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iOS 15.1 finally brings SharePlay to FaceTime – here’s how to use it

Want to share your screen on a FaceTime call? Now you can.

ios 15 logo on blurred background
Image: KnowTechie

One of the new features Apple promised with the release of iOS 15 was SharePlay, which lets you share your screen with others on a FaceTime call so you can listen to music or watch videos. It wasn’t quite ready for launch but with the release of iOS 15.1 and iPadOS 15.1, it’s now ready for use.

SharePlay is still limited right now in the types of content you can share, and the apps that you can share from.

The limited list includes the usual suspects like YouTube, Showtime, and Apple TV, but not some of the big names like Netflix. That said, the list of supported apps will likely grow over time.

If you want to check out the feature for yourself, we’ve got you covered.

ShareTime is here, let’s show you how to use it

Before you start, you’ll need everyone updated to iOS 15.1 or iPadOS 15.1. This guide will help. If you’re planning on using SharePlay with your Apple TV, you’ll need to update that to the latest version of tvOS as well.

  1. Start a FaceTime call on either your iPhone or iPad

  2. You’ll see a new icon on the right of the top control bar, with a person in front of a screen. Tap on that, then on the drop-down button that will appear below it.apple shareplay inside facetime

  3. That will show off your Home screen, or you can open any of the supported apps to play music, watch videos, or play games together.

    If you get prompted, tap the SharePlay button again while starting content in those apps.

  4. You can also send the SharePlay feed to play on your Apple TV by holding down the TV/Control Center button to open the Control Center and selecting the SharePlay icon. Press Start on the Apple TV, then confirm on your iPhone/iPad.shareplay on apple tv

  5. To end SharePlay on your Apple TV, hold the TV/Control Center button to open Control Center, then select SharePlay and Stop SharePlay.

  6. While you’re watching, playback controls are shared by everyone so things like play, pause, rewind, and fast forward will affect everybody’s playback. Closed captioning and volume settings will only change on your device.

SharePlay feels like the natural evolution of FaceTime to me, but it’s a shame that only some apps are supported at this time. Hopefully, that gets opened up to any app on your Apple devices, so you can use SharePlay for productivity as well as recreation.

That will make FaceTime a true video conferencing contender, and make it easier for companies to use Apple hardware for their staff.

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