Apple may not have an official booth or presence at CES but that doesn’t mean it isn’t making any news at the annual industry showcase.
The iPhone-maker and electronics giant has announced partnerships with Samsung, LG and Vizio to bring its AirPlay 2 streaming technology to the latter’s TVs. AirPlay 2 tech was previously largely limited to Apple’s own Apple TV streaming boxes and speakers from Sonos, Beats, and Bose, among others. By bringing the tech to TVs viewers who own Apple devices will soon be able to wirelessly stream what is on their iPhone, iPad or Mac screens to their big screens.
This includes not only streaming videos from apps like YouTube, Netflix or HBO but also games, photos, and music. You can also mirror your Apple device’s screen onto the larger display, directly sharing what is on your iOS or Mac device with everyone around you.
Users who stream over AirPlay 2 will also be able to use their iPhones as a remote control for their TVs, including adjusting the volume. If you have AirPlay 2 speakers you can sync your TV streaming with those speakers to allow you to use them even if they aren’t connected to your television.
Samsung TV with the iTunes app. (Photo: Samsung)
Samsung will be including the functionality on its 2019 Smart TVs and adding it to its 2018 TVs through a forthcoming software update. In another surprising first, Samsung and Apple have teamed up to create an iTunes Movies and TV shows app for Samsung TVs, allowing Samsung users to buy or rent videos from Apple right from their televisions, as well as watch videos they previously purchased.
Vizio, meanwhile, will be bringing AirPlay 2 to “millions” of its SmartCast TVs by the spring. Vizio will be integrating Apple’s HomeKit software to allow you to use Siri to control your TV as well.
LG will be similarly adding AirPlay 2 and HomeKit support to its 2019 TVs.
And it doesn’t appear that Apple will be stopping with just Samsung and Vizio. On its updated AirPlay 2 information page the company says that “leading TV manufacturers are integrating AirPlay 2 directly into their TVs,” suggesting that others are on the horizon.
Apple isn’t the first to add its own streaming software into televisions. Google has long worked with TV manufacturers, including Vizio, to include its Chromecast technology inside of TVs.
But for consumers looking for easier ways to watch the content they own or rent on the biggest displays in the house, the more options the better.