AirPlay no longer requires a Wi-Fi network in iOS 8

Screen Shot 2014-06-04 at 12.14.51

Apple has made yet more improvements to AirPlay in iOS 8 by enabling compatible devices to make direct connections with each other for content streaming. This eliminates AirPlay’s reliance on a Wi-Fi network and fixes one of its biggest limitations.

In previous versions of iOS — including the latest iOS 7.1.1 release — all of your devices must be connected to the same Wi-Fi network to partake in AirPlay streaming. You couldn’t stream music from your iPad to your iPhone while on the train, then, and you couldn’t stream video from an iPhone to an Apple TV in a hotel that doesn’t offer Wi-Fi (not that you’d ever think about staying in a hotel that doesn’t have Wi-Fi).

But in iOS 8, AirPlay catches up with rival streaming technologies like DLNA by allowing direct device connections. So your Mac, iPhone, Apple TV, and other AirPlay devices can talk to each other without a middleman. In turn, this should mean that AirPlay streaming is snappier and more reliable, which is great news for those who use it to play games on their TV.

Apple sees this as an important change for enterprise users. “With iOS 8, you can wirelessly connect iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch to Apple TV without first connecting to the organization’s network,” the Cupertino company says on its website. “Which means you can present or share your work even if you’re offline or the organization has a complex network.”

It’s a small improvement, but it’s one that will make Apple’s already excellent streaming service even better.

  • Fofer

    “Peer-to-Peer Airplay” (as described by Apple so far) has only discussed sending to AppleTV. It has made no mention of making, say, an iPad or Mac an AirPlay receiver. Yours is the first article I’ve seen that implies otherwise. Got a link to back this up?

  • nflms85

    “….couldn’t stream video from an iPhone to an Apple TV in a hotel that doesn’t offer Wi-Fi (not that you’d ever think about staying in a hotel that doesn’t have Wi-Fi)”

    not that anyone with an iota of intelligence contemplates carrying their apple tv when travelling…who does that??

    • Josh

      Lots of travelers do. It’s not like it’s that large or heavy (about the size of a MacBook Pro charger.) And now it’ll be even easier to set up in a vacation home or hotel.

    • BLFarnsworth

      “not that anyone with an iota of intelligence contemplates carrying their apple tv when travelling…who does that??”

      As @Josh said, lots of travelers take an AppleTV with them.

      Faced with the choice of having to pay for an overpriced hotel-supplied movie rental or streaming from an ATV, I’ll take the ATV (+ all of its streaming options) over the hotel tripe any day. Not to mention, I generally avoid the hotel room’s remote, which generally is the *dirtiest* item in a hotel room. If one is going to a vacation home for several days, why *wouldn’t* one take the ATV with him/her???

    • lowtolerance

      I do. It’s small enough to toss into my bag and I can set it up in about 5 seconds. Beats the hell out of watching hotel cable.

    • herbaled

      Actually many people do, so it looks like you’re the one with questionable intelligence.

      FWIW, one study I read showed that the dirtiest thing bacteria-wise in a hotel room was the TV remote … including fecal bacteria. Ewww!

      • thomg875

        I question some of those studies. One I read said a desktop was dirtier than a toilet seat. Myself, I still would eat a piece of candy sitting on a desktop rather than one sitting on a toilet seat, wonder if the researchers would choose the one sitting on a toilet seat if they had to pick one.

      • herbaled

        I wouldn’t eat off either. I assume (hope) the maids use disinfectant on toilet seats, but not desktops. But, I doubt they clean the TV remote, much less disinfect it. However, since reading that study, I do.

  • John Schmidt

    What this means also is that if it mirror plays an iPad or iPhone without WiFi can it also bring your cell phone data plan for the internet. Some might not have wifi internet but cell phone internet can come over on big screen through Apple Tv. If your on a tight budget this is some break through. This is very interesting indeed.

    • Tim F

      Can’t you do that right now using your iPhone as a hotspot? Or am I misunderstanding what you are saying?

  • Deon

    How does it works then? Bluetooth???

    • amol p

      its wifi direct you idiot!

  • THE YAME

    WHAT GAME IS THAT IN THE PHOTO!?!?!?

    • Amir

      I think its metal storm online …

About the author

Killian BellKillian Bell is a staff writer based in the U.K. He has an interest in all things tech and also covers Android over at CultofAndroid.com. You can follow him on Twitter via @killianbell.

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