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Signature iOS 15 feature SharePlay boosted as Twitch joins the party

Apple SharePlay, the company’s FaceTime-based interpretation of a streaming ‘watch party’ now benefits from Twitch support.

The gaming-focused streaming service has rolled out an update that makes it possible for groups of up to 32 people to view Twitch content simultaneously on an iPhone or iPad (as well as the forgotten-but-not-gone iPod touch!).

Users will naturally need iOS 15.1 or iPadOS 15.1 – which introduced SharePlay earlier this month – as well as the Twitch app installed on their devices and will need to be logged-in or sign-up for an account. Once Apple users are in an active FaceTime call it’s now possible to play a Twitch stream for all participants in the call.

So, if you want to have a digital party while watching your favourite game streamers dominate the competition, here’s what you have to do via the Twitch support page:

  • Once in a call, open the Twitch app and play a stream you would like to watch together.
  • For your first SharePlay session, FaceTime will ask you if you would like to play the stream for just you or for everyone in the call. It will remember your selection thereafter.
  • Choose to play it for everyone and Twitch will open the stream on everyone’s device and playback will begin syncing between all participants’ devices.
  • While watching together with SharePlay, all participating callers will be kept in sync at the same point in the stream. Controls that affect stream playback, such as pause and play, will also sync.

Twitch says each viewer can still participate in chats within the stream as well as follow, subscribe, cheap and more. All participants will be able to change the channel being watched, although other viewers will be asked if they want to continue viewing the existing channel.

Right now it’s mainly Apple’s own apps like Fitness Plus, Apple Music and Apple TV+ benefitting from the rollout of SharePlay. NBA, Paramount Plus, Showtime and TikTok also support the app, while integration is either pending or underway with apps like Disney Plus, ESPN, HBO Max, Hulu, MasterClass, Pantaya, Pluto TV, and Starz.

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