Netflix mysteriously drops support for AirPlay [Updated]

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Not any more.
Photo: Cult of Mac

You can no longer stream Netflix programs from your iPhone to a big-screen TV via AirPlay.

This feature, which has been available for many years, disappeared just a few days after the announcement of Apple TV+, a rival streaming service. The timing has brought accusations that Netflix stripped out AirPlay in retaliation.

Update: Netflix has released a statement explaining why it pulled this feature out of its app. To learn more, please read Netflix says it ended AirPlay support to benefit customers.

Gone is gone

With AirPlay, users of the iOS Netflix app could stream video to an Apple TV device. Netflix gave only a vague explanation of why this feature was removed. “Airplay is no longer supported for use with Netflix due to technical limitations,” says a note on its website.

This feature had been available since at least 2013. There are no known changes in AirPlay recently that would cause it to suddenly stop working with this streaming service.

The biggest recent AirPlay development is that a number of TV makers are adding support for this tech to their products, including LG, Samsung and Visio. Users of these TVs with Netflix won‘t get to take advantage of this addition.

There is a Netflix app for Apple TV so users can continue to watch this streaming service that way. Unless it also develops “technical limitations” at some point in the future.

The Netflix app for iPhone and iPad still enables users to send video to a Chromecast or a TV that supports Netflix 2nd Screen. Or the iOS device can be hooked to the screen via an HDMI cable with the right connector.

Payback is hell

Apple TV+ will be a subscription service offering a lineup of original TV shows and movies. It’s set to debut this fall, when it will compete with Netflix.

The fact that Netflix’s “technical limitations”  with AirPlay came less than two weeks after the unveiling of Apple TV+ raised accusations that Netflix did this deliberately to punish a company that has suddenly become a rival.

Rene Richie of iMore took to Twitter to say “This is beneath @netflix They’re better than this. Hopefully, they remember that ASAP.”

And It’s not just the tech press. Brian Roemmele said “The expected ‘payback time’ for Apple TV+ has accelerated.”

However, Sasha Segan from PCMag said on Twitter Apple brought this on themselves. “Apple declared themselves to be a competitor rather than a neutral platform. Seems like what competitors do. Apple should back off from its dumb original content push and focus on technology.”