Lots of people know AirPlay as Apple’s version of Google Chromecast: a technology that allows you to play movies and videos from your iPhone onto your TV. What people tend to be less familiar with, however, is AirPlay 2, which is Apple’s audio casting technology.
AirPlay was originally developed as a way to cast audio, not video, to Wi-Fi speakers. AirPlay 2 is the successor of that audio technology and is built into every iOS device since the introduction of iOS 11.4 in 2018, which now allows iOS users to do all kinds of cool things with the audio on their phones.
If you love audio and have an iOS device, here are some cool things you may not have known that you can do with your iPhone and iPad.
- Play your iPhone or iPad’s audio through multiple speakers at once
With the introduction of AirPlay 2 in 2018, you can actually play your iPhone’s audio through multiple AirPlay-enabled Wi-Fi speakers around the home. And the best part? You can do it right from the Control Center or Lock Screen without ever having to open up a separate app. Just tap the AirPlay icon by the playbar and select whichever speakers you want to use.
- Get around the Spotify Premium barrier for Spotify Connect
Spotify fans may know that Spotify has its own multi-speaker Wi-Fi technology similar to AirPlay 2 called Spotify Connect. However, as is the case with many things in life, this feature is only available for paid Spotify Premium accounts. If you own an iPhone, however, you can get past this barrier by using AirPlay 2, which allows you to play any audio coming from your iPhone to any AirPlay-enabled speakers (even audio from Spotify!). And since most Spotify Connect speakers also support AirPlay 2, it’s a no-brainer to use AirPlay if you don’t have a premium account.
- Use AirPlay speakers as an intercom or megaphone
Some really innovative apps have cropped up that utilize AirPlay. One of our favorites is the Microphone Live app by Von Bruno. This *free* app converts your iPhone into a microphone so you can speak through your AirPlay-enabled speakers. Whether it’s calling the family down for dinner or having a karaoke night with friends, this is definitely a cool app to keep in your utilities folder!
- Use Siri to change which speakers are playing your iPhone’s audio
Of course, with all things Apple, all their technologies are integrated! If you’re too tired to open up the AirPlay menu and tap on the speakers you want to use, you can always use Siri on your iPhone, HomePod, or other Apple device to play your audio on another AirPlay-enabled speaker in your home.
- Use your Apple Watch to change which speakers are playing your iPhone’s audio
While many smart watches allow you to pause, play, and fast forward the audio playing on your iPhone, Apple Watch goes a step further by allowing you to change which AirPlay-enabled speakers in your home are playing as well. Just go to the “Now Playing” app and tap the AirPlay icon located on the bottom left corner, then select your speakers.
- Adjust the volume of speakers individually or together without ever opening an app
Of course, what’s the point of being able to play on multiple speakers if you can’t easily adjust the volume of each speaker or all of them together? As we mentioned in point 1 of this list, you can control your AirPlay speakers directly from the Control Center or Lock Screen of your iPhone without ever having to open up a separate app. This extends to volume control as well, where you can adjust the volume of each speaker individually. You can also adjust the volume of all your currently playing speakers together by just using the volume buttons on your iPhone.