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Apple's New Shareplay Feature Will Let You Stream Movies and Music with Your Mates Via Facetime

The new feature will be part of Apple's iOS 15, which is expected to start rolling out to users this spring.
By Sarah Ward
June 09, 2021
By Sarah Ward
June 09, 2021

Last year, just as the pandemic started shutting down our regular routines, a handy browser plug-in popped up to make life a little more bearable. That'd be Netflix Party, which helps you watch movies with your mates while still social distancing — synchronising everyone's playback so you're truly watching each and every frame at the same time.

That's all well and good if you're watching via a browser, and you're watching Netflix. If you and your pals are keen on an iOS alternative that'll slide right into your chats and span other platforms, you'll soon have one. As part of its big iOS 15 announcement, Apple has revealed that it is launching a new Facetime feature called Shareplay. It'll allow you to view films and TV shows together and in sync — and listen to music as well — complete with shared playback controls.

So, once you and your friends are on a Shareplay session, anyone can pause whatever you're watching or hearing. Also, you won't all need to be using an iPhone, iPad, Mac or Apple TV to access the service. Apple also announced that it's going to extend Facetime calls beyond its own devices, so folks who use Android or Windows devices will be able to access the application via their web browser.

A heap of other platforms will be integrated into Shareplay, if you're wondering what you and your crew will be able to binge together. They include Disney+, TikTok and Twitch, as well as Paramount+ — which will launch in Australia this August.

You'll obviously all need to subscribe to whichever platforms you're planning to view or listen to — so this won't be a way to watch The Mandalorian on your mates' account. Shareplay will work with Apple Music and Apple's own range of movies and TV shows, naturally, and you'll also be able to share your screen via the feature to view other apps together.

Other updates slated for iOS 15, which is expected to start rolling out from spring 2021, include redesigned notifications, a big Safari revamp, a Live Text function that'll be able to read handwritten writing in photos, enhanced features in Apple Maps and ramped up privacy controls. The weather and notes apps are getting a makeover, too, and there'll also be a new Live Translate feature as well.

Apple's iOS 15 is expected to start rolling out from spring 2021. For further details, head to the Apple website.

Published on June 09, 2021 by Sarah Ward
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