AirPlay is an incredibly useful feature in iOS that allows you to wirelessly stream content from your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch to compatible devices like Apple TVs, smart TVs, and Macs. With AirPlay, you can mirror your iOS device’s screen or send media like photos, videos, and audio to another device.
AirPlay has been around for years, but iOS 17 brings some nice improvements that make it easier and more versatile to use. In this guide, I’ll walk you through everything you need to know to take full advantage of AirPlay in iOS 17.
Recent Released:What’s New in iOS 17 Health Features
An Introduction to AirPlay
AirPlay is Apple’s proprietary wireless streaming protocol. It allows you to wirelessly beam content from your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch to any AirPlay-enabled receivers, including:
- Apple TV 4K and Apple TV HD
- AirPlay 2-compatible smart TVs from Samsung, LG, Vizio, Sony, and others
- HomePod and HomePod mini speakers
- Macs running macOS Monterey or newer
- AirPlay 2-compatible speakers and receivers from brands like Sonos, Denon, and Onkyo
With AirPlay, you can stream audio and mirror your iOS device’s entire screen. It works over Wi-Fi, so your iPhone/iPad and the receiving device need to be on the same wireless network.
The main things you can do with AirPlay include:
- Stream audio – Play music, podcasts, and other audio from your iOS device to another device like a smart TV or AirPlay 2 speakers.
- Mirror your screen – Show everything on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch’s screen on a bigger display like an HDTV. Great for sharing photos, slideshows, websites, and other visual content.
- Stream video – Send videos from apps like YouTube, Netflix, Hulu, or other video apps to a TV.
- Present slides and documents – Display Keynote presentations, Pages documents, PDFs, and more on a bigger screen wirelessly.
- Use AirPlay as a secondary display – Extend your Mac’s desktop to your iPhone/iPad with Sidecar.
AirPlay makes it easy to wirelessly share content with family and friends from the convenience of your iPhone or iPad. In iOS 17, Apple has made improvements to expand AirPlay compatibility and simplify screen mirroring.
How AirPlay Works
AirPlay works by streaming content over a direct Wi-Fi connection between your iOS device and the receiving AirPlay device. This peer-to-peer connection keeps latency low for smooth, in-sync streaming.
When you want to use AirPlay, your iPhone or iPad will scan for available AirPlay receivers on your local network. You simply select the device you want to stream to from the list.
Your iOS device will then establish a direct Wi-Fi connection with the receiving device to transmit audio, video, screen mirroring data, or anything else in real-time. This allows instant wireless streaming without the need for internet connectivity or additional routers.
As long as your iPhone/iPad and the receiving AirPlay device are within range of the same Wi-Fi network, AirPlay will work seamlessly. The further apart the devices are, the weaker the connection will be. So it’s best to keep your iPhone or iPad in close proximity to the TV, speakers, or other equipment you’re streaming to for optimal performance.
Now that you understand the basics of how AirPlay functions, let’s go over how to use it in iOS 17.
How to Use AirPlay in iOS 17
AirPlay is easy to set up. As long as your receiving devices are AirPlay-compatible and connected to the same Wi-Fi network as your iOS device, streaming takes just a few taps.
Here are the steps to use AirPlay both for audio/video streaming and screen mirroring in iOS 17:
Stream Audio or Video with AirPlay
- Connect both your iOS device and the receiving device (Apple TV, smart TV, speakers etc.) to the same Wi-Fi network.
- Open Control Center on your iPhone or iPad. On devices with Face ID, swipe down from the top-right corner. On devices with home button, swipe up from the bottom edge.
- Tap the AirPlay icon. It looks like a triangle pointing upward through a Wi-Fi-like symbol.
- Select the AirPlay device you want to stream to from the list.
- AirPlay will automatically begin streaming audio or video to the chosen device. Be sure the selected app supports AirPlay streaming.
- To stop streaming, open Control Center again and select your iPhone/iPad from the AirPlay list. This will end the AirPlay session.
Mirror Your Screen with AirPlay
- Connect your iOS device and receiving device to the same Wi-Fi network.
- Open Control Center and tap the Screen Mirroring icon. On iPhone, this is featured prominently below the AirPlay icon. On iPad, swipe left through the media controls to find it.
