With the abundance of devices that now support AirPlay, Apple’s wireless streaming technology, it’s time to stop watching videos on your iPhone, iPad or Mac’s small screen and listening to music on their puny speakers. AirPlay offers bigger — and better — ways to enjoy your media.
Whether you’ve got a smart TV or speaker that has AirPlay support built in or you’ve connected an Apple TV, Roku device or other compatible streaming stick to your TV, using AirPlay is simple once you know how.
How to use AirPlay to share video from your iPhone or iPad
1. Make sure your iOS device is on the same Wi-Fi network as the AirPlay-compatible device.
2. If the app you’re using on your iOS device supports AirPlay, you’ll see an icon that looks like a rectangular screen with a triangle at the bottom — sometimes it’s in the upper right corner of the screen, and sometimes it’s in the bottom right corner.
3. If the app doesn’t natively support AirPlay (such as YouTube or Spotify), look for the casting icon (a rectangular screen with a wireless symbol in the lower right corner). Tap that and pick “AirPlay & Bluetooth devices.”
4. Select the device you want to send the video or audio to. Sometimes you’ll need to enter a code displayed on the screen before your iOS device will connect with the AirPlay-compatible device.
5. Once connected, use your iOS device to control playback.
6. When you’re done, tap the AirPlay icon on your iOS device and select your iPhone or iPad to disconnect from the AirPlay device.
Screen mirroring on iOS and MacOS
If the app you’re using doesn’t have an AirPlay or cast button, you can still push what you’re seeing on your iOS device to an AirPlay device by mirroring your screen.
1. Connect to the same network as the AirPlay device.
2. Swipe down from the upper right corner of your screen to open Control Center.
3. Look for the Screen Mirroring icon — two rectangular screens, one slightly overlapping the other. Tap that.
4. Select the AirPlay device you want to show your screen on. Just be aware this method will show everything on your screen (notifications included).
5. To stop mirroring, go back to Screen Mirroring in Control Center and tap Stop Mirroring.
Screen mirroring also lets you share what’s on your Mac’s screen with an AirPlay device.
1. Open Control Center on your Mac.
2. Click the Screen Mirroring icon.
3. Select the AirPlay device you want to send your screen to. As with screen mirroring in iOS, it will share everything that appears on your screen.
How to use AirPlay for music
To send audio from your iPhone, iPad or Mac:
1. Be connected to the same network as the AirPlay device.
2. While playing music or other audio in an app, look for the AirPlay icon — this time it will look like three concentric circles with a triangle at the bottom.
3. Tap the AirPlay icon and choose the device from the list. You can select more than one device for an easy multiroom audio setup!
4. Control playback from your Mac or iOS device.
5. When you’re done, tap the AirPlay icon and select your iPhone, iPad or Mac to disconnect from the AirPlay device.
You can also access AirPlay through Control Center to stream audio.
The AirPlay devices we recommend
From $149 at Apple
The Apple TV is a powerful streaming media device, and it also supports AirPlay 2 for streaming video and audio from your iPhone, iPad or Mac. It’s the most seamless way to take advantage of AirPlay.
Roku Streambar Pro
$179.99 at Roku or Amazon
Our overall best soundbar pick, the Streambar Pro is more than just a soundbar with a Roku set-top box baked in. It supports AirPlay 2, so you can stream from your Apple device to the TV that the Streambar Pro is connected to as well as send music to the soundbar.
LG C1 OLED
From $999.99 at LG
One of the best TVs available, the LG C1 is AirPlay 2-compatible, meaning you can push content from your Apple device to its big and beautiful OLED screen.