Apple removes HomePlay and Apple TV SharePlay from latest 17.4 betas — here’s what you need to know

Apple SharePlay iOS 15 no Netflix
(Image credit: Apple)

Apple has pulled the SharePlay feature for the HomePod and Apple TV in the iOS 17.4 and tvOS 17.4 betas, indicating that these features will likely not be included in the final release.

SharePlay, which was originally introduced in the iOS 15 update, allows users to watch television, use apps, and play games together over Facetime. Apple has been increasing its features and abilities over the last few updates. For instance, the eventual release of CarPlay that allowed everyone in the car to easily contribute songs to a shared playlist and ended the war over the aux cord.

When it comes to the HomePod and Apple TV, the SharePlay feature would have allowed users to generate a QR code on either the Apple TV or an iPhone. This QR code could then be scanned by friends and family, who could then play music through the devices. It also only required the HomePod or Apple TV owner to have an Apple Music account, everyone else could add songs without any necessary subscription.

The Apple TV Channels section of the Apple TV app

(Image credit: Future)

Apple has not yet revealed why it's pulled the feature from the beta, and it is not clear if it'll return. The question is if this is a necessary choice, or if it is a deliberate one. It wouldn't be the first time Apple has pulled a feature during a beta out of concern for how it was used. The collaborative playlist feature was promised and then pulled from several editions of iOS 17

The iOS 17.4 beta has proven to be one of the more dramatic OS updates in recent years. While it appears relatively light on features, it brings one of the biggest changes that Apple has implemented in a long time. One of the biggest changes is allowing third-party app stores onto the device to comply with new EU legislation, although the reaction to the proposed plans has not been positive so far.

Features are often pulled from betas for a variety of reasons, usually because the implementation isn’t quite working as it should. We don't know if the feature will make a return in another beta, or if it will be held off until a future release. We'll likely have to wait until March when iOS 17.4 is expected to be released to the general public.

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Josh is a staff writer for Tom's Guide and is based in the UK. He has worked for several publications but now works primarily on mobile phones. Outside of phones, he has a passion for video games, novels, and Warhammer.