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Watch Movies Together on FaceTime with SharePlay

10 June, 2021 - By Bhanu

While iOS 15 boasts a plethora of super cool features, FaceTime has probably got the most attention. Whether it’s the revamped design, the well-thought-out functionality to make a FaceTime call from iPhone to Android, or the exciting SharePlay feature that allows users to watch movies together on FaceTime, Apple’s video-calling app looks all set to rival video conferencing services like Zoom and Google Meet. So, if you are ready to kick off your binge-watching spree with your friends and loved ones, let’s learn how to watch movies together on FaceTime with SharePlay!

Use SharePlay in FaceTime to Watch Movies Together

Especially when dealing with an all-new feature like Facetime SharePlay, clearing the doubts upfront is the way to go. So let’s first learn about the basics, and then we can check out the steps to watch movies together over a FaceTime call.

What is SharePlay and How Does It Work?

SharePlay is designed to let users listen to songs with Apple Music, share their screen, or co-watch movies and TV shows in sync while on a FaceTime call. By integrating access to apps from within the call itself, it enables real-time connections for seamless play. Thanks to the pretty neat shared playback controls, anyone on the video call can play, pause or jump ahead with ease. Even better, SharePlay also extends to Apple TV to let users watch shows and movies on a big screen.

There is nothing new about FaceTime SharePlay as services like Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, and Disney+ have offered the co-watching feature for a long time. However, what puts Apple’s offering ahead of the curve is the deep integration and the ability to deliver seamless play across devices, including iPhone, iPad, and Mac. So, Apple may be a little late to the party (like it always does), but it has sort of nailed the co-watching functionality, unlike any other rival.

As the trend to virtually watch movies and TV shows with family and friends has become popular during the pandemic, Apple wants to cash in on the opportunity big time.

Which Services Does FaceTime SharePlay Support?

Apart from supporting Apple Music and Apple TV, SharePlay also works with several third-party video services via an API. Popular streaming services that are already onboard are listed below:

  1. Disney+
  2. Hulu
  3. HBO Max
  4. Paramount+
  5. Pluto TV
  6. NBA TV
  7. Twitch
  8. TikTok
  9. MasterClass
  10. ESPN+

Now, if you are wondering – can you watch Netflix with friends on a FaceTime call? Well, unfortunately, Netflix doesn’t support the FaceTime SharePlay feature just yet. However, we do expect the streaming giant to come to the fold sooner than later. Also, we expect Spotify to integrate the SharePlay API into its iOS app in the coming weeks.

Can Android and Windows Users Join Your FaceTime Watch Party?

No, they cannot! While Apple now allows iPhone users to make FaceTime calls to their friends on Android and Windows, you can’t movies and TV shows together with them.

“SharePlay is supported on iOS, iPadOS, and macOS, and users can even bring their Apple TV into the experience when they want to display content on a larger screen,” states the Cupertino giant on its Share play API page.

Create and Start a FaceTime Watch Party

  1. Launch the FaceTime app on your iPhone or iPad.
  2. Now, tap on the Create Link to generate a watch party link. Alternatively, you can tap on “New FaceTime” and invite all your friends to a group video call.
  3. Once the FaceTime watch party has been created, tap on the “i” button located next to the shareable link under the “Upcoming” section.
  4. Then, select the “Share Link” option.
  5.  Next up, the iOS share sheet will allow you to share the FaceTime watch party link via several channels, including iMessage, WhatsApp, Messenger, text, email, and more. You can choose the desired medium to invite your friends.
  6. Now, let your friends join the watch party. Make sure to let them in. Once they have all got on board, launch your favorite supported video streaming app. Then, choose an exciting movie or show to watch together and boom! Oh yes, be sure to bring on the popcorn so that you can relish every bit of the show.
  7. As I said above, FaceTime offers handy shared controls so that anyone on the call can play, pause, and jump ahead with ease. This can especially come in handy if one of your friends needs to use the bathroom, grab his Uber Eats delivery, or answer an urgent call.
  8.  

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