iOS 18 and tvOS 18 Reintroduce SharePlay for Apple Music on HomePods and Apple TV

iOS 18 and tvOS 18 reintroduce SharePlay for Apple Music on the HomePod, HomePod mini, and Apple TV. The feature first appeared in the iOS 17.4 and tvOS 17.4 betas earlier this year, but it was removed before those updates were released.

SharePlay Music Control Expanding Feature 2
This feature allows others to control Apple Music playback on your HomePod or Apple TV with permission, regardless of whether they subscribe to the service. The primary user can decide whether to approve or deny each request.

Apple already rolled out a similar feature for CarPlay last year, allowing anyone in a car to control music playback via SharePlay with permission.

HomePod

While playing a song in the Music app on your iPhone, tap the SharePlay icon at the bottom of the screen to bring up a QR code, which another person can scan with their iPhone or Android smartphone's camera to request access to music playback controls. Even a screenshot of the QR code suffices for remote access.

The feature works on both the HomePod and HomePod mini, and we could imagine the QR code eventually being shown on the long-rumored HomePod with a screen.

Apple TV

With the tvOS 18 update, the Music app on the Apple TV can also show a QR code on the TV that guests can scan to request access to music controls.

The expansion of this feature to the Apple TV and the HomePod is useful for house parties, allowing everyone to be the DJ.

iOS 18, tvOS 18, and HomePod software version 18 are currently in beta, and the updates will be widely released later this year.

Related Roundups: Apple TV, HomePod, HomePod mini

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Top Rated Comments

vertsix Avatar
4 weeks ago
What about AirPort Express?!

I still use it and it's great!
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Surf Monkey Avatar
4 weeks ago
Maybe in the process they’ll get around to making Apple Music have continuity between devices? The fact that it isn’t able to maintain a unified list of play counts, additions and deletions amongst other things is a major functional hole and one that Apple Music/iTunes has suffered from for over a decade. It’s great to get SharePlay back but it’s somewhat meaningless if Apple Music continues to have no continuity.

And to an earlier post: Apple made a mistake by dropping the AirPort line. They’d be smart to reintroduce it. AirPort + AirPlay were the glue holding the home networking system together. Relying on third parties for this is very un-Apple. And on that point, with their renewed focus on “HomeOS” now would be a great time to introduce a next generation AirPort system.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
hagar Avatar
4 weeks ago

Has this worked for anyone using CarPlay? We tried it a few months ago with no success.
It’s very unstable. Requires a permanent mobile connection as far as I know. We used it during a road trip but as soon as we had no connection, the guests were dropped and we needed to pair again manually. No idea why it’s not more robust.

But that’s Apple: they expect pristine internet connections. Everywhere. All the time.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Lounge vibes 05 Avatar
4 weeks ago

I have the developer beta installed on an iPhone 12 Pro, but I'm not seeing the SharePlay interface in the Music app or the Home hub prioritization in the Home app. Are these features not supported on older devices?
You also have to have both your HomePods and Apple TVs on version 18.0 for any of this to work properly.
And my understanding is you can’t install the beta firmware on a first generation HomePod.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Surf Monkey Avatar
4 weeks ago

It’s very unstable. Requires a permanent mobile connection as far as I know. We used it during a road trip but as soon as we had no connection, the guests were dropped and we needed to pair again manually. No idea why it’s not more robust.

But that’s Apple: they expect pristine internet connections. Everywhere. All the time.
Inside the spaceship data scarcity is an unknown condition.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Tofupunch Avatar
4 weeks ago

Has this worked for anyone using CarPlay? We tried it a few months ago with no success.
We tried it when it was first introduced and it didn't work. We tried again a few months later (after an update I think?) and it worked. It was a little wonky though. I had created a playlist then use SharePlay to allow my wife to add songs to it on the fly on a road trip. It worked pretty well. We tried to use the same play list later and were having issues. New songs that were added were not loading, or took a long time to load. She tried to reorder the playlist and those changes weren't reflected in CarPlay. I haven't tried it in a few months. This is a good opportunity to test it out again.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)