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Back with the Release of iOS 4.2, Apple introduced AirPlay, a feature that allows you to stream music from your iTunes Library to any AirPlay-enabled device, like an Airport Express, an Apple TV, or one of many third-party Airplay products that are hitting the market, like stereos and remote speakers. All you have to do is make sure that your iPhone and AirPlay device are both on the same network. For this example, I have an Airport Express and an Apple TV all connected to the same network my iPhone is currently on. So, let's go to my iPhone and tap Music. Here I'll start a song playing.
All right, just hit Pause. Now notice this button that appears to the right of the volume controls, that's the AirPlay button and it appears when an AirPlay device is detected on your network. When I tap it, buttons for each of the devices appear. So you can see my iPhone is currently selected as a Playback device. I could select my Airport Express, but I don't have speakers plugged into it right now, so let's select the Apple TV. Notice the AirPlay button turns orange, which is a visual indicator that a device other than my iPhone is selected as the Playback device. Now I'll tap Play and in just a few seconds, my music should start playing through the Apple TV.
And at this point I can continue to control my music on my iPhone, for instance, jumping to the next song, playing with the volume, or just pausing it. So, that's pretty cool and it works pretty much the same for video. This is especially nice if you're watching a video on your iPhone and then you want to switch to your TV I'll go to my Video App and start a video playing.
Notice the AirPlay button shows up next to the Playback controls here as well. I can just tap it, and again choose my Apple TV. Just like that the video is playing through my Apple TV over my network. So, no cables, copying, or file conversion is needed. Imagine you download a movie to watch on your iPhone during a flight, but you don't get to finish watching it. When you get home, you can plop down in front of your TV and pick up exactly where you left off. But wait, that's not all. AirPlay also works with your photo library.
Just go into your Photos, select the photo you want to display, and then tap the AirPlay button down at the bottom. Again, I'll select my Apple TV. Now I see my photos on both my iPhone and through my Apple TV. This is a great way to share your photos with a roomful of people. You can either manually flick through your album or press the Play button to play them as a slideshow, and just tap the screen when you want to Stop the slideshow.
So, that's AirPlay. Now AirPlay is supported on apps made by Apple like the Music and Video Apps and the Photos App and you may also see the AirPlay button appear next to the Playback controls in other third-party video or Audio Apps you use, but it depends on whether the developer of the app has built AirPlay functionality into it. Most developers explicitly state when their apps support AirPlay though, because it's a great feature and app developers will want to let you know that they have it built into their apps.
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