Starting with iOS 17.4 and tvOS 17.4, currently in beta, Apple has expanded SharePlay music control to HomePod speakers and the Apple TV. The feature was tipped to us by Hidde Collee, Aaron Perris, and Benjamin Xing.
This feature allows family and friends to control the music that is playing on your HomePod or Apple TV with permission. For now, this is limited to the Music app, but the other people do not need to have an Apple Music subscription in order to participate.
Apple already rolled out a similar feature for CarPlay last year, allowing anyone in a car to control music playback via SharePlay with permission.
The primary user can decide whether to approve or deny each request.
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, allowing you to remotely grant access to people around the world if so desired.
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.
With the tvOS 17.4 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.
The first beta versions of iOS 17.4, tvOS 17.4, and HomePod software version 17.4 were made available to developers on Thursday for testing. Apple said iOS 17.4 will be released in March, so we can expect the other updates to launch then too.
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