What is SharePlay? How iOS 15’s feature to watch videos with friends works

SharePlay is a FaceTime sharing feature available for Apple devices. Introduced with the release of iOS 15, the feature allows users to watch videos and listen to music simultaneously and in real-time while on a FaceTime call with friends and family. This way, you can see your contacts’ reactions while you watch different media together or listen to new releases of your favorite bands, for example.

In the list below, Techidence brings together five questions and answers about the feature. Check out what SharePlay is, how it works, and how to access it on iPhone (iOS). You can also check on which devices the feature is available and see a comparison with Rave, an Android app that allows you to create playrooms to watch movies and TV shows with friends in a synchronized way.

1. How does SharePlay work?


SharePlay allows users to share their screens, stream videos, or listen to music together using FaceTime. With this feature, you can watch movies, TV shows, and series synchronously with your friends. This is because the content is played simultaneously and in real-time during the call.

By sharing the screen, the playback controls are also available to the other participants of the call. In this way, if a user pauses the movie, playback is also interrupted for those who are on the call. The feature is also compatible with other services, so users can use supported streaming apps to watch content together.

2. Which devices is it available for?

SharePlay is only available for Apple devices compatible with the iOS 15, iPadOS 15, tvOS 15, and macOS Monterey updates.

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3. Which apps does SharePlay support?


The new FaceTime feature is integrated with other streaming services, and so far the feature has compatibility with Apple Music, Disney+, HBO Max, NBA, TikTok, MasterClass, Paramount+, ESPN+, Hulu, PlutoTV, and Twitch. However, it is expected that more apps will support the tool in the future.

4. How to use SharePlay?


On iPhone, open FaceTime and start a video call with a contact. To watch videos or listen to music, open the desired app or service and start playing one of the contents.

As soon as you press “play” the media will be automatically synchronized with the other contacts on the call, and the playback controls will also be available for everyone. It is worth mentioning that when the function is in use, a green icon will appear in the left corner of the screen to indicate that SharePlay is active.

5. How is SharePlay different from Rave?

Rave offers similar functionality as SharePlay. With it, you can connect with users anywhere in the world to watch movies and series simultaneously and in real-time. Rave also allows users to use chat to communicate or turn on their microphones while watching media, and the platform is compatible with other streaming apps such as Netflix, Amazon Prime, YouTube, Disney+, and Vimeo, for example.

The app allows you to create public rooms, which are available to everyone, or closed rooms, where only users who receive an invitation can enter. Rave has simple navigation and is also very intuitive. However, despite the similarities between the platforms, the proposal between the two services is not the same, since SharePlay is a feature present within FaceTime – whose main proposal is to keep people connected via video calls.

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