With the release of iOS 15, there has been a lot of hype about all the new features. One particular feature that has caught the eyes of many is the SharePlay feature, which allows people to share the experience of listening to a song or watching a movie with their friends and family.
Unfortunately, Netflix doesn’t support FaceTime’s SharePlay feature, so you can’t share your favorite content exclusively on Netflix with others. However, other streaming services like Hulu and Disney+ support SharePlay.
But how does this SharePlay feature work, and how can you have a shared experience with your group of friends? Can you watch Netflix with this feature? What about other streaming platforms—do they work with SharePlay? Let’s take a look.
How Does Apple’s SharePlay Feature Work?
When you’re on a FaceTime call with someone, you can stream movies, songs, and other information or content from your phone using Apple’s SharePlay feature, provided you stream it from an app that supports it.
To be able to use this feature, you first need to ensure that you have iOS 15 or above. SharePlay was introduced with iOS 15, so you won’t be able to see the SharePlay button unless you update it to the latest version.
Also, keep in mind that if you want to stream content from some subscription service like Disney+ or Apple Music, everyone on the call must be subscribed to the service and have the app on their respective devices.
With these two prerequisites out of the way, here’s how you can use SharePlay:
- Open the FaceTime app and call the person you want to share the content with.
- Next to the contact’s name, you’ll see an icon similar to a video camera. Tap on it.
- Go back to your iPhone’s home screen and open any streaming app that supports the SharePlay feature, like Paramount+, Showtime, HBO Max, Hulu, etc.
- Choose the series or movie you want to share with your friend and tap on the Play button.
- You will then be able to see the SharePlay tab on the screen, and once you tap on it, everyone present in the call will be able to see the content and even access the playback controls. This means anyone can fast-forward, rewind, play or pause the content, but settings like volume and close captioning will affect your device.
- If, for some reason, you can’t see the SharePlay tab on the screen, tap on the Share button to open the Share menu and then tap on SharePlay.
Can You Use SharePlay to Watch Netflix?
Unfortunately, sharing content on Netflix with your friends over FaceTime is impossible. This is because Netflix doesn’t support the SharePlay feature yet.
However, you can use other apps to watch Netflix with your family or friends far from you.
How Can You Watch Netflix With Friends?
If you want to watch a TV series or movie that’s only available on Netflix, you can use another platform instead of FaceTime to stream it. In addition, some third-party apps and extensions let you share and watch Netflix content with your friends online.
Some web browser extensions that let you share Netflix content with friends include MetaStream, TwoSeven, Scener, Teleparty, and Watch Netflix Together.
Some of these even provide other streaming platforms like Prime Video and Hulu. You can install them on both Microsoft Edge and Google Chrome.
Another option is Rave.io, a free app for iPads, iPhones, Android, macOS, and Windows that lets you stream YouTube, Netflix, and other streaming platforms with your friends. Hearo does the same thing, except it doesn’t work on a Mac.
Alternatively, you can host watch parties on Discord and share content. The good thing about Discord is that you don’t everything in the watch party doesn’t require a Netflix subscription to be able to see the content you’re sharing.
What Streaming Platforms Are Compatible With SharePlay?
While there are both Apple and third-party apps that support SharePlay, not all of them are free. Most music and video streaming services have in-app purchases and subscriptions. Let’s take a look at those.
Apple’s own Apple TV+ and Apple Music are both compatible with SharePlay. However, while Apple TV+ allows you to watch your favorite shows and movies with others, Apple Music lets you listen to the latest albums and watch music videos with your family and friends.
However, the Apple Music Voice Plan isn’t compatible with SharePlay. The feature works only on plans for students, families, and individuals.
Other third-party streaming platforms compatible with SharePlay include the following but keep in mind that most of them require a subscription:
- HBO Max
- Pluto TV (free)
- MUBI: Curated Cinema
You can also stream sports games, browse the scores and stats of different teams, attend concerts virtually and share them with your friends using apps like NBA, ESPN, Digital Concert Hall, and UFC. But they’re not free.
However, many sports and concert apps don’t yet support SharePlay, such as CBS Sports App Scores and News, NHL, MLB, Fox Sports, NBC Sports, and NFL.
Other Apps That Support SharePlay
In addition to the streaming platforms listed above, many other apps also support SharePlay, such as those for music, podcasts, games, real estate, and social media.
Apps for music, audio, and podcasts that support SharePlay include:
- Spotify (although the free version doesn’t support SharePlay)
- SoundCloud (but you need SoundCloud+)
- TuneIn Radio (the app is free, but it has in-app purchases)
- Moon FM (free)
- Meditation Moments
- Piano with Friends
- BetterSleep: Relax and Sleep
- Unplug: Meditation
Games that support SharePlay include the following. While most of them are free, some have in-app purchases:
- Heads Up!
- Guessing Game for SharePlay
- Kahoot! Play and Create Quizzes
- Share+: YouTube on SharePlay
A few social media apps also support SharePlay. However, apart from Apollo for Reddit, most of these apps allow you to share just the video content. The most famous social media sites like YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Reddit, and Twitter don’t support SharePlay yet, but the ones that do include:
- Popshop Live
And finally, real estate apps like Redfin and Zillow also support SharePlay, so you can browse through properties easily with your roommates.
Can You Use SharePlay with Group FaceTime?
It is possible to use SharePlay with a group of people on FaceTime. The process is the same—start a FaceTime call, open the streaming app, and tap on SharePlay.
Alternatively, you can:
- Open a supported streaming app.
- Then find what you want to watch, and tap on Share.
- Then tap on SharePlay, then on the people you want to call, and then tap FaceTime to start the call. Everyone on the call will have access to the playback controls.