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Over the past years, FaceTime and Messages have seen some major improvements. One is SharePlay, the watch-party-like feature that allows you to watch/listen to content together. But what is SharePlay, and how exactly does it work?
I spent some time exploring SharePlay on FaceTime and Messages. In this detailed guide, you’ll learn everything about SharePlay in iOS 16.
What is Apple SharePlay?
SharePlay enables you to watch or listen to content together on your iPhone, iPad, or Mac during a FaceTime call or via Messages. You can binge movies and shows, listen to the same playlist, and even share your screen.
Remarkably, everyone can control what’s playing, so a person on the call can play, pause or skip forward according to their convenience.
While SharePlay in FaceTime or Messages isn’t offering some novelty, the essence of this feature lies in its deep integration within the Apple ecosystem. Thus, you can conveniently share and enjoy various types of content in real time with your friends.
Which devices and services support SharePlay?
FaceTime SharePlay is available for devices running iOS 15, iPadOS 15, tvOS 15, and macOS Monterey and above.
However, SharePlay via Messages is a relatively new feature available with iOS 16, iPadOS 16, tvOS 16, and macOS Ventura.
Note: iPadOS 16 and macOS Ventura will release in October.
Compatible apps and services
SharePlay supports Apple Music, Apple Fitness+, Apple TV+, Disney+, TikTok, HBO Max, NBA, Paramount+, SHOWTIME, TikTok, Twitch, and many more apps and games.
However, compatibility is one part; the next big step is a subscription. Remember that you will need an active subscription of the app/content being SharePlay.
How to SharePlay in Messages in iOS 16
How to use SharePlay on FaceTime on iPhone
As mentioned above, you can share music, watch movies/shows, and share screens via FaceTime SharePlay. So, let’s see how it’s done.
Like Spotify Group Sessions, you can now listen to music with your friends on FaceTime. Here’s how.How to share music on FaceTime in iOS 16
This will start playing the song on both devices. Moreover, you can invite more of your friends and listen to the song together in sync, and everyone on the call will have control over the playback. They need to have the app installed on their device and subscribed to the same.
Start a watch party using FaceTime SharePlay
Note: For watching movies or shows together with your friends on FaceTime, you’ll need to have the supported app, and you also need to be subscribed to the streaming service being used during the call.
First, open the FaceTime app.
Now, call or share the invite link with your friends.
Open any supported app, and play whatever you want to watch together.
The movie or TV show will start playing in sync on everyone’s device. You will also be able to chat with each other. In addition, every user on the call will have playback controls.
Note: You can also use your Apple TV to stream the content while chatting with your friends on your iPhone.
How to Screen Share via FaceTime
As you may already know, screen sharing refers to the ability to present your screen and enable others to watch it in real-time using video conferencing apps like Zoom. FaceTime now enables you to do this and beyond using its SharePlay feature (as explained above).
Can I use FaceTime SharePlay with Android and Windows?
As of now, SharePlay is exclusive to Apple devices. Sharing screen, music, or streaming content with Android or Windows devices over FaceTime is not possible.
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Apple introduced Quick Note as one of the best new iPadOS 15 features earlier last year. What makes this a useful feature is its ability to let you start taking notes from anywhere on your device. So whenever an interesting idea strikes, or if you wish to pen down important points in a meeting, you need not open the Apple Notes app and use the Quick Notes instead. Now, with the release of iOS 16, Apple has extended this productivity-centric feature to provide a quick and simplified note-taking experience on iPhone as well. If you have installed iOS 16 on your iPhone and want to try this feature, let me show you how to enable and use Quick Note on your device.Enable and Use Quick Note on iPhone (2024)
iOS 16 not only allows you to add a Quick Note icon to your iPhone’s Control Center but also use it in other handy ways. Quick Note is even integrated into the iPhone share sheet so you can access it in several supported apps like Safari, Pages, Voice Memos, etc. To find out more, let’s dive right in!Add Quick Note Icon to iPhone Control Center
1. First, open the Settings app on your iPhone and select “Control Center“.
2. Under the “More Controls” section, find “Quick Note” and tap the green “+” button next to it. That’s it! The Quick Note icon will now show up in the control center.Use Quick Note on Your iPhone
Once the Quick Note icon is available in your device’s Control Center, taking a Quick Note is merely a tap away. Here’s how it works:
1. First, bring up the control center on your iPhone.
On iPhone/iPad with Face ID: Swipe down from the upper-right corner of the screen.
On iPhone/iPad with Touch ID: Swipe up from the bottom edge of the screen.
