You may have heard that Apple and Samsung have partnered to bring AirPlay 2 (and iTunes!) to the Korean giant’s 2018 and 2019 TVs. No, hell hasn’t frozen over. As Apple prepares to enter the competitive space of original entertainment content, the Cupertino is laying down an important foundation.
Samsung TVs won’t be the only third-party televisions that support Apple’s AirPlay 2 streaming protocol. At CES 2019, both LG and Vizio also announced new TV sets that feature AirPlay 2, making it simple for anyone who owns an iPhone, iPad, or Mac to stream photos and video to their TV—no Apple TV required.
To say this is big news would be an understatement. While AirPlay 2 is supported by some third-party speakers, nobody expected the protocol to come to TVs. For Apple, it means fewer people need to purchase an Apple TV, the company’s sleek set-top box. For consumers, it means better integration between the Apple devices they own and devices made by competing companies.
On Apple’s AirPlay page, the company proudly mentions the changes that are in store, saying “leading TV manufacturers are integrating AirPlay 2 directly onto their TVs.” What’s cool is you’ll be able to blast music on an AirPlay 2-enabled TV and sync it with other AirPlay 2-compatible devices, like an HomePod or Sonos One.
Additionally, thanks to AirPlay 2 support, TVs from these manufacturers will also support HomeKit, allowing Apple fans to use Siri to play specific content. “With AirPlay 2 and HomeKit, you can use Siri on your iPhone to send a video to your TV,” Apple says on its AirPlay support page.
The missing piece right now is Apple’s library of original content. The Cupertino company is currently producing multiple shows with high profile talent, including a series starring Reese Witherspoon, Jennifer Aniston, and Steve Carell. Adding AirPlay 2 to third-party TVs is a big step toward getting eyeballs on that content when it launches.