If you have an iOS device like iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch, you have to know about Apple's AirPlay and AirPlay 2. It is a technology that allows you to send music, movies and more from your device to a speaker or a TV. You can even share all the content on your screen, if you wish. But what exactly are they and how to use AirPlay and Airplay 2? We will explain it to you below.
What is airplay?
AirPlay, and its most advanced successor, AirPlay 2, are Apple technologies to enable wireless audio and video transmission from iOS devices to speakers and displays. The iOS device is considered the “transmitter” of AirPlay and the speaker or television is considered the “receiver”. If you have an iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch, with iOS 4.2 or later, you already have AirPlay. Think of AirPlay as an invisible cable that connects your iOS device with the device on which you want to view or listen to content.
There are two different ways to use AirPlay: to stream audio and video, or to share the full screen of your device.
What is the difference between Airplay and Airplay 2?
AirPlay 2 offers some more options about where and how you stream your content. Some features, such as creating a stereo pair from two wireless speakers, are only possible using AirPlay 2.
While AirPlay is already in use on many third-party wireless speakers, in the coming months and years, you can expect them to have AirPlay. 2 video and audio streaming to multiple smart TVs and third-party streaming devices. We have a periodically updated list of smart TVs that have or will receive AirPlay 2, and here is a list of companies that have incorporated the technology into their wireless speakers, AV receivers and more.
Is it only for IOS devices?
No. Any second generation Intel Core (or newer) Mac or laptop computer running OS X Mountain Lion or later can use AirPlay to duplicate the screen. Any computer, Mac or PC, can use AirPlay to stream music if Apple's free iTunes software is installed. And if iTunes leaves with MacOS Catalina, we expect the functionality to be embedded in the applications that will replace it. Apple TV and Apple TV 4K devices are also compatible with AirPlay, although they are special in the world of AirPlay, as they are receivers and senders.
If you do a search on Google, you will find a large community of hardware and software developers who have discovered ingenious ways to use AirPlay with other devices, but Apple does not officially support these, so your results may vary if you choose those alternatives.
What things can I do with Airplay?
Talking about audio and video transmission can be a bit vague, so here are some specific examples of what you can do with AirPlay:
- Netflix display: When you watch a movie or TV show in the Netflix application on your iOS device, you can play the audio and video on your TV using an Apple TV receiver.
- Improve sound for YouTube: By watching a video in the YouTube application, you can play only the audio on a set of wireless speakers for a much more immersive experience, instead of listening to the speaker built into your iPhone or iPad.
- Browse together: Let's say you are planning a road trip with friends. Instead of everyone getting around a 13-inch laptop to look at a map, with Airplay you can mirror your screen on a 65-inch TV, through an Apple TV (or directly if your TV has a built-in AirPlay 2) .
- Party multiroom: Open the Spotify application and choose your favorite playlist. AirPlay transmit these tracks to all the wireless speakers in your home, without delays or annoying echoes.
How to use Airplay and Airplay 2 on iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch?
Using AirPlay may not be easier, but you will need at least three things:
- Your iOS device (obviously).
- A Wi-Fi network (AirPlay requires Wi-Fi, as opposed to Wi-Fi Direct).
- A receiver device compatible with AirPlay or AirPlay 2, such as a wireless speaker, Apple TV or Smart TV.
Example 1: Share your iPhone screen on a TV through Apple TV
- Swipe up from the bottom of the screen to see the iOS Control Center.
- Touch the button Screen mirroring.
- In the next window, select the target device, which in this case will be an Apple TV.
- That's it: your iPhone screen should now appear on your TV
Professional advice: If you don't like how it looks vertically, simply turn the phone and the image on your TV will do the same.
Example 2: Listen to Apple Music on a wireless speaker
- Open the Apple Music application.
- Choose a song, album or playlist.
- On the screen of Reproduction in progress, touch the icon AirPlay Audio.
- In the next window, choose your audio device where you will play the content.
- Touch anywhere outside the window to return to the Apple Music application.
- Now you see that the AirPlay Audio cone shows that you are connected to Dining Room, as we show you in the example in the image above.
- Press the button Play, and that's it.
Professional advice: You can swipe up from the bottom of the screen every time you are playing audio on your iOS device to access the AirPlay Audio control.
Example 3: Watch a YouTube video on your iPad while playing the audio through your wireless speakers
- Open the YouTube application.
- Choose a video to play.
- Touch the cone of AirPlay Video in the lower right corner of the video window.
- In the next menu, select the device where you want to play the audio.
- The audio start playing in the chosen speaker.
- You can also do it by sliding up at any time from the bottom of the screen to access the Control Center and select your speaker (or TV) from the list.
How to use Airplay and Airplay 2 from an Apple TV?
Apple TV and Apple TV 4K are already configured to act as AirPlay receivers for audio and video, but they can also be used as transmitters, although only audio. You may be interested in doing this if you do not have a sound bar or an AV receiver, but you have speakers compatible with AirPlay 2, such as Apple's HomePod.
To stream the audio of a movie or show you are watching:
- While watching, slide down the remote control of your Apple TV.
- Choose Audio.
- Select the speakers or TV you want to send the audio.
To stream the music you are listening to:
- Swipe down the remote control of your Apple TV.
- Select the button AirPlay Audio.
- Select the speakers or TV you want to send the audio.
Professional advice: You can also press and hold the remote control of your Apple TV and select a speaker.
What else can Airplay do?
With Apple open to AV products developed by other manufacturers with AirPlay 2, this technology is becoming an efficient and fast way to manage multiple home A / V devices. We will update this article regularly as new features are added, and new products are integrated into the AirPlay family.
* Updated on January 4, 2020 by Daniel Matus.