Your Practical Guide on Airplay

Apple came up with technology called Airplay, and many people are not familiar with what it means. So what is Airplay? This is a new way of linking up all iOS devices using a home network. This means that you can access all media in the home, even though it is not stored locally on the device. With Airplay, you no longer have to keep media on every device, since you can access it when it is only stored in one device.

Part 1: What is Airplay

Airplay uses both Bluetooth and WiFi networks to stream media from one device to another. The only downside of using Bluetooth is that it drains the battery faster, so it is best to use the WiFi network. Ideally, you should use the Apple Airport, which is the router designed by Apple, but any wireless router will be good enough.

Once all Airplay-enabled devices access the wireless network, they will recognize one another. Airplay will work well with devices having iOS 4.3 and above, but some features will not be available on all devices. You cannot use Airplay between two different mobile devices, such as an iPad and iPhone. Consider iPhones, Macs and iPads to be senders and Apple TV and Airport Express to be receivers. Airplay can also be used to mirror your iPhone or laptop to everyone in a room. Basically, you will be showing them what is literally on your screen.

Part 2: How to use Airplay on iOS devices

Airplay comes bundled in all iOS devices starting from iOS 4 all the way to the latest iOS 9. However, there are different ways of accessing Airplay on different devices and you shall see how to do so in all of them.

Using Airplay in iOS 4, iOS 5 and iOS 6

Step 1) Open the device and double-tap the Home Button, then go to the sliding menu at the bottom of the screen

Step 2) Slide to the left to access the Airplay button; tapping on this button gives you a list of all Airplay devices on the home network.

Step 3) From the list of devices, select the one that you want to Airplay to.

Using Airplay on iOS 7 and above

Step 1) Swipe upwards from the bezel to access the Control Center.

Step 2) Open the control Center and get the media.

Once it is open, swipe horizontally to access the “Now Playing” screen.

Step 3) Select the device you want to Airplay to

•    If you are using an iPad, you will find a list of Airplay devices that are connected, so select the one that you want to stream to

•    If you are using an iPod or iPad, tap on the Airplay icon, and you will get a list of all connected devices; proceed to connect to each.

swipe from bottom

Part 3: How to use Airplay on Mac

use airplay on mac

It is possible to stream video and audio from your Mac using Airplay. You may need to have Safari, QuickTime or some other third party apps to be able to do this. Similarly, you may also mirror the entire display and also use Airplay to make your HDTV to work as a second monitor.

Step 1) Go to the right side on your menubar, and click on the Airplay icon

Step 2) You will get a dropdown menu, where you will click on Apple TV. If you have several Apple TV devices in the home, you will have to select the desired one. Once you have done this, you will be able to stream video from your Mac to the Apple TV.

switch airplay resolution

When you want to mirror your Mac to an Apple TV, it will have the resolution of your Mac. You can easily change these settings to be able to view using the Apple TV’s resolution.

Step 1) On the right side of the Menubar, click on the Airplay icon

Step 2) Now select the option that you want.

  • If you want to use the original resolution of your Mac, click on the “Mirror Built – In Retina Display” option.
  • If you want the Resolution of the Mac to match that of the TV, then use the “Mirror Apple TV” option.
  • If you simply want to use the TV as a secondary display, then click on the “Use as Separate Display” option.

trun off airplay

How to turn off Airplay Mirroring on your Mac

When completed, you can easily turn your TV back to Apple TV

Step 1) On the right side of your Menubar, click on the Airplay icon

Step 2) Click on the “turn Airplay Off” option to turn off mirroring.

Alternatively, on the Apple TV remote control, click on the “Menu” button, and it will automatically turn off the Airplay mode.

Part 4: How to Connect Mac/iOS Devices to Apple TV

You can use Airplay to connect your Mac or any other iOS device to Apple TV.

Connect an iPad or iPhone device

Step 1) Swipe upwards from the bottom of your iOS device so as to access the control center

Step 2) On the middle left side of your screen, tap on the Airplay button

Step3) You will see a list of Apple TV devices; click on the one which you want to stream the video to.

connect iOS devices to Apple TV

Connect a Mac computer

Step 1) On the menubar of the Mac, click on the Airplay icon

Step 2) From the dropdown menu, click on Apple TV, and then connection will be complete.

connect mac to Apple TV

Part 5: 5 Tips for using Airplay

Here are some useful tips that you can use to optimize your experience when using Airplay

1)    You can change the desktop size when mirroring. Instead of using the “Mirror Built – In Retina Display” option, use the “Match Desktop Size” option. Your video will play better.

2)    Extend the desktop and use the Apple TV as a secondary screen. You can choose the desktop resolution that gives you the best results.

3)    Always make sure that your WiFi is properly configured in order to get the best results. WiFi settings can affect the way that you stream media to Apple TV.

4)    Copy media to your desktop rather than play them from a USB stick or NAS.

5)    Check your video player. When using QuickTime, make sure that it has all the required codecs to play video properly.

Airplay is a wonderful application which allows you to share media across several iOS devices, the Mac and Apple TV. It removes the necessity of having to literally transfer media from one device to another. This is a tool that has improved the user experience of all Apple products and should be part of your application collection.

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