This technology works seamlessly in any Apple device and any other device that has “Work with Apple AirPlay”, as mentioned and users won’t even need any additional software to run it. The first generation of AirPlay was a one-to-one protocol that only connected two devices, but Apple introduced Airplay 2 in 2018, expanding its capabilities. With Airplay 2, users can connect their Apple devices to stream audio to multiple speakers simultaneously. Although it can’t support streaming video to many devices simultaneously, yet.
This technology needs the transmitter and receiver devices to be on the same Wi-Fi network or need to connect to the same router via Ethernet. In 2014, Apple released a feature called Peer-to-Peer AirPlay which works even while using offline devices on the same or even any network. However, it does not work well in all AirPlay processes.
Streaming Support Devices
You can use AirPlay on all models of iPhone, iPad, Mac, and iPod touch starting in 2012 or later that are running the latest version of their operating system. Moreover, you can use AirPlay on iTunes for Windows but that depends on how well Windows is supported. These are some of the transmitter devices that can broadcast or mirror themselves to another receiver. Below is a list of receivers that support Apple Airplay.
- Selected Smart TVs from LG, Samsung and Sony
- Select Fire TV devices
- Compatible HomePod models and speakers from Bose, JBL, Philips, Harman Kardon, Yamaha, Sonos and more.
A full list of Airplay compatible devices can be found on the Apple website. Moreover, you can also select streaming compatibility through the “Works with Apple AirPlay” sticker.
How to stream content
If you are trying to stream content from any of your Apple devices, follow these steps:
Look for the AirPlay icon in the app (next to playback controls). You may have to go to the options or the sharing menu to get it in some cases.
Press the AirPlay button and it will display a list of supported devices around you
Choose the device on which you want to stream content.
To end the broadcast, tap on the icon again and choose the device you’re using.
If you use iTunes on Windows for AirPlay content, you should follow the same instructions. Moreover, if you are trying to stream audio but cannot find the AirPlay button in the app, you can also use Control Center to start AirPlay to support the speakers. As mentioned above, if your speakers support AirPlay 2, you will be able to stream audio to multiple speakers simultaneously.
How to reverse content
If you want to mirror your Apple device screen on Apple TV or AirPlay 2-compatible smart TV, you have to follow the steps below:
Go to the Control Center on your device and click on the Screen Mirroring icon. If you’re running an older version of macOS, click the AirPlay icon in the menu bar in Control Center. If you still can’t find the AirPlay icon, go to System Preferences, then select Displays and set the “Show mirroring options in menu bar when available” option.
Clicking on the Screen Mirroring or AirPlay icon will bring up a list of supported shows around you to choose the one you want to mirror the screen to.
If a passcode appears on your AirPlay-compatible screen, enter it on the original device.
Once it starts, select the Screen Mirroring icon for more options, where you can extend your Mac’s screen to your TV.
AirPlay also has some limitations. For example, you can only use AirPlay from one app on your Apple device at a time. Therefore, you cannot stream a movie from the Apple TV app to your TV and AirPlay another song from Apple Music on another speaker at the same time.
Airplay is also limited to Apple devices only. However, there are some tricks and hacks for other platforms, they take a lot of time and usually not worth the effort. If you belong to the Apple ecosystem, AirPlay is the best option for streaming or mirroring content from your device. Apple has continued to expand its AirPlay feature to make it feel more stagnant and evolve to meet user needs.