WWDC 2023: What is Apple SharePlay in CarPlay and how does it work? An explainer

Apple announced on Monday that it is expanding SharePlay support to CarPlay, allowing all iPhone users inside a car to control the music playback experience, even if they are sitting in the passenger seats. This means that anyone with an iPhone can control playback, pause, rewind, or fast-forward content in the Apple Music app. 

The announcement was made at the big tech firm’s annual Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC 23). 

Launched in September 2021 and available across multiple Apple devices, SharePlay allows users to share experiences together in real time, even when they are not in the same place. With SharePlay, users can watch a particular movie, listen to an album, play games and share screen with friends and family over a FaceTime call.

While the shared experience works even for movies and games, at WWDC Apple only talked about how SharePlay will work in CarPlay with the Music app, since music playback is the most commonly shared experience in a car.

“We want to make it easier for others in the car to control the music and add to what is playing, even passengers in the back seat. Now, when the driver’s iPhone is connected to CarPlay, any passenger’s iPhone will be prompted to automatically join the session,” Anne Park Shedlosky, Director of tvOS Program Management said at WWDC 23. 

Currently, CarPlay only allows the person whose iPhone is connected to the car’s infotainment screen to control the Apple Music app.

Traditionally, to use SharePlay, users first have to start a FaceTime call and then add the people they wanted to share the experience with. Once the call starts, they can open an app that supports SharePlay and everyone on the call would be able to see and hear the same thing on their screens.

SharePlay in CarPlay seems a lot easier to access, as users in the car will automatically receive a notification on their iPhone asking them to join the session. This means that they won’t have to start a FaceTime call first and then add every person manually. 

Follow entire coverage of the Apple WWDC here

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Updated: 06 Jun 2023, 06:00 AM IST

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