Apple rolled out its macOS Monterey 12.1 update on Monday. And this brings in particular the possibility of using SharePlay, the function that allows you to watch video content, collaborate or listen to music with friends via FaceTime.
After the iPhone and iPad, the Macs have become more user-friendly. Announced in June on all media with the objective of sharing live content, SharePlay is finally available on MacBook, iMac and Mac of all kinds.
The macOS Monterey 12.1 update brings many new features such as the ability to subscribe and use Apple Music Voice, the new offering that only uses Siri and your voice. New functions for Memories albums in Photos (animation styles, transition styles, photo collages, new album themes, more interactive interface, etc.) are emerging, as well as various fixes for playing HDR videos on YouTube improved or even a better display of the menu bar with the notch of the MacBook Pro 2021.
Many new features already seen with the arrival of iOS 15.2 (hidden email address, digital legatee, etc.) are also added. On the other hand, universal control, this possibility of using the same mouse and the same keyboard to manage your Mac, your iPad and your smartphone in continuity, is still pending.
SharePlay, all together, but everyone at home
But the main addition remains the arrival of SharePlay which is intended as a “This new function was already available on iPhone, iPad and on Apple TV since the previous update ofApple. Since Monday, it is also for Macs.
Its main use is to let you share movies, videos, music tracks, web browsing and even games with your loved ones through FaceTime on the medium of your choice. You can even indulge in a few activities together (drawing, gym, quiz, piano, looking at the stars…), modify photos or a document in real time, while talking to each other in parallel. The screen sharing feature already existed on FaceTime. You can keep your uses synchronized and collaborate.
If you start a video from a FaceTime call, the content starts or pauses simultaneously for all participants, just like what Disney + offers with its GroupWatch feature, but with the ease of live and video chat that was lacking in the use of it. In addition, the volume of the broadcast program is automatically adjusted when someone speaks to avoid cacophony.
You can follow a basketball game simultaneously with your friends // Source: Apple
You can organize a musical evening all together by creating a playlist that will be jointly designed, each adding their favorite tracks to the queue.
Many applications are already compatible with the SharePlay function and among them:
- Apple TV and its service Apple TV +
- MUBI: The Choice of Cinema
- Apple Music
- Apple Fitness
- Asana Rebel Yoga
- Bim – Gym Digital
- Metronaut sheet music
- Flow by Moleskine Studio
- Night sky
- BetterSleep: Sleep better
How to use SharePlay?
To use SharePlay, you must therefore use a device with the FaceTime application (iPhone, iPad, Mac, Apple TV) and that it is up to date with the latest versions.
- From your device, start a FaceTime call with your contacts;
- Swipe up from the bottom of the window and go to one of the SharePlay-compatible applications that is offered;
- Each participant receives a mention “Join SharePlay” and only has to click on Open;
- If it’s video content, choose your movie or TV show, then tap Play. The SharePlay button may appear, click on it if the start is not automatic;
- Each participant can then put on play / pause, fast forward / rewind. This will be applied to all participants. On the other hand, the volume or the addition of subtitles are specific to each device.
You can join or leave a SharePlay call at any time without leaving the FaceTime call. It will be enough to touch the mosaic of images at the top of the open shared application for this.
Obviously, all users must have the application or the content to share it. If not, a message appears inviting you to subscribe, purchase the content, or, if applicable, take advantage of a free trial offer.
Advantage on MacBook and iMac, you can organize windows to keep FaceTime video calling on one side and content streaming on the other. This is valid for apps that support Split View on Mac (separate view).
Switch to Apple TV
You can join a FaceTime call on iPhone or iPad and then switch back to your Apple TV to enjoy content sharing on a larger screen.
- To do this, start a FaceTime call in the classic way and start sharing content with the participants via a SharePlay compatible app;
- On your remote Apple TV, hold the TV / Control Center button (shaped like a TV) pressed. The control center will open on the right of the screen.
- Choose the user profile at the top of the window. ;
- Select SharePlay ;
- Press on Throw on theApple TV and confirm on your mobile device;
- To stop the broadcast, press the TV / Control Center button in order to reopen the right window and click on SharePlay to stop.
You can still use the AirPlay function of your iPhone or iPad to stream to your Apple TV.