SharePlay is one of the biggest new features in iOS 15, coming as part of the big FaceTime experience overhaul, but last-minute issues meant it was delayed and removed from early versions of iOS 15 while Apple tinkered with the tech behind the scenes.
The feature eventually launched as part of iOS 15.1 and iPadOS 15.1, allowing FaceTime users to finally share music, videos and even their entire iPhone or iPad display with everyone else on the call - and it’s not just limited to official Apple apps either, with a plethora of third-party apps including the likes of Disney+ and TikTok offering support for the feature.
It’s not the most straightforward feature in Apple’s portfolio to use, but fear not, as we at Tech Advisor explain how to use SharePlay on an iPhone or iPad running iOS 15.1 right here.
How to use SharePlay on iPhone & iPad
Share your screen
When it comes to SharePlay, most users will want to share their entire screen - how else are you supposed to share that hilarious TikTok you found with your FaceTime buddies?
- Tap the SharePlay icon on the FaceTime call toolbar (the icon furthest to the right).
- Tap ‘Share My Screen’.
- Get the other person on the call to tap ‘Open’ on the ‘Join Screen Sharing' banner that appears within the call.
- Once Screen Sharing is initiated, your incoming notifications will be hidden, and the FaceTime toolbar will disappear too. You can tap the purple icon in the top-right corner to get the FaceTime controls back though.
That’s it! Your friend(s) on the FaceTime call will then be able to see the screen of your iPhone or iPad, and any supported app that you open.
That ranges from official Apple apps like Apple Music and Apple TV to third-party apps including Netflix and Disney+, though it’s worth noting that all participants will need a paid subscription to access premium video content - not just the person streaming.
However, it’ll work fine with free apps like YouTube and TikTok, so stream away!
Share videos and music
If you’ve got a specific song or video that you want to share on your FaceTime call, you don’t have to initiate screen sharing. Instead, you can share the content directly from the video or music app it’s available in.
- Start a FaceTime call.
- Head to the (supported) app with content you’d like to share.
- You should see a banner appear to let you know that content will automatically SharePlay with everyone on the call.
- Access the song/video you’d like to share and begin playing. Playback will then begin for all participants, perfectly in sync with one another.
Once you’re done sharing content with your FaceTime buddies, it’s time to end SharePlay. To do that, simply:
- Tap the green/purple FaceTime icon in the top-left of your screen to access the call.
- Tap the SharePlay button on the FaceTime toolbar (the icon furthest to the right).
- Tap End SharePlay.
You can also stop SharePlay by ending the FaceTime call, an easier option if you’re all wrapping up for the night at the end of a sharing session.
That’s how to make the most out of SharePlay in iOS 15, but there are plenty of other hidden features available at a tap. Take a look at our top iOS 15 tips if you’re intrigued.