SharePlay will not be available in the initial release of iOS 15

A couple of months ago, Apple announced iOS 15, iPadOS 15, tvOS 15, and macOS Monterey. The updates pack a bunch of new features including improved notifications, enhancements to FaceTime, new multitasking capabilities, and more. One of the features announced SharePlay, however, Apple has now revealed that it will not be included in the initial releases of the respective operating systems.

Apple FaceTime

For those unaware, SharePlay is essentially an enhancement to FaceTime that will allow users to join in and listen or watch a TV show, song or a movie. The feature will support Disney+, HBO Max, and Twitch along with Apple TV, and Apple Music. It will support iOS 15, iPadOS 15, tvOS 15, and macOS Monterey.

However, Apple has now updated its rollout schedule for the feature, saying that it is disabled in the developer beta 6 releases of the respective operating systems. Furthermore, SharePlay will be disabled in the initial general release of the operating systems too. Apple has not disclosed the reason behind this delay, but has stated that:

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.

We appreciate how many teams have been hard at work building SharePlay experiences and to ensure there is no interruption in your development, we have provided a SharePlay Development Profile which will enable successful creation and reception of GroupSessions via the Group Activities API.

For now, Apple has requested developers to remove the GroupActivities entitlement from their apps, and has stated that it will inform developers when it re-enables SharePlay in developer betas in the future. The company expects this to happen "later this fall".

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