Bad news for iPhone- and iPad-toting cord-cutters looking forward to setting up watch parties with SharePlay: Apple has reportedly delayed the co-watching feature, which was supposed to arrive with the release of iOS 15 this fall.
According to Engadget, Apple has notified developers that SharePlay, a new feature in FaceTime that lets users stream videos—including those on Disney+, HBO Max, and Paramount+—and listen to tunes together, will not be included in the initial launch of iOS 15.
SharePlay will still arrive in iOS 15, iPadOS 15, and tvOS 15 as an update “later in the fall,” Apple told Engadget, and it will “continue to give developers access to SharePlay in order to incorporate the feature into their apps.” However, SharePlay will not be a part of iOS 15 on day one. Update: SharePlay finally reappeared in the public beta of iOS 15.1, and it will officially arrive on October 25.
That’s too bad, because from a streaming standpoint, SharePlay was the most exciting iOS 15 feature that Apple announced earlier this summer.
Unveiled back in June during its annual WWDC keynote, the upcoming SharePlay feature will let users bring both music and videos into FaceTime calls, similar to Spotify’s Group Session feature and the watch party functionality on streaming video services such as Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, and Hulu.
Besides working with music and videos on Apple Music and Apple’s TV app, SharePlay will also support third-party video services via an API, meaning you’ll be able to launch a supported streaming video app while in a FaceTime call and share movies and TV shows with your friends.
Among the services already slated to work with SharePlay are Disney+, Hulu, HBO Max, Paramount+, Pluto TV, NBA TV, Twitch, TikTok, MasterClass, and ESPN+.
SharePlay will also “extend” to Apple TV, allowing for big-screen watch parties.
While Apple’s SharePlay delay is disappointing, hopefully users won’t have to wait too long, given that Apple is still targeting a fall release for the feature.
Updated on October 25, 2021 to note that SharePlay will arrive October 25 with the release of iOS 15.1.