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MacRumors

macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
58,049
21,117


In macOS Monterey 12.1, which is available in a beta capacity right now, Apple introduced its new SharePlay feature to FaceTime. Previously only available on iPhone and iPad, SharePlay allows you to share your Mac's screen with other people on a FaceTime call, which opens up new possibilities for sharing experiences with friends, family, and co-workers.

shareplay-macos.jpg

Thanks to SharePlay, you and others on the same FaceTime call as you can listen to music or watch TV movies and shows together. You can even share your screen or a specific app window on your Mac's desktop with the people you're chatting with to discuss a piece of work or provide remote tech support, or simply to enjoy looking at a photo album together.

The following steps guide you through the new SharePlay screen sharing feature in FaceTime on macOS Monterey 12.1:
  1. Launch FaceTime on your Mac.
    Click New FaceTime and add the contacts that you want to share your screen with, then click the FaceTime button. Alternately, select a recent contact to initiate a video call.
    facetime-shareplay-macos6.jpg

    When the call has connected, click the SharePlay button in the control overlay.
    facetime-shareplay-macos1.jpg

    To share your entire screen or a specific window, click either Window or Screen in the FaceTime menu bar item dropdown. If you chose Window, click the window in question that you want to share.
    facetime-shareplay-macos5.jpg

    To stop sharing the window or screen, click Stop Sharing Window/Screen in the FaceTime menu bar item dropdown, where you can also change the window being shared.
    facetime-shareplay-macos7.jpg

    When sharing a window, you can also click the SharePlay button in the top-right corner of the window to reveal three options: Stop Sharing Window, Change Shared Window, and Share Entire Display.
    facetime-shareplay-macos3.jpg
The introduction of SharePlay on Mac also means you can listen to music or watch movies and TV together over FaceTime, and everyone on the call will see the same synced playback and controls.

facetime-shareplay-macos2.jpg

In addition to first-party Apple experiences like Apple TV and Apple Music, SharePlay is also compatible with third-party app experiences. Developers have already been building SharePlay experiences for iOS devices, and now they can build SharePlay features into Mac apps as well. For more on what you can do with ‌FaceTime‌ in iOS 15.1 and iPadOS 15.1, we have a dedicated guide that highlights all of the new features.

Note: The SharePlay feature in FaceTime requires macOS Monterey 12.1, which is only available to beta testers as of writing. Expect Monterey 12.1 to be released to all users in late fall 2021.

Article Link: macOS Monterey 12.1 Beta: How to Share Your Screen on a FaceTime Call
 

indros

macrumors newbie
May 18, 2010
26
31
For folks curious about how to share screen without 15.1, you can share screen via Messages already via clicking on a message thread, clicking the "i" icon in the top right and selecting "share." I'd heard about the FaceTime thing and found this when looking it up.

 

ghanwani

macrumors 68040
Dec 8, 2008
3,721
4,291
This is great for when you have to do tech support for friends and family. You no longer have to setup a Zoom call for that.
 

mansplains

macrumors 6502a
Jan 8, 2021
635
927
For folks curious about how to share screen without 15.1, you can share screen via Messages already via clicking on a message thread, clicking the "i" icon in the top right and selecting "share." I'd heard about the FaceTime thing and found this when looking it up.

I always thought this route was a little strange when I'd be in a call and want to share years ago. There was never a situation I needed to share my screen for texting. It's nice that they'll be in one place finally.
 

sirozha

macrumors 68000
Jan 4, 2008
1,797
2,161
This is great for when you have to do tech support for friends and family. You no longer have to setup a Zoom call for that.
You know this has been possible without video for ages now, right? You could do that from the Messages app and even have two-way audio. I think the news here is that you can share your screen to multiple people at the same time, which, of course, has been possible with services like Webex for over a decade now, and is currently available on every web conferencing platform. So, welcome to the present, FaceTime.
 

ghanwani

macrumors 68040
Dec 8, 2008
3,721
4,291
You know this has been possible without video for ages now, right? You could do that from the Messages app and even have two-way audio. I think the news here is that you can share your screen to multiple people at the same time, which, of course, has been possible with services like Webex for over a decade now, and is currently available on every web conferencing platform.
I didn't know it could be done through Messages. I didn't even know it's possible to have 2 way audio through Messages.
 

project_2501

macrumors 6502a
Jul 1, 2017
644
701
hope they fix printing .. macOS 12.0.1 Preview broke the postscript to generated for postscript printers.

(apple acknowledged it)
 

siddavis

macrumors 6502a
Feb 23, 2009
638
1,833
This is great for when you have to do tech support for friends and family. You no longer have to setup a Zoom call for that.
You can also control the other person's Mac through Messages. You can control the cursor and text input, that way you don't have to try and tell them what to click on etc. I do this all the time for my mom and it is so much easier than trying to instruct her to click on certain things.

I imagine this implementation will be more polished with better synchronization and as others have mentioned, ability for groups to participate.
 

DJM1740

macrumors member
Aug 12, 2015
54
99
You know this has been possible without video for ages now, right? You could do that from the Messages app and even have two-way audio. I think the news here is that you can share your screen to multiple people at the same time, which, of course, has been possible with services like Webex for over a decade now, and is currently available on every web conferencing platform. So, welcome to the present, FaceTime.
I was thinking the same too, but the differentiator here (as far as I can tell) is that you don’t need a separate service, login, etc… it’s built right into FaceTime/iOS/macOS. So yes it’s been possible for quite some time, but not integrated into something you already have.
 

kybosch

macrumors newbie
Jul 22, 2002
4
5
Thank you so much for this article. I had been trying to use the screen sharing features on my Mac and I though they were just broken. It wasn't until I saw your screenshot that I realized I was missing the menu bar item at the top. I like to use the great shareware app Bartender 4 to hide extra menu bar items at the top of my screen, and I had inadvertently hidden away the green button, thus causing my own problem. Now it works!
 

hooptyuber

macrumors regular
Jan 21, 2017
113
137
Fix tap-to-click!!

I don't really care about this other stuff, especially if Apple hasn't fixed tap-to-click.
 

mxrider88

macrumors 6502a
Mar 8, 2019
577
645
Sydney, AU
It amazes me how with a software quality going down the drain year over year and more and more bugs coming with every new release, they still go ahead and try to implement half backed features that are just gimmicks for 98% if the user base.

They need to go back to the basics!!!
 

Swift

macrumors 68000
Feb 18, 2003
1,802
953
Los Angeles
Can you share computer audio - a la zoom? Or can you just share Apple Music?
Of course, the room audio goes with it. Transparency and hearing all the noise. Or blocking it. You can, although I haven't seen it yet, use spatial audio, and portrait mode, fiddle with colors, etc., oh, and keep you centered while you stand up and walk as you go back and forth; and you can send audio from in your room. AND, you can watch movies together, and it's a cheap way to talk to friends without And it works from my iPhone 12 to Android and Windows. They answer with their Samsung, no problem. They have spatial audio so that you know the person talking and you turn your head. It's like an app that will work to work with everything. Yes, there will be warnings that you use Android-- no, so far none of that. I'd like to know what the movie studios are saying. Are they what's slow-walking this while they hammer an agreement with movies?
 
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