How to watch a movie together with SharePlay

SharePlay takes the social side of FaceTime even further, with the ability to listen to music or watch a movie together.

If you’ve been following Apple’s iOS 15 conference at WWDC, you most certainly haven’t missed out on what’s new in FaceTime. Apple’s video calling app has probably received its biggest update in years, and there are plenty of new features to improve the user experience.

Note for example the possibility of making a FaceTime call with a person who does not have an Apple account or a device, or the arrival of SharePlay. If you don’t know what it is, SharePlay is a feature that allows FaceTime users to simultaneously watch or listen to a movie or song.

What apps work with SharePlay?

The Cupertino company has been relatively discreet on this subject. While we already know which streaming services will be compatible, there are still some questions about some of the more popular services.

While it seems obvious that Apple TV + will work with SharePlay, more will be available for users in September. We will thus find Disney +, HBO Max, Hulu, ESPN +, MasterClass, Paramount +, PlutoTV, Twitch and TikTok from the launch of iOS 15. Apple has nevertheless confirmed that others will follow gradually, without however giving more details. Netflix and Prime Video are currently pointing to absent subscribers, and there is no indication that they will arrive in the near or far future.

Illustration: FE

If you want to share music, only one streaming service is supported: Apple Music. It is not known if Spotify or Deezer will be among the services available soon, although that would greatly surprise us.

Will everyone have access?

It is on this point that Apple will make many disappointed. The Cupertino company has declared that it wants to respect digital rights management (DRM). Thus, each user wishing to participate in a conversation in which a film or series is broadcast must have a subscription to the streaming service or be in the full trial period.

On this point, it will be up to each player in the sector to define their own rules. Perhaps they will occasionally leave the possibility of having parties with friends without them having a subscription? FaceTime allows video calls to more than 32 users, it is difficult to see each user having a subscription to the same streaming service.

Photo credit: Apple.

Also, don’t expect to take advantage of FaceTime screen sharing to view content “illegally”. You will simply be dealing with a black screen, as is already the case when you want to take a screenshot of the Netflix application on iPhone.

How does SharePlay work?

Before using SharePlay, you must first verify that apps have permission to share their screen in FaceTime. To do this, head into the settings of your iPhone, then go to the section FaceTime. Then go down until you reach the menu SharePlay. Then choose the apps you want to give SharePlay access to.

The rest is then very simple. Start a video chat in FaceTime, whether it’s from a link or a FaceTime invitation by message. Then open one of the above mentioned applications compatible with SharePlay and start playing. The trick is then played, everyone can view the content simultaneously and then pause, go back or restart the viewing.

You can also choose to share your screen. To do this, tap the icon at the top right. You can then choose screen sharing and show your contacts what you can see on your iPhone.

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