Apple’s AirPlay technology has received some exciting updates in the latest iOS 17 update. AirPlay allows iPhone, iPad, and Mac users to wirelessly stream audio, video, photos, and more to supported devices like Apple TVs, smart TVs, speakers, and more. With iOS 17, Apple has introduced new features that make AirPlay even more seamless, intuitive, and user-friendly.
Recent Released: Uncover the iOS 17 Hidden Features
Automatic AirPlay Expanded to Speakers
One of the most convenient additions to AirPlay in iOS 17 is the expansion of Automatic AirPlay to include speakers. Previously, in iOS 16, Automatic AirPlay was limited to only TVs. Now, with iOS 17, Automatic AirPlay will automatically connect your iPhone to the most relevant AirPlay 2-enabled speakers within range.
For example, if you walk into your living room where you have a HomePod mini, your iPhone will automatically detect it and connect to it without any input from you. Then, when you play music or other audio on your iPhone, it will automatically start playing out of the HomePod mini speakers.
This takes the guesswork out of connecting to AirPlay speakers and makes it quick and seamless to start listening on your preferred speakers wherever you are in your home. It helps create a more unified, ambient listening experience throughout the house.
Smarter, More Personalized AirPlay Functionality
In addition to Automatic AirPlay for speakers, iOS 17 also introduces generally smarter and more personalized AirPlay functionality. While Apple has not provided specifics, the update seems to include algorithms that learn your AirPlay preferences and habits.
For example, if you frequently connect to your Apple TV 4K to stream video in the evenings, your iPhone will detect this pattern. Then, at the usual time in the evenings when you stream videos, your iPhone will automatically suggest and connect to the Apple TV without you needing to manually select it from the AirPlay menu.
This personalized AirPlay experience will likely also prioritize your most used AirPlay destinations and tailor the experience to your unique preferences. It showcases Apple’s focus on using device intelligence to create seamless experiences that get smarter over time.
While not highly visible new features, iOS 17 also likely includes under-the-hood enhancements to improve AirPlay performance and reliability. Given that AirPlay transmits large data streams wirelessly, enhancements to connection strength, stability, and speed will allow for smoother streaming.
Apple has touted improved wireless transmission technology in iOS 17, which likely positively impacts AirPlay. So users can enjoy 4K HDR movies, multi-channel audio, and more with minimized buffering or lag.
Expanded Widget Support
Alongside improvements to AirPlay itself, iOS 17 also adds new AirPlay widgets for the Home Screen and Lock Screen. There is a simple AirPlay widget that provides quick access to your AirPlay destinations.
You can add this to your Lock Screen or Home Screen to enable faster streaming to your preferred devices. There is also a richer AirPlay widget that shows currently playing audio/video and includes transport controls.
These new widgets integrate AirPlay more tightly into the core iOS experience rather than being confined solely to Control Center.
Continuity Camera Integration
iOS 17 introduces the new Continuity Camera feature that allows you to use your iPhone as a live camera feed for your Mac. This also integrates with AirPlay in a unique way.
You can now use AirPlay to stream the Continuity Camera feed from your iPhone directly to your Apple TV. This opens up opportunities like using your iPhone as a handheld camera during FaceTime calls streamed to your TV.
It allows you to be more creative with video calls, live demos, how-to content, and more that you can broadcast from your iPhone camera to the big screen.
What AirPlay Devices are Supported?
To take advantage of these new AirPlay features in iOS 17, you will need compatible receiving devices like:
- Apple TV 4K and Apple TV HD
- AirPlay 2-enabled smart TVs from Samsung, LG, Vizio, Sony and others
- HomePod and HomePod mini speakers
- AirPlay 2-enabled speakers from Sonos, Bose, Marshall, JBL and more
- Macs running macOS Ventura
- PCs running iTunes 12.11 or later
Make sure any third-party speakers or smart TVs are up to date with the latest firmware to enable all iOS 17 AirPlay features.
Apple is also bringing AirPlay compatibility to new devices like certain automaker’s cars equipped with native Apple Music integration. This will allow you to seamlessly stream audio from your iPhone to your car stereo system using AirPlay.
Improved Handoff Experience
AirPlay and Handoff go hand in hand as easy ways to transfer content between Apple devices. That’s why iOS 17 also brings improvements to the Handoff experience.
Handoff allows you to start an activity like browsing a website on one device and pick up where you left off on another device. iOS 17 makes this even more seamless with the addition of suggested Handoff prompts.
For example, if you were browsing a page on Safari on your iPhone, your Mac may now show an automatic Handoff prompt to open that page when you approach your Mac. This eliminates the need to manually Handoff each time.
