iPad's AirPlay and Apple TVs - dummies

iPad’s AirPlay and Apple TVs

You may or may not see another icon on your iPad that’s useful for listening to music. This one appears in your Control Center and is called AirPlay. The Airplay icon and its overlay look like this:

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AirPlay is a wicked-cool technology baked into every copy of iOS version 4.2 or higher. AirPlay lets you wirelessly stream music, photos, and video to AirPlay-enabled devices such as Apple’s AirPort Extreme, AirPort Express Wi-Fi base stations, and Apple TV, as well as third-party AirPlay-enabled devices, including (but not limited to) speakers and HDTVs.

The AirPlay icon and selector overlay appear only if your iPad detects an AirPlay-enabled device on the same Wi-Fi network. If you have an Apple TV, you will see those options when you taps the AirPlay icon.

For example, tapping Great Room Apple TV sends whatever is playing on the Music app to the Apple TV in the den. The Apple TV is, in turn, connected to his home theater sound system and high-def TV via HDMI.

If you use an Apple TV as your AirPlay-enabled device, you can also stream music, video, and photos from your iPad to your HDTV.

Finally, iPads also offer a cool “video mirroring” option when used with a second- or third-generation Apple TV. To use this awesome feature, swipe up from the bottom of the screen to bring up Control Center, and then tap the AirPlay icon. When you select an Apple TV, a switch appears for the Mirroring option. Enable it and whatever appears on your iPad’s screen also appears on your big screen TV.

If you have an HDMI-equipped TV and/or a decent sound system and have decent Wi-Fi bandwidth, you’ll love Apple TV and AirPlay.