In June, we noted that Apple is adding a handy new feature to the upcoming OS X Yosemite: the ability for iMessage/Apple ID users to screen share via the Messages app. Screen sharing was a hallmark of early versions of Apple’s Mac “iChat” application, but it has always required an Aol Instant Messenger (AIM), Gmail, Jabber, or Yahoo account. With Yosemite, users can have the same screen sharing experience with just an iMessage/FaceTime/or Apple ID account. Apple activated the feature in this week’s beta release, and it brings some new tricks not found in earlier implementations:
- First, you can block the person (in this case I will block Mike) sending you the screen share request directly from the notification banner.
- You’re also able to turn on or off the audio conversation.
- You also have to authenticate (a second time) for the other user to be able to actually control your screen. Before, a user could just view and control your screen upon the initial start of the screen sharing session.
The screen sharing worked (albeit inconsistently and unreliably) in our testing today, but Apple will certainly (hopefully?) get the feature working properly by Yosemite’s public launch in late-October.