Handoff will also now work consistently across more apps, including third-party apps that implement standard Handoff APIs. So you can seamlessly transition tasks between more iPhone and Mac apps.
New Privacy & Security Settings
With a continued focus on privacy, Apple has added new AirPlay security and privacy settings in the iOS 17 update. This includes:
- PIN verification for AirPlay: You can set up a PIN code that must be entered on the receiving device before media is streamed from your iPhone. This prevents unwanted AirPlay streaming to other devices on your network.
- One-time AirPlay authorization: For additional security, you can require one-time authorization before allowing new AirPlay destinations to connect to your iPhone. This is useful in public places or shared networks.
- Enhanced location safeguards: The precision of location information provided to AirPlay destinations can now be limited to help protect privacy.
These settings provide you with more control, transparency, and protection around how and where your personal data is shared via AirPlay.
Convenient New AirPlay Controls
To go along with the various feature updates, iOS 17 provides more convenient access controls related to AirPlay:
- AirPlay destination pull-down: When actively streaming content via AirPlay, you can now conveniently switch between destinations using a new pull-down menu at the top of the Media Player on iPhone.
- Access from FaceTime: You can now start streaming your FaceTime call to AirPlay devices directly from the FaceTime app, instead of having to mirror your full iPhone screen.
- AirPlay Quick Actions: New Siri Quick Actions allow you to quickly activate features like AirPlaying to your Apple TV using only your voice.
How to Use the New AirPlay Features
Using the new AirPlay features in iOS 17 is very straightforward. Here are some tips:
- To enable Automatic AirPlay to speakers, go to Settings > General > AirPlay & Handoff and turn on ‘Automatic for Speakers’. Your iPhone will now automatically AirPlay audio to supported speakers.
- Try listening to music or podcasts and moving between rooms with speakers to see Automatic AirPlay in action.
- To customize your AirPlay Suggestions based on habits, simply use your frequently preferred devices normally and your iPhone will build a model to suggest them automatically at appropriate times.
- To AirPlay your camera via Continuity Camera, open Control Center and tap the Media Player tile. Your active camera feed will appear ready to stream to AirPlay destinations like your Apple TV.
- Use the new AirPlay destination pull-down to easily switch playback between your devices while streaming.
- Check Settings > General > AirPlay & Handoff to configure your new privacy settings like PIN verification and one-time use authorization.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are answers to some common questions about AirPlay in iOS 17:
What devices support the new iOS 17 AirPlay features?
The new features require an iPhone, iPad, or Mac running iOS 17 or macOS Ventura. Streaming will work on supported TVs, speakers, and other media devices that are AirPlay 2 or Apple TV 4K/HD enabled.
Do I need new hardware to use Automatic AirPlay to speakers?
Yes, you will need AirPlay 2-supported speakers to take advantage of automatic connections without user input. Check if your existing speakers have added AirPlay 2 support via firmware updates.
Can I stream video as well as audio using Automatic AirPlay?
No, as of iOS 17, Automatic AirPlay works only for audio streaming to supported speakers. Video streaming still requires manually initiating AirPlay.
How is Siri integration improved for AirPlay?
You can now use Siri Quick Actions to start AirPlaying media to destinations like your Apple TV. Siri will also have deeper awareness of your AirPlay habits and preferences.
Can I prevent certain apps from being able to use AirPlay?
Yes, iOS 17 allows you to disable AirPlay permissions on a per-app basis. Go to Settings > Screen Time > Content & Privacy Restrictions to block access to AirPlay for specific apps.
What security risks exist with AirPlay and how does iOS 17 address them?
AirPlay streams over your local network so eavesdropping is a risk. The new PIN, one-time use authorization, and location safeguards in iOS 17 give you more control over this.
The AirPlay improvements in iOS 17 make streaming media and content throughout your Apple devices more seamless than ever. Key highlights include automatic connections to AirPlay speakers, smarter suggestions based on your habits, expanded widget support, tighter integration with Handoff, new privacy controls, and more convenient access options.
With these updates, expect your iPhone and iPad to feel more unified with your other Apple devices. Tasks like listening to music on speakers, watching shows on your TV, screen sharing during video calls, and other activities will become almost effortless. Just be sure to update any third-party AirPlay gear to the latest firmware to enjoy the full benefits.
As always, Apple’s focus remains on enhancing existing technologies like AirPlay rather than introducing brand new ones. The implementation in iOS 17 follows this trend by building on AirPlay’s core strengths and making some smart optimizations to cement it as the leading multi-device streaming solution.