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How to remotely control an iPhone or iPad over SharePlay | iOS 18 Guide

iOS 18 significantly enhances SharePlay with new remote control features, making it easier to assist others and collaborate in real time. These features are perfect for tech support or long-distance collaboration.

We’ve used an iPad to illustrate this feature, but it works just the same on an iPhone.

Note: This guide previews upcoming features. iOS 18 and iPadOS 18 are due for release September 2024, with a public beta in July.

Sharing a screen

Start by opening FaceTime and calling the person you want to assist. To share your own screen, tap the Share button at the top and then Share My Screen. If you want to see theirs, you’ll have to ask the other person to press Share > Share My Screen instead.

Once a screen is being shared, that person can return to the Home Screen or another app and everything they do will be shown on the FaceTime call.

Before we move on, note that while basic screen sharing works on older versions, the following features require both parties to have at least iOS 18 or iPadOS 18 installed.

Live annotation

While screen sharing is active, the person who isn’t sharing can draw on the sharer’s screen, which is incredibly useful for providing clear instructions. Tap anywhere on the screen to start drawing. Your annotations will appear in real-time on the other person’s display.

Remote control

Now it’s time to actually control a remote device. While someone is sharing with you, tap the hand button in the top right to request control. They will receive a prompt asking for permission. After they accept, you can control their iPhone or iPad just as if you were holding it yourself. You can navigate settings, open apps, and demonstrate actions directly on their screen​.

It’s a huge change for helping less tech-savvy family members: instead of trying to explain each step over the phone, you can directly control their device and show them exactly what to do!