Watch Almost Anything on Your Apple TV with AirPlay Mirroring
When it was first released in 2007, the Apple TV had a pretty limited appeal. Since users could only watch purchased content from their iTunes accounts, few could justify the high price tag that the device carried.
In 2010, however, when Apple TV was on the verge of extinction, the company resurrected it by placing its main focus on streaming.
Apple also changed the way that content was delivered to TVs around the world with the introduction of AirPlay. With this new technology, users of Apple devices could wirelessly stream content to their televisions via the Apple TV box. Not only could you watch movies and listen to music on your TV instead of your computer, tablet, or smartphone, but you could do so using a very simple and elegant user interface.
How Does AirPlay Work?
In 2011, Apple moved beyond the initial version of AirPlay when it introduced AirPlay Mirroring for the release of the iPad 2. This technology allowed users to stream any content from the screen of an iPad to a TV screen without the use of cables. Separating it from the limited number of video apps that transmitted a version of their media to the Apple TV, however, AirPlay Mirroring would simply transmit a mirror image of the iPad screen.
This development meant the feature would work regardless of what apps you were using. Since the original introduction of AirPlay Mirroring, the capability has spread to iPhones, iPod Touches, and Apple’s line of computers. Today, there is no content you can access on the a typical Apple device that you can’t broadcast to your television, and AirPlay Mirroring is changing the way people all over the world are using their home entertainment centers.
How Can I Use AirPlay?
To be able to use AirPlay Mirroring, you need an Apple TV (2nd generation or later), a Wi-Fi network, and an Apple device that you want to stream your content from. The feature is available for the iPhone (version 4S or later), iPod Touch (5th generation or later), iPad (2nd generation or later), and any iPad Mini.
It can also be accessed from all Apple computers manufactured after mid-2011.
The AirPlay Mirroring feature is accessed in much the same way on all iOS devices. First, you must make sure that your device is connected to the same Wi-Fi network as your Apple TV. Next, for those devices running iOS 5 or 6, you can turn on AirPlay Mirroring by double-clicking your Home button and then swiping from left to right in the “recently used apps” section at the bottom of your screen. After swiping several times, you will see the AirPlay icon (which looks like a TV screen with an arrow in the middle of it). Tap the icon, and it will pull up a list of all of the available Apple TV boxes on your network. Choose the one you want to broadcast your device’s screen to, and toggle the “AirPlay Mirroring” switch to the “on” position. After you have completed these steps, everything on your iPhone or iPad screen will appear on your Apple TV until you go back to the same settings and toggle the switch to “off.”
AirPlay For iOS 7 Users
If your iOS device is running the iOS 7 software, you will access AirPlay from your device’s Control Center. Swipe up from the bottom of your screen to pull up your settings. Next, tap the AirPlay icon. From here, you will choose your Apple TV and turn mirroring on just as you would in earlier versions of the iOS. When you want to turn off mirroring, just access the Control Center again and deselect AirPlay.
From your Apple computer, it’s very easy to turn AirPlay Mirroring on and off. On the right side of the menu bar at the top of your screen, you will see the AirPlay icon. Clicking the icon will bring up a dropdown menu from which you can choose any Apple TV that is connected to your network. Select your Apple TV, and your screen will immediately start mirroring. Once you are done, choose “Turn Off AirPlay Mirroring” from the same dropdown menu and it will be disabled.
From movies and TV shows that are only accessible using your computer or smartphone to pictures and other media that you want to be able to view on your HDTV, there is no end to what you can view via AirPlay Mirroring. With this simple feature, Apple has enabled users of its devices to be able to broadcast practically anything and everything to your TV screen.