Cord-cutters with iPhones and iPads who want to host watch parties using SharePlay are in for some bad news: The co-watching function, which was expected to be released with iOS 15 this fall, has apparently been postponed by Apple.
According to Engadget, Apple has informed developers that SharePlay, a new FaceTime feature that allows users to watch videos—including those from Disney+, HBO Max, and Paramount+—and listens to music together, will not be included in iOS 15’s initial release.
Apple told Engadget that SharePlay will still be available in iOS 15, iPad 15, and tvOS 15 as a fall update and that it will “continue to grant developers access to SharePlay in order to incorporate the capability into their apps.” SharePlay, on the other hand, will not be included in iOS 15 from the start.
That’s very bad because SharePlay is arguably the most intriguing iOS 15 feature Apple unveiled earlier this summer in terms of streaming.
The upcoming SharePlay feature, which was first announced in June during Apple’s annual WWDC keynote, will allow users to bring music and videos into FaceTime calls, similar to Spotify’s Group Session feature and the watch party functionality on streaming video services like Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, and Hulu.
SharePlay will enable third-party video services via an API in addition to working with music and videos on Apple Music and Apple’s TV app. This means you’ll be able to launch a compatible streaming video app while on a FaceTime conversation and share movies and TV series with your pals.
Disney+, Hulu, HBO Max, Paramount+, Pluto TV, NBA TV, Twitch, TikTok, MasterClass, and ESPN+ are among the services that will work with SharePlay.
SharePlay will also be available on Apple TV, allowing for large-screen viewing parties.
While Apple’s SharePlay delay is frustrating, customers shouldn’t have to wait too long, as the functionality is still expected to be released in the fall.