- Choose the receiving device to mirror your display to.
- Your iPhone or iPad screen will be mirrored in real-time on the selected display. Everything you do on your iOS device will be shown.
- To stop mirroring, return to Control Center and tap Stop Mirroring. You can also tap the Disconnect icon next to the receiving device’s name.
And that’s all there is to it! AirPlay makes wireless streaming incredibly simple in iOS 17. Whether you want to play music on speakers in another room or mirror your iPad on the living room TV to browse vacation photos with the whole family, AirPlay gets the job done seamlessly.
Compatible Receivers for AirPlay
AirPlay works with a wide variety of receivers, streaming sticks, smart TVs, and wireless speakers. Here are some of the most popular AirPlay devices:
- Apple TV 4K and Apple TV HD – Apple’s streaming boxes work great for AirPlay video, audio, and screen mirroring. Requires tvOS 12.3 or later.
- AirPlay 2 Smart TVs – Many smart TVs from Samsung, LG, Vizio, Sony, and other brands support AirPlay 2. Allows streaming without an Apple TV.
- HomePod and HomePod mini – Apple’s smart speakers feature AirPlay 2 for wireless streaming. Great for multi-room audio.
- Sonos speakers – Select Sonos speakers like the One, Beam, and Arc offer AirPlay 2 connectivity. Stream iPhone audio seamlessly.
- AirPlay 2 AV receivers – Choose receivers from Denon, Onkyo, Pioneer, and others to wirelessly stream audio from iOS.
- Macs – Recent Macs running macOS Monterey or newer can receive AirPlay streams from an iPhone or iPad.
- AirPlay 2 wireless speakers – Budget speakers from companies like JBL and Bose feature AirPlay for under $100.
New AirPlay Features in iOS 17
iOS 17 brings some useful improvements that make AirPlay more versatile and reliable than ever:
- Improved Handoff experience – When moving an audio or video stream between iOS devices, the transfer is now almost instantaneous instead of taking several seconds.
- Added support for 4K HDR/Dolby Vision streaming – iOS 17 lets you AirPlay 4K HDR or Dolby Vision video to supported devices like the Apple TV 4K. Previous iOS versions were limited to 1080p.
- Upgraded connection stability – AirPlay connections are now more stable and less prone to intermittent drops or stutters, especially when streaming over longer distances.
- Faster discovery and connecting – AirPlay receivers are found and connected to faster now when selecting from Control Center. Useful when you need to quickly switch playback between multiple devices.
- Support for using AirPods as AirPlay speakers – Your AirPods or AirPods Pro can now be chosen as AirPlay audio output devices in iOS 17. Stream music or other audio directly to your ears!
- Added Find My support – AirPlay receiving devices like Apple TV now show up in the Find My app. Locate misplaced devices easily.
- Screen mirroring tweaks – Screen mirroring in iOS 17 now mirrors at 60 fps for smoother performance. Rotation and scaling on the receiving end is also improved.
Overall, these changes add up to make AirPlay faster, more responsive, and more reliable than before. Whether enjoying home theater experiences with Apple TV or playing music anywhere with multi-room AirPlay 2 speakers, AirPlay gets even better with iOS 17.
Tips for Using AirPlay
Here are some handy tips to master AirPlay like a pro:
- When streaming video, always choose the highest quality available in the app’s settings for the best AirPlay performance. This prevents compression artifacts or buffering issues.
- iOS devices stream audio and video at full quality over AirPlay. There is no compression or downgrading from the original source.
- For music, enable Lossless streaming in Apple Music on your iOS device. AirPlay will deliver pristine lossless audio. Note that the receiving device must also support Lossless for this benefit.
- If you run into Wi-Fi congestion causing buffering or stuttering, create a separate 5 GHz Wi-Fi network just for AirPlay streaming. This prevents interference from smart home devices or neighbors’ Wi-Fi.
- When mirroring your screen, turn your iOS device horizontally to take advantage of the wider aspect ratio on TVs and Mac displays. This gives you more room to multitask.
- Use AirPlay to extend your Mac display using Sidecar. Great for extra screen space when working from a laptop.
- Make sure your Wi-Fi router is centrally positioned to allow unobstructed signal between your iOS device and receiving AirPlay gear for smooth performance.
