You can now watch YouTube videos with friends over FaceTime

YouTube Premium logo
(Image credit: YouTube)

YouTube has started to roll out SharePlay on iOS compatibility for YouTube Premium subscribers. 

With a YouTube Premium subscription, you can now watch videos with your friends and family directly from FaceTime calls, similar to how it works for Apple TV.

SharePlay compatibility will arrive on iOS devices over the next few weeks alongside other long-anticipated YouTube features that haven't yet been available on iPhone and iPad. 

These features include an enhanced bitrate version of 1080p HD quality that allows for better details and motion, which should take advantage of the ProMotion displays on the iPhone 14 Pro. The better-quality videos are expected to launch in the coming weeks. 

iPhone users will also finally get a "Continue Watching" prompt when returning to the app after leaving during a video. This has been available on Android for some time and is an excellent addition to YouTube on iOS.

More YouTube features behind a paywall

As a YouTube Premium subscriber, these new additions sound like great features that I might regularly use, although it does leave free users feeling even more isolated.

Initially, I subscribed to YouTube Premium to remove adverts from the hundreds of YouTube videos I watch monthly, and it has been the best subscription I pay for that exact reason. 

That said, as a YouTube Premium subscriber, you sometimes don't realize what features are behind YouTube's paywall. One of those features is the ability to watch videos Picture-in-Picture on iOS, which most other apps allow you to do without paying a premium. Add on top background listening, and YouTube Premium is quickly becoming the only way to experience the streaming app properly.

By gatekeeping a basic iOS feature like SharePlay, YouTube is secluding its free users even further when it should be included for everyone. As a paid subscriber, these new features are exciting, but the app becomes even more distant for those who don't want to spend more money on streaming services. 

John-Anthony Disotto
How To Editor

John-Anthony Disotto is the How To Editor of iMore, ensuring you can get the most from your Apple products and helping fix things when your technology isn’t behaving itself.

Living in Scotland, where he worked for Apple as a technician focused on iOS and iPhone repairs at the Genius Bar, John-Anthony has used the Apple ecosystem for over a decade and prides himself in his ability to complete his Apple Watch activity rings.

John-Anthony has previously worked in editorial for collectable TCG websites and graduated from The University of Strathclyde where he won the Scottish Student Journalism Award for Website of the Year as Editor-in-Chief of his university paper. He is also an avid film geek, having previously written film reviews and received the Edinburgh International Film Festival Student Critics award in 2019. 

John-Anthony also loves to tinker with other non-Apple technology and enjoys playing around with game emulation and Linux on his Steam Deck.

In his spare time, John-Anthony can be found watching any sport under the sun from football to darts, taking the term “Lego house” far too literally as he runs out of space to display any more plastic bricks, or chilling on the couch with his French Bulldog, Kermit.