Apple SharePlay: What It Is and How to Use It

Watch movies, share your screen, and more in iOS

Apple's SharePlay feature adds new functionality to FaceTime calls by letting you sync up a variety of media while you're talking to your friends, family, and coworkers and enjoy them together. Here's what exactly SharePlay is and how to use it.

Instructions in this article apply to iPhones running iOS 15 and later, iPads with iPadOS 15 and up, and Macs running macOS Monterey (12.1) and newer.

What Is SharePlay?

Unlike the similarly named AirPlay, which lets you send content or share your screen from one Apple device to another (like playing a movie on your MacBook but watching it on your TV), SharePlay is about bringing media into a FaceTime call you have in progress.

You can do three main things with SharePlay:

  • Listen to tracks from Apple Music.
  • Watch a movie or TV show from a compatible app.
  • Share your phone or tablet's screen.

When you use SharePlay for music or video, the media syncs between everyone on the call, and each person gets playback controls to let them pause, fast-forward, or move to the next song. They can also add tracks to a playlist to decide which songs everyone will listen to. Meanwhile, the call continues, and you can still see everyone while the media plays.

If you're watching a movie and have an Apple TV running tvOS 15 or later, you can also throw the video over to the larger screen, AirPlay-style, without interrupting the call. After you do, you'll still be able to see your friends on your iPhone or iPad without having to split the screen with a bunch of other windows.

The final function of SharePlay, screen-sharing, lets people you're FaceTiming with see exactly what's on your screen. You can share gameplay, look through photos and videos, and look at the same apps.

How Do I Use SharePlay?

Once you've started a FaceTime call with one or more of your contacts, you can start using SharePlay with just a few taps. With the call active, open either Apple Music or a compatible video app, pull up the song, movie, or show, and click or tap Play. The item will automatically start playing in sync for everyone on the call.

Everyone will also get a control panel on their screen that they can use to control the playback.

Playback controls on an iPhone using SharePlay

Once you've activated SharePlay, you'll see a green icon in the upper-left (iPhone) or upper-right (iPad or Mac) corner of your screen. Because SharePlay syncs up music and video by sharing your screen and audio with everyone on the call, the same icon appears no matter which of the three functions you're using.

The "Screen Share" icon on an iPhone

To activate screen sharing outside of music or video, click or tap the Share Screen icon in the FaceTime menu (the same one you use to control your mic and camera during the call). A label below the green icon will show whose screen is in view. To stop sharing, open the menu and tap the icon again.

The Share Screen icon in the FaceTime control window

Which Apps Work With SharePlay?

While screen-sharing will let you use most apps with SharePlay, only certain video apps are currently compatible for communal viewing with automatic syncing and shared controls. So far, these are the only video apps you can use all of SharePlay's features with:

  • Apple TV
  • Disney+
  • ESPN+
  • Hulu
  • HBO Max
  • MasterClass
  • NBA
  • Paramount+
  • Pluto TV
  • TikTok
  • Twitch

In iOS/iPadOS 15.4 and later, you can start a SharePlay session directly from an app without starting a FaceTime call first. To do so, find the Share button, and SharePlay will appear as an option in the menu.

Which Devices Does SharePlay Work With?

SharePlay works on any Apple device that can run at least iOS 15, iPadOS 15, or macOS Monterey (12.1). So whether you're on an Apple phone, tablet, laptop, or desktop computer, you can use these features on your FaceTime calls. You also aren't limited to using the same gadget as the people you're talking to; if you're on your MacBook and your friend is on their iPad, you can still use all of the features of SharePlay with no interruptions.

  • How do I share a playlist from Apple Music?

    You can share a playlist with your friends in the Apple Music app. First, go to For You > profile > See What Friends Are Listening To > Get Started. Then choose playlists to share and people to share with.

  • How do I share Apple TV with my family?

    You can add a family member to Apple TV using the Apple Home app. First, ensure the Apple TV is added to a room on the network controlled by the Home app. Then, open the Home app and go to Settings > Accounts > Add New Account, and follow the onscreen instructions.

Was this page helpful?