Apple plans to hold back SharePlay from initial OS 15 releases

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The FaceTime feature SharePlay won't be coming out with the initial OS 15 releases.
The FaceTime feature SharePlay won't be coming out with the initial OS 15 releases.
Photo: Apple

The anticipated SharePlay feature in FaceTime syncs up TV shows, movies, music and more across devices so people can experience them together. But the features in upcoming beta releases and the major official OS 15 updates this fall won’t include it, Apple told developers today.

Apple plans to delay SharePlay’s release and won’t roll it out until after the major update coming this fall. Apple said in its note to developers it will disable SharePlay in the upcoming developer beta 6 releases of iOS 15, iPadOS 15, tvOS 15 and macOS Monterey.

Wait for SharePlay until later this fall

Apple confirmed the feature will be absent in official releases, such as iOS 15, when they become available to the public. The major releases are likely to come out sometime in the next month or two.

The company said SharePlay will return “in future developer beta releases and will launch to the public in software updates later this fall.”

“We’re thrilled with the high level of enthusiasm we’ve seen from the developer community for SharePlay, and we can’t wait to bring it to users so that they can experience your apps with their friends and family in a whole new way,” Apple said in its note to developers.

Will other features be delayed?

SharePlay’s delay will likely bring up questions about what other features might be delayed for those waiting for OS updates.

Notably, Apple has so far not included in beta releases the much-anticipated Universal Control it demonstrated at WWDC 2021. That feature lets iPad and Mac owners perform tasks across both products using the same keyboard and mouse.

Apple’s record shows delays for promised features in big OS releases in the past. Sometimes it puts off the rollout until the functionality proves itself ready for prime time. In the initial rease of iOS 12 in 2018, for example, Group FaceTime got held back and then released in a smaller update some weeks later, TheVerge noted.