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iOS 8.4 was released just over a week ago, with a host of new features and the debut of the new Apple Music app. However, many users that downloaded the update found it was missing a feature previous versions of iOS contained – Home Sharing.
Home Sharing is a feature that lets users stream their iTunes libraries to other devices on their home network. Music and videos could be streamed from a Mac to an iPod Touch, iPad, or Apple TV. While users are still able to stream video to all devices, and music streaming still works with the Apple TV, devices running iOS 8.4 lost Home Sharing with the update.
Home Sharing was a popular feature with users who wanted to maintain their entire iTunes library on only one device, as opposed to a separate iTunes library on their laptop, phone, iPad, etc. Although the feature was listed as “not currently available” under the “known issues” tab in the update, users took to Twitter to express their concern. One user tweeted to Apple’s senior VP of Internet Software and Services Eddy Cue..
“I hope I don’t have to be @taylorswift13 to get you to restore Home Sharing for music!” Confirming that the issue is only a temporary one, Cue replied that Apple is “working to have Home Sharing in iOS 9.”
It’s unclear why Home Sharing was disabled in the iOS 8.4 update. Some news outlets speculate that Apple removed it in an effort to persuade users to sign up for the $14.99/month Apple Music family plan, which allows users to stream the Apple Music service and their entire iTunes libraries to up to six devices. Others argue that Apple likely doesn’t own the licensing rights to stream content from Apple Music over Wi-Fi. Regardless of the reason, it was not a popular move, and one Apple is apparently working to fix in the near future.
Users looking to stream their music currently can resort to third-party alternatives such as VLC Streamer or Plex, but there’s no doubt that Home Sharing is a better option for most iOS users. Those looking to get their hands on iOS 9 will be able to download the public beta later this month, or wait for the official release in September. It’s unclear whether or not the public beta will have Home Sharing functionality restored.