iPhone’s collaborative playlists and AirPlay in hotel rooms on hold until 2024


iPhone’s collaborative music playlists
Collaborative music playlists will be brilliant ... when they finally arrive.
Photo: Apple/Cult of Mac

The wait goes on for two features that Apple promised to add to iOS 17. The iPhone-maker committed itself to collaborative music playlists and AirPlay in hotel rooms but now says these won’t be available before 2024.

These are the last significant additions expected for iOS 17.

Make any room a cinema with new portable projector and AirPlay


With this projector, you can use AirPlay or ChromeCast to project a big screen almost anywhere.
With this projector, you can use AirPlay or ChromeCast to project a big screen almost anywhere.
Photo: BenQ

Want to create an immersive cinematic experience almost anywhere? Now you can with the GV31 Portable Projector BenQ released earlier this month.

With built-in Netflix and Android TV among other streaming options, the 1080p projector can stream on walls or ceilings via AirPlay from your Mac, iPad or iPhone, or from Android devices via ChromeCast.

iPhone media apps can play music on HomePod using Siri with iOS 17


The big HomePod could be back soon. But how pricey and how functional will it be?
Spotify is finally coming to HomePod but it relies on using your iPhone.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Apple finally plans to make playing music from third-party sources easier on HomePods. Starting with iOS 17, you can ask Siri to play music on your HomePod from music apps installed on your iPhone.

Despite Apple providing the necessary apps, only a handful of music streaming services natively support HomePod. This change from Apple in iOS 17 is an excellent workaround to this problem.

iOS 17 might make sending video to TVs via AirPlay easier


AirPlay Logo
Using AirPlay to wirelessly send video from an Apple device to someone else's TV will allegedly get easier.
Photo: Apple/Cult of Mac

Sending video from iPhones to TVs over AirPlay will get easier in iOS 17, according to a tipster. The goal is supposedly to simplify sending video to other people’s TVs. The improvement will almost certainly be extended to iPad, too.

This is one of numerous small changes expected when iOS 17 is unveiled at WWDC23 in early June.

Apple explains how to use AirPlay to stream video from iPhone to your TV


Apple explains how to use AirPlay to stream video from iPhone to your TV
Thanks to AirPlay, you don't have to watch video on your iPhone's small screen.
Screenshot: Apple Support

With AirPlay, you can wirelessly stream video from your Apple devices to a large-screen TV. It’ll let you enjoy Ted Lasso or share a TikTok video with a group of friends on a big screen, not your iPhone’s relatively small one.

If this handy option is new to you, Apple made an explainer video. Watch it now.

Boost desktop audio with the new all-in-one FiiO R7


The FiiO R7 is designed to be the centerpiece of your desktop audio from all sources.
The FiiO R7 is designed to be the centerpiece of your desktop audio from all sources.
Photo: FiiO

If you want to get the most out of your desktop audio — the sound you get from your computer, other devices, speakers, headphones, wireless earbuds and more — an interesting new jack-of-all-trades tool arrived on the last day of February.

That’s when FiiO quietly launched its R7 high-resolution audio player, streamer and headphone amplifier. It packs a lot of functionality into a small package you might expect to cost more than it does.

Connect iPhone to wired speakers via AirPlay with this digital amp [Review] ★★★★☆


Arylic A50+ Wireless Multiroom Stereo Amplifier review★★★★☆
The Arylic A50+ is a solid way to connect your passive speakers to your Apple devices. No wires needed.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

The Arylic A50+ Wireless Multiroom Stereo Amplifier lets you wirelessly send music to wired speakers from computers and phones. It uses Apple’s AirPlay, which has multiple advantages over Bluetooth, though it offers that too. And DLNA, Spotify Connect and more.

It pumps out 50W*2 with 4Ω passive speakers at 24V, with Sub Out for powered subwoofers.

I tested the capabilities of this digital stereo amp with the help of a friend who’s a bit of an audiophile. Here’s what we found out.

Apple Studio Display not right for you? Try Samsung Smart Monitor M8 instead.


Apple Studio Display not right for you? Try Samsung Smart Monitor M8 instead.
The Samsung M8 isn’t as high-res as Apple’s new monitor, but costs half has much. And is loaded with other features.
Photo: Samsung

The $1,599 price for the new Apple Studio Display makes it somewhat controversial. Samsung’s response is the $700 Smart Monitor M8, which measures 32 inches and has a UHD resolution.

Samsung clearly has its eye on Mac users. It built Apple AirPlay 2 into the screen. And an image of the display playing Apple TV+ is a prominent part of the press release.

How to stream AirPlay video on the cheap


How to stream AirPlay video from iPhone to TV on the cheap
The days when you had to pay $150 or more to get an AirPlay-compatible device are over.
Graphic: Cult of Mac

You don’t need cables to stream video from your iPhone or iPad to a TV. Apple’s AirPlay 2 system is wireless and easy to use. That’s been true for years — what’s changed is the necessary equipment has become very affordable.

