When will Keynote for iOS support AirPlay?

Use iPhone with TV

Patrick Woods

Bring videos, photos, games or presentations from iPhone to TV. Apple's Airplay is the solution that brings iPad and iPhone to the big screen. This is what you need to know about airplay.

EnlargeThird (left) and fourth (right) generation Apple TV.

There can be many reasons why you want to have your iPhone or iPad play together with the television: Modern slide evenings with photos or videos from your vacation, film streams from the web or, for example, presentations and creative brainstorming.

How airplay works

Airplay is Apple's peer-to-peer streaming direct between devices. It works over WiFi. Unlike Google's Chromecast, for example, the iPhone actually transmits a video to the Apple TV. With Chromecast, the smartphone transmits a URL, which the Chromecast device then calls up itself. In Apple's solution, the iPhone renders the video and transmits a video stream to the Apple TV. This enables the "Airplay synchronization" function, in which the iPhone or iPad display is mirrored on the television.

Remote station Apple TV

There is only one official way to get videos, photos or the contents of your iPhone on TV. This is Apple's own Apple TV from the 2nd generation. However, this model only supports a maximum of 720p resolution. For Full HD it has to be at least the third Apple TV from 2012. Apple is currently only selling the fourth generation. This costs from around 180 euros and has an app store, thus offering the greatest variety and the greatest number of video sources. For 4K videos, Apple currently has no solution at all.

EnlargeIdeal for Airplay: Apple TV of the third (left) and fourth generation (right).

Does it have to be the newest Apple TV? No! The fourth generation Apple TV has a few small advantages such as the touch remote control with Siri voice control and fast hardware, but it lacks an audio output - there is only HDMI. If it is only a matter of transferring content from iOS to the TV, the surcharge on the latest Apple TV only brings small advantages.

A used third-generation Apple TV can be worthwhile here. These cost around 60 euros second-hand. Be careful: There are two versions of the third generation Apple TV: Model A1427 and A1469. The latter supports peer-to-peer airplay. This means that even devices that are not in the same WiFi can send to the Apple TV. The fourth generation also supports this function. In terms of Airplay, the second incarnation of the third generation and the fourth generation of Apple TVs are identical.

Thats how it works

In iOS 10, the settings for Airplay are currently a little confusing. Because there are two similar sounding options that have different effects. To bring content from the iPhone to the TV, you have to visit the control center, the quick settings. To do this, we swipe up from the lower edge of the display with our finger. There are two pages here under iOS 10. On the first, left side we see "Airplay" among other things. However, this is not the general Airplay menu, but the option for "Airplay synchronization". This means that the iPhone screen is mirrored on the television.

EnlargeWe activate airplay in the control center.

If we only want to play a video or the sound on the television or stereo system, we have to go to the second page of the control center. Here, on the right, we see a list of the available Airplay devices in the area. If we select our Apple TV here, videos and sound will be played over it. Even when the iPhone goes to sleep.

In most cases, videos can of course be displayed on the television with Airplay synchronization without any problems if this has been properly implemented by the developer. If not, the TV will stop playing as soon as the iPhone screen turns off.

TV and third party devices with airplay

Does it always have to be an Apple TV to use Airplay? There are certainly televisions, media center devices or receivers that promise to be compatible with Airplay. In practice, however, it looks very different. Apple does not officially license Airplay to third party manufacturers. At least this is true for Airplay Video. Audio via Airplay, on the other hand, is officially supported for third-party devices.

EnlargeWhile video via Airplay is only possible with the Apple TV, Airplay audio is possible with many devices.

This means that third-party providers only recreate Airplay (for videos). This can lead to the next update for iOS deactivating the compatibility again. Users should keep their hands off these semi-serious solutions. It looks better with Airplay Audio. Airplay speakers are widely used and officially supported by Apple.

Games and Co.

Airplay turns the iPhone into a rudimentary game console. With display sharing, games can also be shown on TV. This works particularly well when games actively support this mode. Then we don't just see the iOS screen big on the TV again. No, instead it is possible that the TV shows the picture in the correct aspect ratio and shows a different picture than the iOS device.

EnlargeThe iPhone as a controller, the television represents the game: unfortunately this is far too rare.

Because some games use the airplay function for a real game mode. The iOS device then displays controls and the TV displays the actual game. Unfortunately, the number of games that support this mode well is relatively few. It hasn't caught on well so far. In addition, the iPhone is not ideal as a pure game controller, because the touchscreen lacks the haptic buttons for blind, precise control. In racing games, this can work well when the iOS device becomes the steering wheel.

Great examples of airplay games are Real Racing 3 and the slowly outdated shooting game N.O.V.A. Unfortunately, this is almost the complete list of recommended and well-implemented airplay games. This option has simply not caught on on the part of the developers.

Disadvantage iPad

Even if the iPad works just as well as the iPhone as a player, there is a catch: the 4: 3 display format is not well suited for screen sharing. Because it means that thick bars show to the right and left. The iPhone has a 16: 9 ratio, which is perfect for conventional televisions. With the iPhone 6 / 6S / 7 Plus there is even a horizontal mode, which exactly fills the television in many apps and the home screen in the correct orientation. This is also not a problem for videos on the iPad, they are sent to the television in their full size.

EnlargeThe Plus iPhones match the picture on the television perfectly in landscape mode. Here: Safari.

Unfortunately, we haven't found an app that turns the iPad into a large-format digital whiteboard without black bars. With iPad Pro, Apple Pencil, Apple TV and a large TV, you would have a great set-up for sketches, brainstorming or teaching in the office or conference room. Unfortunately, no app developer seems to assume that someone owns that many Apple devices at the same time. Only Belkin Stage Pro or Doceri go in that direction, but are in 4: 3 format.

Slide shows in modern

Airplay is ideal for showing photos from the iPhone or iPad on the television. To do this, simply open the iOS Photos app, go to the "Share" menu and select "Airplay". This brings the currently displayed photo to the TV. Alternatively, this works automatically if the Airplay synchronization is active on site. The controls and the image thumbnails, on the other hand, are only visible on the iOS device.

Perfect presentations

Apple's presentation program Keynote is also designed for Airplay mode. Here it is possible to control his presentation on the iPhone or iPad and to see a preview and his notes there. At the same time, the projector or television only shows the pure film - and, if desired, markings or a virtual laser pointer, which we paint live on the iOS screen.

EnlargeKeynote and Powerpoint support airplay presentations.

Microsoft's competing product Powerpoint can do this in its iOS versions as well. Here, too, we can play the presentation on the iPhone / iPad, use our notes as a cheat sheet and conjure up a virtual laser pointer on the television or projector. With both apps, it is sufficient to activate the Airplay synchronization. Our slides are already playing on the television. This makes Apple TV and an iOS device great lecture helpers.


An Apple TV can be worthwhile for the conference room or owner of an older TV without internet functionality. Internet videos and presentations are shown on the big screen - via iOS or the built-in apps. Unfortunately, developers use the possibilities of Airplay too seldom and too little to justify further use cases for an Apple TV or Airplay Sync. If you want to buy an Apple TV primarily for Airplay, you should look for a used device of the third generation Rev. A (A1469), the current model has no advantages with Airplay.