Apple’s AirPlay 2: What it is, how it works, and which devices support it

“AirPlay has been with us for a long time,” Jason Cross writes for Macworld. “It’s an evolution of the old AirTunes protocol, which was meant only for music. In 2010, AirTunes got a host of new capabilities (music, photos, video) and a new name. A year later, it gained the ability to mirror your iOS or Mac screen to a compatible AirPlay receiver.”

“You’ve seen the AirPlay logo in dozens of apps, often tucked away in the Share menu. If you want to beam content from your iOS device to the Apple TV or a set of speakers, it’s delightful,” Cross writes. “But it has languished over the last several years, adding no meaningful new features while the rest of the wireless world moved on.”

“With iOS 11, Apple is introducing AirPlay 2. This is the first real update to the AirPlay protocol in a long time, and it seems tailor made to suit Apple’s ambitions to spread media throughout your home with Apple TV 4K and HomePod,” Cross writes. “AirPlay 2 focuses on new audio features for the AirPlay protocol, and for the most part ignores the screen casting and video playback parts.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: As we wait for Apple’s HomePod, unfortunately not coming until sometime in 2018, now is as good a time as any to get acquainted with Apple’s Home app as we’ll be using it to add HomePod(s) to rooms and set scenes involving Apple’s forthcoming smart speaker.


    1. No. There are hardware differences that AirPlay 2 assumes compatible devices have. And the differences are of the type that can’t be added via firmware (like more buffer).

  1. If you’re a beta tester, it’s already available. And it seems to pick up automatically any available device. Just tape on the Airplay icon to see the devices available. So easy.

  2. I am very disappointed that Apple still has no inexpensive device to just do AirPlay mirroring for schools and businesses to put in classrooms. Neither environment needs all the apps, they just need a reliable way to mirror from Apple devices. Until it was discontinued and disappeared, the Apple TV 3 Rev. A (with peer-to-peer Airplay) was the closest thing to perfect. The Apple TV 4 is overkill and way too expensive. None of the alternatives I’ve tried are nearly as convenient (no extra software required) nor as reliable with Apple devices. So Airplay 2 requiring Apple TV 4? No thanks.

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