Setting Up an AirPlay on an iPad

By David Weedmark

Apple Airplay gives you the ability to send audio and video signals from your iPad to an Apple TV or AirPlay-enabled Wi-Fi speakers. While apps like Photos, Music and Videos support AirPlay, other apps may not. App developers decide whether they want to include AirPlay and how they want it to be used. Those that support AirPlay display an AirPlay icon on the screen as soon as the iPad detects a compatible device on your Wi-Fi network.

Using AirPlay With an iPad

To use AirPlay on an iPad, the iPad and an AirPlay-receiving device must be on the same Wi-Fi network. For example, to watch video on your TV, you can connect an Apple TV console to the TV and then send the iPad's audio and video to the Apple TV. To stream audio, you can use Apple's AirPort Express base station or AirPlay-enabled speakers from other companies including Bose, Philips Libratone and Logitech. The Apple iPad sends signals with AirPlay; it does not receive signals from other devices.

iPad Setup

When your AirPlay device and your iPad are both connected to the same Wi-Fi network, all you need to do is launch an iPad app that supports AirPlay and then tap the "AirPlay" icon on the screen. The icon shows a rectangle with an arrow on the bottom. The icon's location varies, but it is usually on the top or bottom of the screen. A drop-down menu opens, listing all the AirPlay devices on the network. Select the one you want to use by tapping it. It should only take a second or two for the video or sound to be directed to your AirPlay device instead of the iPad.

App Capabilities

Apps that support AirPlay vary in how they use the technology. YouTube, for example, streams audio but won't stream video to an Apple TV. Some apps support dual-screen mode. Games like MetalStorm Wingman and Ducati Challenge HD, turn the iPad screen into a game controller while the action is displayed on your HDTV. Other apps, like GT Racing, mirror the same screen on both the iPad screen and your HDTV. Some apps, like the BBC iPlayer, can stream video to an Apple TV in the background while you use another app in the foreground.

Troubleshooting AirPlay

If you launch an app that should support AirPlay and the AirPlay icon isn't visible, or if the receiving device isn't in the listed options, make sure the receiving device is turned on and connected to the same Wi-Fi network as the iPad. If it's a new app, launch the Music or Videos app to see if the icon is visible there. If it is, the problem is probably with the app and not the iPad. If you can't connect to an Apple TV, make sure it has the latest software installed. The Apple TV will inform you when a software update is available when you turn it on and prompt you to install it.