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Apple’s most anticipated iOS 15 feature has been delayed

Published Aug 17th, 2021 8:11PM EDT
Image: Christian de Looper for BGR

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One of the more exciting iOS 15 features Apple introduced at WWDC this past June won’t launch this fall as initially anticipated. In a message posted on the company’s developer website today, Apple said that SharePlay won’t be part of the broad iOS 15 release this coming September.

Not to worry, the feature is still slated for a release this year, albeit a few weeks later than expected.

What is SharePlay?

SharePlay was undoubtedly the iOS 15 feature I was looking forward to the most. Put simply, SharePlay enables users across devices to listen to songs and watch TV together. What’s more, the feature is designed to work across devices, which is to say an iPhone user can enjoy content at the same time with friends even if they’re on a Mac or iPad.

As you would expect, anyone participating in a SharePlay session has the ability to play, pause, or jump ahead. Some of the third-parties intending to incorporate SharePlay support into their apps include Disney+, ESPN+, HBO Max, Hulu, MasterClass, Paramount+, Pluto TV, TikTok, Twitch, and more.

One of the more intriguing SharePlay features is the ability for users to share their screens over FaceTime. This should make tech support with parents and friends much easier. It will also facilitate tasks like browsing apartment listings together with a loved one.

What did Apple say about the delay?

As you might expect, Apple didn’t have a whole lot to say about the delay. Presumably, the company is still trying to iron out a few software kinks.

Apple said that SharePlay, for now, is being disabled in developer beta 6 versions of iOS 15, iPadOS 15, and tvOS 15. It will also be disabled in the beta 6 release of macOS Monterey. Apple said it will enable SharePlay in a forthcoming beta release. If all goes as planned, the feature will go live in a software update later this fall.

Other iOS 15 features to look forward to

It’s admittedly a bummer that SharePlay is being delayed. Still, there are many other iOS 15 features worth getting excited about.

Some of these features include:

  • Live Text in Photos – Amongst other things, Live Text will allow you to point your camera at text and translate it in real-time.
  • Focus Mode – A new iOS framework to keep you from getting distracted.
  • Improved FaceTime features – FaceTime with iOS 15 will minimize background noise if need be. FaceTime in iOS 15 can also work with Android and Windows users. All told, FaceTime is getting a major boost in functionality to better compete with Zoom.
  • Better text selection – Apple is bringing back the magnification loupe for text selection.
  • Push notifications for rain – iOS 15 will send you an alert if it’s likely to start raining or snowing soon.
  • Drag and drop between apps – This is obviously a standard desktop feature and it’s nice to see it migrate over to mobile. With iOS 15, users can drag files across applications. For example, users can drag an image from their Photos right into an email. You can watch a video demonstration of this app in action below:

  • Enhanced Apple Maps – A brand new Apple Maps will introduce a more immersive interface. Users can also pull up directions based on a specific departure or arrival time.
Yoni Heisler Contributing Writer

Yoni Heisler has been writing about Apple and the tech industry at large with over 15 years of experience. A life long expert Mac user and Apple expert, his writing has appeared in Edible Apple, Network World, MacLife, Macworld UK, and TUAW.

When not analyzing the latest happenings with Apple, Yoni enjoys catching Improv shows in Chicago, playing soccer, and cultivating new TV show addictions.