Here is what you need.

Awesome, affordable Apple TV alternatives on sale right now


Awesome, affordable Apple TV alternatives
Get yours from just $19.99.
Photos: Amazon, Roku

You don’t have to splash out on an Apple TV to enjoy Apple TV+ and Apple Music alongside all your other favorite streaming services. They’re now available on a whole host of brilliant third-party devices — many of which are on sale now.

Unlike Apple, the likes of Amazon and Roku are offering big Black Friday discounts that are already live. Here are our picks of the best Apple TV alternatives that you can buy today from just $19.99.

macOS Monterey lets you use a second Mac as an external display


macOS Monterey turns a second Mac into an external display
And you can USB for reduced latency.
Photo: Apple

macOS Monterey gives newer Apple computers the ability to send content to a second Mac over AirPlay. You can also use the feature for screen mirroring, turning a spare machine into an external display.

What’s more, unlike on your TV, AirPlay in Monterey lets you connect two macOS devices with a USB cable, greatly reducing latency and removing the requirement for a wireless network.

Roku OS update adds AirPlay 2 and HomeKit support to older streamers


Roku OS update adds AirPlay 2 and HomeKit support to older streamers
Roku got closer to Apple with AirPlay 2 and HomeKit support. Even the new Voice Remote Pro has an Apple connection.
Photo: Roku

The release of Roku OS 10 brings support for Apple’s AirPlay 2 and HomeKit to several more Roku streaming devices and smart TVs. These streaming options were once reserved for pricey settop boxes but are now available on very affordable devices.

Pint-size Sonos Roam speaker goes anywhere your iPhone does


Pint-size Sonos Roam speaker goes anywhere your iPhone does
Sonos Roam connects to your Apple devices over more than Bluetooth.
Photo: Sonos

The Sonos Roam is a new high-end smart speaker with support for Apple AirPlay 2, so it plays nicely with iPhone or other Apple computers.

The tubular accessory weights in just under a pound, but Sonos says, “precision-engineered acoustics deliver the clarity, depth, and fullness you would expect from a much larger speaker.”

LG’s latest top-tier and more affordable smart TVs offer Apple AirPlay 2 and HomeKit


LG Nano99, Nano90, and Nano81 all work well with iPhone and Mac.
LG new and upcoming NanoCell smart TVs all include Apple’s AirPlay 2 and HomeKit smart home technologies.
Photo: LG

LG took the wraps off a dozen large-screen TVs on Thursday, all of which support Apple’s AirPlay 2 and HomeKit so they can be integrated into an iPhone-controlled smart home. Screen sizes for these 2020 TVs range from 49 inches all the way up to 86 inches.

HBO Go, HBO Now drop support for older Apple TV models this month


There is another way to enjoy HBO services on Apple TV, however.
Photo: HBO

HBO on Wednesday confirmed its HBO Go and HBO Now services will drop support for second- and third-generation Apple TV units this month. Users will no longer be able to stream starting April 30.

The change is being made “in order to provide the best streaming experience,” the company said. There are other ways to enjoy these services on older Apple TV boxes, however.

How to get free TV in any hotel


Hook that giant hotel TV up to your iPad
Hook that giant hotel TV up to your iPad.
Photo: Paul Postema/Unsplash

Switch on a hotel TV, and you’ll likely run into its paywall very quickly. You probably don’t want to view any of the hotel’s stupid pay channels, but maybe you do want to hook up your iPad and watch some of the shows you brought along with you.

You’re typically still out of luck, though. These locked-up TVs won’t let you access their HDMI ports. Nor will they let you connect via AirPlay, if they even support Apple’s streaming protocol. However, there’s an absurdly easy way to disable all this dumb “security” and watch video from your iPad or iPhone to a hotel TV.

How to hand off music from your iPhone when you arrive home


Libratone Zipp mini black white airplay 2 support
The Libratone ZIPP and ZIPP mini offer great sound quality, and now supports AirPlay 2
Photo: Connect to any AirPlay speaker, automatically.

Imagine arriving home, listening to music on your iPhone. You want to start that music playing on your home speakers instead, only you don’t want all the hassle of using Control Center, or the AirPlay panel, to do the connection manually.

If you own a HomePod, all you have to do is hold your iPhone near it, and playback will transfer. But what about regular AirPlay speakers? Can you hand off to those? Yes! You can. With a quick one-time setup, you can have the music or podcast app switch from your headphones, and play on any AirPlay speaker you have at home.

How to use iOS 13’s Audio Sharing


Audio sharing in iOS 13
Look how friendly these people are. Just look.
Photo: Apple

In iOS 13, you can share songs and watch movies with a friend, with each of you using your own AirPods. The new feature is called Audio Sharing, and it lets you instantly — and temporarily — pair a second set of AirPods to your iPhone or iPad. It’s like the olde schoole method of using a headphone splitter to plug two sets of headphones into one jack socket, only way more expensive and fancy.

Here’s how to use it.