Apple to unveil ‘AirPlay Direct’ in September; no Wi-Fi network necessary, say sources

“Sources familiar with the iPhone-maker’s plans said that Apple wants to improve the AirPlay wireless music streaming technology, which currently requires Airplay speakers and a WiFi network,” Matt Warman reports for The Telegraph.

“The new version will require just speakers or a hifi and an iDevice; the iPhone, iPod or iPad would form its own network to allow a direct connection and music playback,” Warman reports. “The move is expected to be announced at the launch of the new iPhone, which is widely rumoured to take place on September 12.”

Warman reports, “Sources said that Apple has not signed off any specific products yet and that the ‘Airplay Direct’ is a working title rather than a definite name. Apple is also expected to combine a change in size for the iPod connector, used widely on docks, with a new push for Airplay streaming. This means docks will no longer require the iPod to be physically connected… for music playback.”

Read more in the full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Readers “Fred Mertz” and “Dan K.” for the heads up.]


  1. Nothing too earth shattering here. Bose have done this via a proprietary Bose to Bose WI-FI channel for a few years now and RIM via the Blackberry Music Gateway does it via Bluetooth for any Bluetooth devices including Macs and iPhones and iPads. This said, nice feature nonetheless. 🙂

    1. Actually, it is different and unique, if the iPhone is actually forming “its own network to allow a direct connection and music playback.” That is different from using a simple radio signal (including Bluetooth) to transmit the audio.

      If it’s a “WiFi” connection, that means iPhone can establish TWO separate WiFi connections at the same time. One for its (primary) Internet/network connection, so that I can stream from the music source. And the second connection, to do “AirPlay direct” streaming, concurrently. That’s more than a Mac can do, without adding something like a USB wireless adapter for the second WiFi connection.

      I always thoughout the customer’s wireless network was the “weak link” when it came to using AirPlay with an Apple TV. The iPhone and Apple TV may work great, but the customer’s wireless network that connects them may be old and slow. Not everyone has an 802.11n AirPort Extreme Base Station. So, I can see this evolving into a direct WiFi connection between iOS device and Apple TV for audio AND video streaming, over a second WiFi connection, as both the Apple TV and iOS device maintain and concurrently use their primary network connection to the Internet.

        1. AND the fact that until it is wifi connected, the appletv can only be controlled with the ir remotes up/down/left/right keys… ‘Typed’ in any wifi passwords this way lately?

        1. Actually, I think that is the “magic” (“it just works” illusion) of Apple. If there is a WiFi network in place, AirDrop uses that same network, although it may seem like a separate connection. So it’s going over the ONE WiFi connection, just like you can do standard File Sharing to more than one Mac at the same time.

          However, if there is no WiFi network (because the Macs use wired Ethernet for networking), it establishes a peer-to-peer WiFi connection between the two Macs for AirDrop. Again, there is only ONE WiFi connection being used.

          That’s how I think it works, not by creating a second concurrent WiFi connection.

    2. Bluetooth audio has been in the iphone for ages too…
      But this opens up the iPhone to more pc-less tasks…
      Printing is the top for the people I know who are looking at using iPad / iPhone with no pc…

      Bose IMO overcharge and under deliver

  2. Is thers a remote or devic that can control scrolling on a iPad. I’m a musician and use iPad as my song book. Would like to flip through the pages. I use the app pages to write songs. A remote would a nice device to use it at a distant.

  3. I have a Airport Extreme in my office at the other end of my house. I use a Airport Express to boost the signal for my family room and out back on my deck. I keep the Express behind my television with audio out to my receiver. I Airplay from my iPhone, iPod to that setup.

  4. I wish Apple would fix the airplay mess with 1G Airport Express created in 10.7.4. I lose connectivity to AE if I put the computer to sleep, or quit/restart iTunes. Only way to reestablish the connection is a restart. Totally sucks.

    1. I’m on 10.7.4 using an AirPort Express 802.11g for streaming my iTunes music to my stereo system. Works fine. My setup, though, is that the AirPort Express is wired to my network and its wireless is turned off. My iMac, though, moves between wired and wireless, talking to a Time Capsule when it’s wireless.

  5. Another technology that uses “WiFi Direct” is Airdrop. Perhaps, we’ll be able to transfer files between Macs and new iPhones using AirDrop for iOS. Now that would be cool…

  6. This is something I’ve been hoping for, for years.
    No matter what I do, my streaming music through Airports throughout the house is never drop-out-proof.
    Listening is impossible when jarring music drop-outs occur at unpredictable intervals.
    I really hope this is Apple’s break-through for trouble-free music streaming.

  7. so they won’t use wifi streaming anymore. bluetooth has a lot of limitation. I don’t get it. is it some kind of bullshit? or just marketing scheme? what am I care? I don’t buy apple product anyway.

  8. I’m not concerned about the new dock connector.

    My 2012 Mercedes-Benz has an iPod connector in the center console, but I never use it.

    My car does bluetooth audio streaming, so I don’t even plug it in!

    I see this as a similar move for AirPlay, and it makes perfect sense.

  9. I hope this is based on WiFi direct and will let me connect an iOS device directly to my Apple TV without a router. I’ve been wanting this since I learned about WiFi direct and the fact that Apple supported its adoption by the WiFi standards.

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