We will explain what is AirPlay and how Apple’s protocol to share multimedia files wirelessly works.

It is an alternative to other technologies such as Miracast or Google Cast that you will find on the Cupertino company’s devices. You can use incompatible receivers, both Apple’s own and third parties.

We will try to explain as straightforward as possible so that you can understand it without needing technological knowledge.

All About the AirPlay

AirPlay is a protocol created by Apple that allows two positives to be detected, connected, and video and sound can be sent without cables.

  • We could say that it is an alternative to other similar protocols such as Miracast or Google Cast but controlled by Apple so that the technology meets their needs.
  • Since this protocol was launched in 2004 under the name AirTunes, and little by little. However, its last major update was at the beginning of 2018.
  • When an AirPlay 2 was found capable of creating multiroom experiences by connecting the sound of a device to several speakers in different rooms.
  • Using AirPlay, you can play multimedia content from a single, compatible source, such as an iPhone, and stream it to multiple devices that are also compatible and within the same network, as a television or stereo system.
  • Here, you will be able to find AirPlay on practically all Apple devices, so they will be able to communicate with each other.
  • You will have it on the iPhone, iPod, iMac or iPad, and devices such as Apple TV. However, you can also find them in other compatible devices manufactured by third parties, from televisions to music equipment.
  • However, it is a fairly versatile protocol, allowing you to send videos and music to compatible televisions or speakers.
  • You can also do mirroring, which mirrors what you do on the screen of your mobile, tablet, or computer on the television.
  • In quick, we can say that it is a centralized alternative by connecting different types of devices. For instance, you do not need to connect your phone or computer.
  • To the TV using a cable to send videos or to be able to transmit. What you do on the screen or use a cable to connect them to musical equipment to reproduce audio.

How AirPlay works?

AirPlay works over WiFi networks. It means that both the devices that are going to broadcast the content and those that are going to receive it will have to be connected to the same WiFi network so that they can “meet.”

  • In its way of working, we can recognize two types of devices, sources, and receivers. The references are the devices that use AirPlay-compatible software capable of sending the content.
  • Simultaneously, the receivers are other compatible devices capable of receiving it, playing it, and displaying the accompanying information, such as a song or artist’s title.
  • However, when you link two or more devices to transmit audio or video, the sender or source maintains control of the playback.
  • With this, you will see controls to move the exact point of reproduction or volume on your mobile, tablet, or compatible computer.
  • Additionally, more devices can also be linked to a play queue to send content to a specific device like a TV.
  • Other people can add more content for later viewing, arranging everything to deliver in a virtual queue.
  • Among the emitting devices, we can find some Windows computers that use Apple Music and iOS devices from version 4.2, or Mac computers with the macOS Mountain Lion operating system or later.
  • Appliances can be Apple TV, HomePod speakers, and many other third-party devices that integrate the AirPort Express router.
  • The AirPlay also lets you to mirror the screen of iOS, iPad OS, or MacOS to an Apple TV. You can also connect your device to several speakers or wireless headphones.
  • Play the same thing in unlike parts of your house or on each speaker with other songs.

How to use AirPlay?

To custom AirPlay, all you have to do is click on one of its three distinct icons on any compatible device that you want to use as a transmitter.

  • The icons are the ones you see in this image above, and from the left to the right, they represent video sending, audio sends, and screen broadcasting or mirroring.
  • Here, to send video or photos, you have to go to an Apple device and find and start playing the video you want to send through the protocol.
  • Then, tick on the share button, and in the options menu, you will see the AirPlay icon. When you press. You will see the list of compatible receiving devices so you can choose which one to send it to.
  • For sending audio, there are two ways to do it. The first is from the application where you play the audio. Implementing the AirPlay option in its share section, or choosing the device where to play.
  • But the quickest thing is, once the audio is playing. Go to the control panel and click on the playback widget.
  • Which will show the controls in which you will also see an AirPlay icon to send to compatible devices. In macOS or Windows, you will have to do it from the option that is in the consistent application.
  • And to send the screen of a device mirroring, you will have to use the Mirror screen option. In iOS and iPadOS, it is in the control panel.
  • At the same time, in macOS, you will have to go to the system preferences and the Screens section. Select the option Show the duplication options so that the option appears in the toolbar, up to the right.