TV. To do this, both your iOS device and Apple TV need to be connected to the same network. If you are not signed in as the current user on the Apple TV in question use the instructions below.
1. Start a FaceTime call on your iPhone or iPad. 2. Swipe up from the bottom edge of your screen and then open a SharePlay supported streaming application on your mobile or tablet. 3. Choose the TV show or film you would like to SharePlay. 4. If SharePlay is supported it should appear on your device to be selected. As before, other members of your party might have to confirm they would like to Join SharePlay on their devices. 5. On your iPhone or iPad select the AirPlay icon and then the Apple TV you would like to watch your content on. As before controls are again shared between all the members of your SharePlay party.
How to close a SharePlay session
1. To end a SharePlay session hold down the Control Center icon which looks like a monitor or TV screen on your Apple TV remote. 2. Select SharePlay, and then select Stop SharePlay.
If you would like further information on using Apple SharePlay with your iOS devices, Mac computers or Apple TV jump over to the official Apple support site.
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