APPLE has buried a trick in the latest iOS upgrade that can bring you closer to your loved ones.
If you're away from friends and family, you may be missing the bonding experience of settling down to watch a movie together.
Or maybe you're missing cuddling up with a significant other to binge-watch your favorite show.
Apple has hidden a new feature in its latest iOS 16 upgrade that will bring you closer to loved ones – whether they're down the street or thousands of miles away.
What is the feature?
Users can now stream TV shows, movies, podcasts, and songs together in sync while using SharePlay while on iMessage.
SharePlay works across iPhone, iPad, and Mac, and "with shared playback controls, anyone in a SharePlay session can play, pause, or jump ahead," Apple writes on its website.
For example, SharePlay can be used on Apple TV, so users can watch shows or movies on television via apps such as Disney+, ESPN+, HBO Max, Hulu, MasterClass, and Paramount+.
The feature also works for songs and podcasts on apps like Spotify and Apple Music.
Until now, SharePlay was a feature exclusive to FaceTime, but now you can type away as you watch together minute-by-minute.
Everyone can pause and skip ahead in sync for a better experience.
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It's not limited to a two-person conversation either – the feature works in group chats, unlocking the potential for families or friends to stream as one.
"iOS 16 is a big release with updates that will change the way you experience iPhone,” said Craig Federighi, Apple's vice president of software engineering, who discussed the new integration at the company's Worldwide Developers Conference in June 2022.
How can I access it?
Here's all you need to know about accessing the feature, according to Apple's iPhone User Guide.
- Find a show, movie, song, album, or other content you want to share, on a supported app.
- Select one of the following:
- Tap the share symbol, then tap SharePlay;
- Tap the three dots at the top right, tap the share symbol, then tap SharePlay;
- Tap the three dots next to the content, then tap SharePlay.
- In the "To" field, type in the contacts you want to share with, then tap Messages.
- Tap Start or Play to begin using SharePlay.
- To start viewing or listening, recipients tap the content’s title at the top of the Messages conversation, then select Open.
But there's a drawback
Apps must subscribe to SharePlay to be compatible, and not every streaming platform does.
Netflix and YouTube are just two examples of apps that won't sync with SharePlay.
Plus, both users must also subscribe to the same streaming service, like HBO Max or Disney+, and have the app downloaded.
So, for example, if your texting partner wants to share a funny TikTok for you to watch together in harmony if you don't have the app, the feature won't work.
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