If you’re anything like us, you’ve probably got a ton of stuff on your iPhone that’s just dying to be shown off on a bigger stage than the iPhone’s relatively tiny screen and speakers can muster. Luckily, Apple’s made it super easy to enjoy all the content that’s stored on your iPhone or iPad on your TV. All you need is a couple of bits of hardware and a little know-how.
To watch movies, play games, listen to music and show off the photos on your iPhone via your TV, just follow this three step guide.
Using Apple TV and AirPlay
By far the easiest way to enjoy content on your iPhone on your TV is to create a wireless connection to your Apple TV via AirPlay.
To do that, of course you’ll need an Apple TV (£79) that’s connected to your TV via a spare HDMI port and then connect the Apple TV to your wireless network. Choose the appropriate input on your TV and make sure the Apple TV’s home screen appears.
Next make sure your iPhone is connected to the same Wi-Fi network that your Apple TV is on. If you’re using iOS 7, swipe up to reveal the Control Center pane and select the AirPlay option to bring up the AirPlay menu. Select Apple TV and then swipe right on Mirroring slider button to turn it green.
Everything you can see on your iPhone will now appear on your TV -- including all your apps and games.
If you don’t want to mirror all your iPhone’s content on your TV, switch Mirroring off. This means you’ll no longer be able to view apps or games on your TV, but you will still be able watch videos, listen to music and show off your photos.
To watch a movie that’s stored on your iPhone launch the Videos app, choose what you want to watch and then select the AirPlay icon that appears on the Playback bar at the bottom of the screen. The movie will now appear on your Apple TV.
To view photos on your iPhone on your TV, open the Photos app, then select the Share button from the bottom left corner. Choose the photos you want to show by tapping each one until a blue circle with a white arrow appears. Now select AirPlay from the pop-up menu that appears. Your photos will now appear individually on your TV. To change the photo that appears simply swipe left or right.
You can also set your chosen photos to appear automatically as a slideshow. To do that. bringing up the Sharing menu again, choose the photos you want to display as in the step above and, this time, tap on Slideshow.
The Slideshow options menu will now appear. Choose Apple TV again. Tap on Transitions to customise the look of your slideshow.
If you’d like some music to accompany your slideshow, swipe the Slider button on the right until it turns green. Now select the Music option below and choose some tunes you’d like to have play as your slideshow progresses.
Now tap Slideshow for your slideshow to start playing on your TV.
To play music stored on your iPhone through your TV, choose the track, album or playlist you want to listen to, swipe up to reveal Control Center pane again, select AirPlay and then select Apple TV. Bingo! Your favourite tunes are now playing through your TV.
Use Apple Lightning Digital AV Adapter
If you don’t own an Apple TV, but still want to listen to music, watch movies, play games and more through your telly, you’re going to need the Apple Lightning Digital AV Adaptor (£40 from Apple).
This little box of tricks contains an HDMI port, a Lightning port (input) to you keep your phone juiced by while enjoying content from your phone on your TV and a stubby cable with a Lightning connector (output) for plugging into the bottom of your phone.
To use it, plug one end of an HDMI cable into the Lightning Digital AV Adapter’s HDMI port and the other into a spare HDMI port on the back of your TV. Plug the HDMI connector into the Lightning port on your iPhone. And then connect your iPhone’s charger cable to the Lightning port on the Lightning Digital AV Adaptor if you think you’re going to need some extra power.
Now bring up Control Center pane and choose Video Output to enable specific content from your iPhone to be sent to your TV just as with the AirPlay TV option above. Or select Mirroring to show off the whole shebang.
Use Apple's Composite AV Cable
If you own an older iPhone with a 30-pin connector, then the Apple Composite AV Cable (£35) is your best option. It works in a similar way to the Lightning Digital AV Adapter above, except, you’ll need to use the composite video input on your TV, instead of HDMI, and make sure any videos you want to watch are SD rather than HD.
There is also a 30-pin digital AV adaptor available from Apple for £35.