2. Then, tap on the Quick Note icon (sticky note with a squiggly line).
3. Now, a Quick Note window will appear on the iPhone screen to let you jot down your thoughts or anything that you want to take note of. Since it provides all the familiar formatting tools and features, including a document scanner and markup, so you can take notes with the desired efficiency. Make sure to tap “Save” at the top-right corner to save your note.Save a Safari Website Link to Quick Note on iPhone Add Quick Note Action to Safari on iPhone
1. Open “Safari” and head over to a web page. Then, tap on the “Share” button and hit “Edit Actions” that appears at the bottom of the share sheet.
2. Under Safari, tap the “+” button to the left of “Add to Quick Note“.
3. If you want to easily access the Quick Note action, touch and hold the three horizontal lines next to the action and move it to the preferred spot in the list. In the end, tap “Done” to finish.Save a Website Link to Quick Note on iPhone
Once you have added the Quick Note action to Safari, saving a website link to read later is dead simple. Here’s how to go about it:
2. Now, tap “Add to Quick Note” in the share sheet menu to see the Quick Note overlay on your screen. Here, you can add an important note (optional) and then tap “Save” at the top-right to save your note.Use Quick Note to Save Text on Your iPhone
At times, you may want to save a snippet of text instead of an entire article. In such a situation, you can use Quick Note to save the selected text on your iPhone.Create a Quick Note from Voice Memos App on iPhone
Notably, you can also create a Quick Note from the Voice Memos app. When recording audio on your iPhone, you can quickly pen down ideas without quitting the Voice Memos app.
1. Open the Voice Memos app and tap on the three-dot icon next to your recording.
Note: As stated above, Quick Note is integrated into the share sheet on iPhone. If you want to access the Quick Note window from inside any supported app, tap on the Share icon and then look for the ‘New Quick Note’ option.How to Access and View All Your Quick Notes on iPhone
1. Open the Apple Notes app on your iPhone.
2. Now, tap on the Quick Notes folder and check out all your quick notes. You can also manage them just like any other note.Use Quick Note to Instantly Pen Down Ideas on iPhone
iOS 16 offers significant lock screen customizations. While the initial version of iOS 16 didn’t offer an easy way to separate the lock screen and home screen wallpapers, that has been rectified in iOS 16.1. Thankfully, you can now easily set a different wallpaper for the lock and home screen. Let’s check three methods to have a different lock and home screen wallpaper on iPhone.
1. Set Different Home Screen Wallpaper for the Existing Lock Screen
If you have already created a lock screen on your iPhone, follow these steps to use a different home screen wallpaper for it:
Note: This method works on iOS 16.1+ only. Please update your iPhone’s software.
1. Swipe down from the top edge of your iPhone to open the Notification panel.
2. Touch and hold on to any empty space on the notification panel until you see the lock screen customization options.
3. Go to the lock screen whose home screen wallpaper you want to change. Tap on the Customize button at the bottom of the lock screen.
4. The Customize wallpaper screen will show up. Tap on the Home screen.
5. Then, set a new wallpaper for the home screen. You can choose from a solid color, or gradient, or add wallpaper from your photos. You can even add a blur effect to your wallpaper. Tap on Done at the top.
That’s it. Now, your iPhone’s lock and home screen wallpaper will be different.
2. Set Different Home and Lock Screen Wallpapers From Settings
You can keep different lock and home screen wallpapers from iPhone settings as well.
1. Open Settings on your iPhone.
2. Go to Wallpapers and tap on Customize under the home screen layout.
3. Now, choose a wallpaper for your current lock screen and hit Done at the top to apply the wallpaper.
Pro Tip: Learn the best iOS home screen customization tips.
3. Set Different Home Screen Wallpaper for New Lock Screen Wallpaper
If you want to set a different home screen wallpaper for a new lock screen on your iPhone, follow these steps:
1. Long press any empty space on the lock screen or notification panel to open the lock screen customization screen.
2. Tap on the Add (+) button at the bottom.
3. Select the preferred lock screen wallpaper.
4. Customize the lock screen by adding widgets like battery, weather, or changing the time font, etc. Once you have edited your lock screen, tap on Done or Add at the top.
5. Now, here’s the important step. Instead of pressing Set as wallpaper pair, tap on Customize home screen.
6. Then, set a different wallpaper for the home screen. In case you choose Set as wallpaper pair, you can always change the home screen wallpaper as shown in methods 1 or 2.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. How to set different stock wallpapers on the home screen and lock screen on iPhone?
