How to use SharePlay to share your FaceTime screen

One of the new features that iOS 15 promises to deliver is that you can enjoy movies, music, and other media with friends and family by sharing your iPhone and iPad screen during FaceTime sessions. This new feature, called SharePlay, although not shipped with the initial release of iOS 15, was included in iOS 15.1 and is now available to a limited extent.

Currently, you can share content from Apple TV and Apple Music, assuming you’re both subscribed, and a few other apps. For example, I had no problem sharing a YouTube video; Other supported apps include HBO Max, Hulu, and Disney Plus (but not Netflix). It can be assumed that the list of shareable applications will continue to expand.

Using the new SharePlay feature is pretty easy after installing iOS 15.1.

  • Start a FaceTime session. Make sure whoever else is in the session also has iOS 15.1 installed.
  • You should see a new icon on the top right of the screen that looks like a small shape in front of the screen. Tap on it.
  • You will see a dropdown button that says “Share My Screen”. Tap this and you will share your screen with your friend.

Now you can show your FaceTime friend your home screen, play a YouTube video or listen to the same Apple Music track. If you want to switch to the other person’s screen, all they have to do is tap the SharePlay icon.

Another way to share an app is to navigate to that app and launch it during a FaceTime session. If SharePlay is available, you will see a drop-down menu asking if you want to use SharePlay or if you want to play the video or music just for you.

You can also return to your FaceTime app at any time, tap the SharePlay icon and select End SharePlay.

You can see your friend's home screen in miniature or tap to enlarge the screen.

You can see your friend’s home screen in miniature or tap to enlarge the screen.

Unfortunately, some apps are not yet supported.

Unfortunately, some apps are not yet supported.

The new SharePlay feature in iOS 15.1 will likely be very popular. Allows friends and family to chat together while watching videos or listening to music; allow partners to discuss a spreadsheet while out and about; or make it easy to share and comment on your latest group photos. It will only get better as Apple adds more apps that can take advantage of SharePlay.

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