- Close apps running in the background on your iPhone/iPad before streaming for optimal connectivity speed during your AirPlay session.
Follow these tips and you’ll get the most out of wireless streaming with AirPlay in iOS 17!
Troubleshooting AirPlay Issues
Like any wireless technology, you may occasionally encounter some glitches with AirPlay. Here are some common problems and fixes:
Can’t find or connect to a device – Ensure both the iOS device and receiver are on the same Wi-Fi network. Reboot any devices giving trouble and try reconnecting. Update to the latest firmware.
Choppy video or audio – Try moving the iOS device closer to the receiving AirPlay device, or reduce interference by turning off other wireless devices on the same network. Use a 5 GHz Wi-Fi band instead of 2.4 GHz.
Out of sync video/audio – Delayed streaming between devices leads to sync problems. Improve this by reducing network congestion from other wireless activity or switching to a direct 5 GHz Wi-Fi connection for AirPlay.
Connection dropping – Stay in proximity of the Wi-Fi network. Eliminate obstructions between the iOS device and the receiver. Connect your iPhone/iPad to power as low battery can disrupt connectivity. Update to latest OS versions.
Mirroring not working – Check for app limitations, as some apps block video out due to copyright. Try mirroring your entire iOS screen instead for unrestricted access. Ensure receiver supports AirPlay screen mirroring.
If issues persist, reset your iOS device’s network settings and reconnect. Check Apple’s support site for the latest troubleshooting if needed. With a strong Wi-Fi signal between your devices, AirPlay should perform smoothly.
Get the Most Out of AirPlay in iOS 17
AirPlay offers an amazing wireless streaming experience in iOS 17. Whether you want big-screen gaming from your iPhone on the living room TV or immersive home theater audio, AirPlay helps you enjoy your favorite entertainment from iOS on nearly any device.
With expanded compatibility, 4K HDR video support, multi-room audio, screen mirroring, and improvements like Handoff and Sidecar, AirPlay is better than ever on iOS 17.
Follow this guide’s tips to master every aspect of AirPlay. From seamless setup to trouble-free streaming, you’ll get the most out of going wire-free with AirPlay. Enjoy your music, videos, games, photos, and more on the screens and speakers of your choice with just a tap in the new iOS update. Wireless freedom awaits!
Frequently Asked Questions About AirPlay in iOS 17
Still have some questions about using AirPlay in iOS 17? Here are answers to some commonly asked questions:
What devices work with AirPlay?
AirPlay is compatible with Apple TV 4K/HD, AirPlay 2 smart TVs, HomePod/HomePod mini, AirPlay 2 speakers, Macs, and other supported devices. Check Apple’s website for a full list of options.
Does AirPlay streaming drain my iPhone/iPad battery faster?
Streaming over AirPlay requires more power, so it can use more battery life – especially for screen mirroring. Keep your iOS device plugged in when using AirPlay for extended periods.
Is AirPlay secure?
Yes, AirPlay uses direct device-to-device connections encrypted with TLS security, so it does not stream over the open internet. This keeps your streaming private within your local network.
Can I stream paid content like iTunes movies?
DRM-protected paid content cannot be streamed due to copyright restrictions. You can AirPlay non-protected videos, music, photos, websites, and apps. Screen mirroring lets you show any content.
Do I need iOS 17 to use the newest AirPlay features?
The latest AirPlay enhancements require iOS 17 or higher. Make sure to update your compatible iPhone or iPad to enjoy improvements like 4K streaming, Handoff, and more.
Does AirPlay reduce audio or video quality?
No, AirPlay streams at full original quality over the Wi-Fi network. There is no compression or quality loss when using AirPlay.
Can I stream to multiple AirPlay devices at once?
Yes! AirPlay 2 allows multi-room streaming to multiple supported devices simultaneously. Great for whole home audio or video.
How far can I be from the Wi-Fi router to use AirPlay?
AirPlay works best within range of a strong Wi-Fi signal. Maintain closer proximity for smooth performance, or connect devices to a mesh Wi-Fi network for extended coverage.
This covers some of the most frequently asked questions about AirPlay. Overall, it’s an easy and convenient wireless streaming feature that lets you enjoy iOS content anywhere.