Sadly, iOS currently doesn’t let you set different stock wallpaper like Astronomy on the home and lock screen. You can set a stock wallpaper on the home screen only if paired with the lock screen. However, you may simply do a Google search for “iOS 16 wallpapers”, download the preferred one on your phone, and set it on your home screen by choosing the Photos option when setting the home screen wallpaper.
2. How to link Focus to the lock screen in iOS 16?
Touch and hold the notification panel to open the lock screen customization. Then, tap on Focus at the bottom of the lock screen. Select the focus to link to that lock screen. Learn how to use focus modes on your iPhone.
3. How to change the font and color of time on the lock screen in iOS 16?
Go to the lock screen editing mode. Tap on the Customize button at the bottom. Then, tap on time to change its font and color. Similarly, tap on the Globe icon to change the time style to Arabic, Devanagiri, etc. Check out other tips to customize the lock screen on your iPhone.
Use Wallpapers Like a Pro on iPhone
I hope you were able to set different wallpapers for the home and lock screen on your iPhone. Similarly, learn how to change wallpaper automatically on iPhone. Also, know how to set video as wallpaper on iPhone.
You will feel like the audio is coming from all around you. And you can move your head around to feel the dynamic 3D effect when listening to music on your AirPods or Beats Fit Pro.
“Personalized Spatial Audio enables an even more precise and immersive listening experience. Listeners can use the TrueDepth camera on iPhone to create a personal profile for Spatial Audio that delivers a listening experience tuned just for them,” says Apple.
For those confused about Spatial Audio in the first place, it gives you a surround sound experience by adding extra depth to the audio. Initially, it was available only for selected movies and TV shows. Later, the giant released a newer Spatial Audio with Dolby Atmos for Apple Music.
You can use Personalized Spatial Audio to enjoy a 3D surround sound experience (with dynamic head tracking) and clear instruments and vocals. You’ll feel like you’re inside the music. But you need compatible devices- we’ll talk more about it below.
Personalized Spatial Audio scans and analyzes the geometry of your head and the position and shape of your ears. Apple then uses this information to establish what particular angle the audio will enter your ears, with the right mix, to provide better spaciousness around your ear.
Since everyone has a different ear structure, analyzing it allows the iPhone to tune the audio based on your unique ear shape. On AirPods Pro 2, Apple uses adaptive EQ, powered by microphones placed on the buds that go inside your ear to adjust the audio levels for a more realistic and consistent listening experience.
Setting up Personalized Spatial Audio requires an iPhone with a TrueDepth Camera and iOS 16. Post which, you can use the feature on your Apple devices (logged into your Apple ID) mentioned below:
Earphones or headphones that support Spatial Audio: AirPods Pro, AirPods Pro 2, AirPods Gen 3, AirPods Max, or Beats Fit Pro.
An iPhone with a TrueDepth Camera: iPhone X, iPhone XR, iPhone 11-series, iPhone 12-series, iPhone 13-series, and iPhone 14-series.
Spatial Audio Content: You’ll also need apps like Apple Music and streaming services such as Apple TV, Hulu, Amazon Music and Prime Video, Netflix, Discovery+, and more that support Spatial Audio.
Once set up, you can also use Spatial Audio on Apple’s latest M1 and M2-based MacBook Air and Pro, followed by specific iPad models and Apple TV 4K.
Spatial Audio, as a feature, is not limited to Apple devices. The OnePlus Buds Pro 2 we reviewed recently, too, support spatial audio for enhanced surround sound on OnePlus phones. Plus, the new Android 13 brings native support for Spatial Audio.
You can take a demo of how Spatial Audio works on your iPhone before setting up the feature. Here’s how to do it:
2. Open Settings on your iPhone.
3. Here, tap on the connected AirPods.
You’ll find that while stereo pushes the audio only from the left and right channels, Spatial ensures you hear it from all directions around your head. You experience a three-dimensional sound that follows the movement of your head (for supported content) with consistent sensation and clarity.
1. Connect your AirPods with your iPhone. To do so, open the lid and place it near your iPhone. Then, press and hold the button on the back of the charging case when prompted. Do not wear them yet.
3. Here, tap the name of your AirPods.
Front View Capture: Pace your face in the camera frame. Then, move your head in a circle to show all angles of your face, similar to setting up Face ID.
Right Ear Capture: Show your right ear in the camera frame. Move your head to the right and left as instructed to capture all angles of your ear.
Left Ear Capture: Show your left ear in the camera frame and move your head to the right and left to finish the scan.
