Apple are bringing SharePlay to new devices so that everyone can collaborate on music queues wherever the party is.

Apple have upgraded SharePlay, their program that lets you open up the playback queue on Apple Music to others nearby. It’s a great feature for collaborating on your music listening experience and Apple’s expansion makes it even more useable for parties.

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Apple have brought SharePlay to HomePods and other select speakers. Until now SharePlay has been used to share music and movie playback experiences on FaceTime calls and iMessage chats. With their expansion to speakers, the feature allows users to collaborate on the Up Next queue on a shared Apple Music-powered playlist.

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The upgrades to SharePlay come with iPadOS 18. Apple plan to launch the software update this autumn/fall. People with access to Apple’s beta have used the updated feature and reported on a few quirks:

  • Users can’t start a SharePlay session on the iPad alone. It must be connected to an audio players like the HomePod, HomePod, Apple TV, or certain Bluetooth speakers.
  • The feature doesn’t appear for AirPods, headphones, or similar devices.
  • Some Bluetooth speakers don’t show a SharePlay option.

It’s worth noting that SharePlay works using a shareable QR code. At the moment, there doesn’t seem to be the ability to join it via Bluetooth or from a shared WIFI connection, which you’d think would make sense for collaborating on the playback from a HomePod speaker or similar.

How to use Apple Music SharePlay on iPadOS 18:

  1. Open Apple Music
  2. Select any compatible external device
  3. The Shareplay icon will show up on the bottom left of the Apple Music app’s now playing screen
  4. Share the QR code with anyone you want to join the playing session
  5. You can approve people who join to vet whether they gain control
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