Explanation of Apple’s wireless streaming and mirroring technology
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AirPlay is a proprietary wireless streaming technology developed by Apple that lets you stream audio, video, and other media from one device to another over a network. AirPlay lets you share content from your iPhone, iPad, or Mac with an Apple TV, HomePod, or other compatible device like a speaker system or Smart TV.
To be able to use AirPlay, you need a device that supports it, e.g. B. an Apple TV or a speaker system with built-in AirPlay support. You will also need a device that can act as an AirPlay source, such as a B. an iPhone, iPad or Mac. You can then use the AirPlay feature on your source device to select the AirPlay-compatible device you want to stream to, and the content will be sent wirelessly from the source to that device.
For example, if you have an Apple TV connected to your TV and want to watch a movie from your iPhone, you can use AirPlay to stream the movie from your iPhone to Apple TV and watch it on your TV. If you have a speaker system that supports AirPlay and want to hear music from your Mac, you can use AirPlay to stream the music from your Mac to the speaker system.
AirPlay is one of the easiest ways for users to stream or mirror content from their Apple devices to a compatible television, speaker, or Apple TV. This article explains what AirPlay can do and how you can use it.
What is AirPlay?
AirPlay is an Apple technology that enables screen mirroring and streaming between devices. Like Chromecast, it works with video and audio content available both locally on the device and online. You can stream just about anything from photos, videos, presentations, music and podcasts from iPhone, Mac, iPod touch or iPad.
Because AirPlay is deeply integrated into Apple devices and any other device marked as “Works with Apple AirPlay,” the experience is completely seamless and you don’t need any additional software to make it work.
While the original AirPlay was a one-to-one protocol that allowed streaming from your phone to a speaker or an iPad to a TV, AirPlay 2, introduced in 2018, expanded its capabilities. Now you can use your Apple device to stream audio to multiple speakers simultaneously. Unfortunately, you cannot stream a video to multiple devices at the same time.
AirPlay requires the source and receiver devices to be on the same Wi-Fi network or connected to the same router via Ethernet. Apple introduced a feature called peer-to-peer AirPlay in 2014 that works even if both devices aren’t on the same network or on either network, but it doesn’t seem to work with all AirPlay operations.
How is AirPlay different from Bluetooth?
There are a few key differences that make AirPlay a better alternative to Bluetooth.
AirPlay works over WiFi. AirPlay can send both video and audio. Much more range, thanks to the Internet theoretically limitless. AirPlay is capable of higher quality than Bluetooth thanks to its reliance on Internet-based protocols instead of Bluetooth’s limitations.
Which devices support AirPlay?
Among Apple devices, you can use AirPlay on all iPhone, iPod touch, iPad, and Mac models from late 2012 or after running the latest version of their operating system. Additionally, you can also use AirPlay on iTunes for Windows, but that’s the extent of Windows support. All of these are essentially transmitter devices, meaning they can initiate a stream or mirror from them to a receiver device.
Compared to the transmitters, which are mainly made by Apple, the AirPlay receivers include:
Choose smart TVs from LG, Samsung, Sony and Vizio. Select Roku TVs and streaming devices Some Fire TV devices Select AV receivers from Arcam, B&O, Bluesound, Bose, B&W, Denon, Integra, JBL, Marantz, Onkyo, Pioneer, Yamaha and more. HomePod models and select speakers from B&O, Bluesound, Bose, Denon, Harman Kardon, JBL, Philips, Sonos, Yamaha and more. 2017 or later models of Macs running macOS Monterey
You will find the full list of AirPlay compatible devices on the Apple website. You can also identify an AirPlay-compatible device by its “Works with Apple AirPlay” label.
How to use AirPlay to stream and mirror content
As mentioned, AirPlay is useful for a number of things, including streaming movies, videos, music, and podcasts. You can also use it to mirror your iPad or iPhone screen and mirror or extend your Mac screen.
How to stream content with AirPlay
If you want to stream content from an app on your iPhone, iPad, or Mac, look for the AirPlay icon in the app. You can usually find it right next to the playback controls. However, in some cases you may have to go to Options or the Share menu to get it. Tap the AirPlay button and the Apple device will display a list of compatible devices in your area. Select the device you want to AirPlay the content on and you’re good to go. If you want to stop AirPlay, tap the icon again and select the device you’re using.
The same instructions work if you want to play content using iTunes on Windows AirPlay. Additionally, if you’re trying to stream audio but don’t see an AirPlay button in the app, you can use Control Center to trigger AirPlay to compatible speakers. If your speakers are AirPlay 2 compatible, you can stream audio to multiple speakers at the same time.
How to mirror content with AirPlay
To mirror your iPhone, iPad, or Mac screen to Apple TV or an AirPlay 2 compatible smart TV, open Control Center on your device and tap the Screen Mirroring icon. If you’re using an older macOS version, you’ll need to click the AirPlay icon in the menu bar instead of a Screen Mirroring icon in Control Center. If you don’t see the AirPlay icon, you need to go to System Preferences > Display and enable the option “Show mirroring options in menu bar when available”. Once you click on the screen mirroring or AirPlay icon, your device will show a list of compatible displays and you can select the one you want to screen mirror to. If your AirPlay-compatible screen displays a passcode, enter that passcode on your original device. Once mirroring has started, you can tap the screen mirroring icon for more options, including using your TV to extend your Mac’s display.
While AirPlay does what it’s supposed to do pretty well, it also has some limitations. For example, you can only use AirPlay from one app on your Apple device at a time. So you can’t AirPlay a movie from the Apple TV app on your TV and a song from Apple Music on a speaker at the same time.
Additionally, as mentioned earlier, AirPlay is limited to Apple devices. Although some workarounds and hacks exist for other platforms, they are time consuming and usually not worth the effort.
AirPlay is a great option for Apple device users who want to wirelessly stream or mirror content. It’s especially useful if you use multiple Apple devices as it’s fully integrated with the Apple ecosystem. Additionally, Apple has continued to update and expand the capabilities of AirPlay, so it continues to be a valuable tool that meets the changing needs of its users.
Do you use AirPlay on your Apple devices? How is your experience with it? Let us know in the comments section. We also have similar explanations on Miracast and Chromecast.