7. Proceed with each scan, follow the instructions, and hit Continue.
We completed the setup within minutes without any problems whatsoever. However, if you face errors during the scan, ensure nothing obstructs the view of your ears and that nothing overlaps the Face ID camera.
Once setup, you can put your AirPods in your ear and play music or recording that supports Spatial Audio. For example, you can listen to Dolby recordings on Apple Music or watch a compatible show on Netflix, such as Interstellar or Transformers The Dark Knight.
You can turn on or off Spatial Audio and dynamic head tracking on iPhone and Mac, as shown below:On iPhone or iPad
1. Wear your AirPods while ensuring they’re connected to your iPhone.
2. Open Control Center and touch and hold the Volume control.
Off: Turns off both Spatial Audio and head tracking.
Fixed: Spatial Audio is enabled without head tracking.
Head Tracked: Turns on both Spatial Audio and head tracking.On Mac
1. Wear your AirPods and ensure they’re connected to your Mac.
3. Under Spatialize Audio, select between Off, Fixed, or Head Tracked.
Spatial Audio can temporarily be turned off from the control center method given above. However, if you want to stop using the feature, you can delete the scan data and disable Personalized Spatial Audio on both your iPhone and Mac, as shown below. Once you disable it, you’ll have to set it up again from scratch.On iPhone
1. Open Settings on your iPhone or iPad.
2. Tap the name of your AirPods.
3. Tap Personalized Spatial Audio and hit Stop Using Personalized Spatial Audio.On Mac
2. Tap the name of your AirPods on the sidebar.
If your iPhone or Mac doesn’t let you spatialize the audio, try the solutions below:
Ensure you have AirPods or Beats headphones that support the Personalized Spatial Audio feature.
Setup Personalized Spatial Audio from settings if you haven’t already via the guide above.
Use an app with content that supports Spatial Audio, like Apple Music, Netflix, Hulu, etc. If on Mac, open YouTube on Safari and play Dolby content.
Turn Off Mono audio (if enabled) in the Accessibility settings on your iPhone and Mac.
Update the AirPods firmware.
Update your iPhone to iOS 16 if not yet done.
Try resetting and re-pairing your AirPods to see if Spatial Audio starts working.Q. What Does Personalized Spatial Audio Do?
Personalized Spatial Audio uses the TrueDepth Camera on your iPhone to scan your face, head, and ears to create a personal profile for Spatial Audio tuned specifically for you and your hearing.Q. Spatial Audio vs Personalized Spatial Audio: What’s the Difference?
Spatial Audio brings a theatre-like experience to the movie you’re watching or music you’re listening to. It produces 3D surround sound and creates a richer and more immersive soundstage. Personalized Spatial Audio takes it to the next level by creating an even more precise, consistent, and immersive listening experience by scanning your head profile.Q. Is Scanning Face for Personalized Spatial Audio Privacy-Friendly and Secure?
Apple claims that camera data used to create your personalized spatial profile is processed entirely on your iPhone. It does not store any images. Moreover, the spatial profile synced across your other devices connected to the iCloud is end-to-end encrypted and cannot be read by Apple.Q. Should You Buy New AirPods for Personalized Spatial Audio?
Suppose you love listening to music and watching movies with a 3-dimensional effect or often find yourself binging Dolby content and those multi-directional audio mixes on YouTube, then yes; in that case, you can consider investing in a pair of new AirPods.Q. Does Spatial Audio on AirPods Work with Android Phones?
No. While AirPods can be used with any Android phone to play music via Bluetooth, you lose a lot of features like Spatial Audio, Ear Tip Fit test, Adaptive Transparency, battery life indicator, and more.
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Aside from the fun-loving Live Stickers, “Check In” is another major feature that has arrived in Apple Messages. You can use this important feature to automatically notify your friends or loved ones when you get to your destination.
Yeah, you no longer need to take the hassle of manually notifying your friends. On this very note, let’s learn how to set up and use Apple Check In in Messages app on iPhone in iOS 17.
Use Apple Check In in Messages App in iOS 17
It would be better to have a clear understanding of how this notable iMessage feature works at the start itself.
What is Apple Check In in IOS 17 and How Does It Work?
It is obvious that our friends and families expect us to inform them whenever we go outside. Unfortunately, at times, we forget to inform them when were reach our destination. That’s when the Apple Check In comes into the game. The Check In feature in the iOS 17 Messages app offers you an excellent way to let your loved ones know whether you’ve arrived at your destination or you’re still on the way there.
Moreover, in case you’re getting late towards your destination or not moving there, then your iPhone’s battery life, network signal, last unlock, and the like will get shared with your friends. If your progress stops, Apple Check In prompts you.
If you fail to respond within 15 minutes of being prompted, it will automatically share the selected information with your friend. Most of all, all the information will be confidential and end-to-end encrypted, so there’s no worry about confidentiality.
Must-Haves for Using Apple Check In Feature on Your iPhone
In order for the Check In feature to function properly, both the sender and recipient have iOS 17 or later installed on their respective device.
As you may have already guess, the Check In feature requires you to have an active data plan.
Use Check In Feature in iMessage on iPhone
First off, open the Messages app on your iPhone.
Navigate to the chat thread where you would like to share your location and tap on the plus ” +” on the left of the message box.
Then, tap on the “More” option.
Now, select “Check In”.
Have a look at the reading that gives a brief description of what Check In is. Tap on Continue.
Tap on Continue again and then choose to share either Limited or Full information. In the end, tap on Send a Check In to start sharing your location information with your friend.
Customize Your Apple Check In iMessage on Your iPhone
Apple provides you the needed option to make changes to Check In depending on your needs.
Launch the Messages app and open the chat where you have sent your Check In information.
Now, tap on the can tap on “Edit” option.
Next, tap on When I arrive/After a timer and make the needed changes.
When you are done making changes, hit the Done button at the upper right corner of the screen to finish.
When you’ve done these all, the Check In feature calculates the distance of your live location from your home and then displays an estimated time for arrival to the recipient. Apart from these basic functionalities, the Check In has some more features in store to offer you like_
In case you’re running late, you’ll be able to expand the estimated arrival time as per your circumstances.
As your device tracks your progress continuously, whenever it finds any gap in activity, it’ll ask you if everything is going right and allows you to send an emergency alarm.
Read more: How to Download and Install iOS 17 Developer Beta on iPhone
At a time where work from home has taken center stage, screen sharing has become a must-have feature in every video conferencing app. Considering how essential this feature is for collaboration and presentation, most video-conferencing services like Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Google Meet have supported it for the longest time. Better later than never, Apple’s FaceTime video calling service has also joined the party with seamless SharePlay (enabling you to watch movies, TV shows, and listen to music together with friends) and screen sharing features. That means you can now share your screen using FaceTime on Mac for improved collaboration. With that said, let me show you how screen sharing works in FaceTime on macOS Monterey.Share Screen Using FaceTime on Mac (December 2023)
Before getting started, make sure to check the requirements to keep hardware or software incompatibility at bay while using this nifty new FaceTime feature.How Does Screen Sharing Work in FaceTime on Mac & What Are the Requirements?
As for the requirements, your Apple devices must be running macOS 12.1, iOS 15.1 or later, and iPadOS 15.1 or later. It’s worth pointing out the devices of all the participants must also be equipped with the supported operating systems and not just the host.Can You Use FaceTime Share Screen with Android or Windows Users?
The Facetime functionality is rather limited on Android and Windows devices. To be more precise, non-Apple device users are merely allowed to join a FaceTime call (audio/ video) via a link. Forget about generating a FaceTime call link. They can’t even take part in any screen-sharing or SharePlay-enabled calls. What if that non-Apple device owner happens to be a loved one or close friend? Wouldn’t they feel left out of your movie night or the exciting virtual watch party powered by SharePlay? Sure they would.
A light FaceTime web app with all the basic features could have been a better option. It would have not only delivered a great experience to the end-user but also for Apple’s effort to establish its video-calling app as a compelling alternative to Zoom or Google Meet. While the rest of the world puts emphasis on connecting lives during the pandemic, FaceTime seems to be disconnected more than ever before. Hopefully, Apple listens to user feedback and fixes it sooner than later.Enable and Use Screen Sharing in FaceTime on macOS Monterey
1. To get started, launch the FaceTime app on your Mac.
4. Now, you will get two options in the FaceTime menu bar drop-down menu.
Window: Select it to share a specific window or an app with others in the FaceTime call.
Screen: Choose it to share your entire Mac screen with the users in the FaceTime call.
5. Under the “Choose Window or Screen to Share” option in the drop-down menu, select the desired option as per your need, and you are all set. If you choose the Window option, you will need to select a specific window from the apps open in the background.How to Change Shared Window in FaceTime on Mac How to Stop Sharing Window or Screen in FaceTime on Mac Learn How to Use Screen Share in FaceTime on Mac
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