One of the biggest draws of the Apple TV is AirPlay, the ability to wirelessly stream audio and video from an iOS device to an Apple TV. It has been a key feature of the media streamer for years, and allows users to showcase everything from holiday snaps to the latest episode of Game of Thrones on the big screen quickly and easily.
However, as is typical with Apple, there’s a walled garden surrounding AirPlay on the Apple TV, and is restricted to Apple devices only. Or so Apple thought. It turns out that there are a number of ways that Android users can utilise AirPlay on the Apple TV to enable streaming from an Android to an Apple TV.
While admittedly it’s more difficult now than it has been in the past, there are still a handful of workarounds available online. Here, we explain why your streaming app may have recently stopped working, along with suggestions on how to stream from Android to Apple TV.
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Why has my third-party streaming app stopped working?
The ability to stream audio and video to Apple TV from Android devices isn’t new – in fact, there have been apps available on Google Play that offer the functionality since 2011. While there were stability issues here and there, the apps generally performed quite well and offered something similar to what iOS users have with AirPlay.
All was well for years, until Apple decided to push out a new tvOS update (10.2) for the fouth-generation Apple TV that effectively killed the functionality for all third-party apps. Why? Apple decided that the Apple TV must demand device verification before offering AirPlay streaming services, which should make the functionality more secure.
However, the downside is that the verification can only be provided by Apple hardware. This means that the plethora of streaming apps for both Android and Windows devices have ceased to work. Even the hugely popular Airfoil app for Windows and Mac that allows users to stream any audio source has stopped working following the update.
While it sounds like tvOS 10.2 is the final nail in the coffin for third-party streaming apps, the hugely popular developers of doubleTwist have found a way to implement the verification process into their Android app.
As far as we know, it’s the only app that currently offers compatibility with tvOS 10.2, although the fact that a workaround is possible leads us to believe that other popular streaming apps like AllCast and Airfoil will offer something similar in future.
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What if I’ve got an Apple TV running tvOS 10.1 or earlier?
The good news is that if you’re yet to install the tvOS 10.2 update, the plethora of third-party streaming apps available on Google Play should still function properly. That means that those interested in streaming from an Android to Apple TV can consider popular apps like AllCast, a hugely popular app that offers the ability to stream both audio and video to not only the Apple TV, but a range of media streamers and even the Xbox One.
AllCast is a free app, but if you want to use it for more than five minutes at a time you’ll have to pay £3 for AllCast Premium. While it may sound expensive, it’s cheaper than some of the alternatives on Google Play.
Although with that being said, not all third-party streaming apps are paid – you can also find free apps that offer similar functionality on Google Play. These include the likes of All Screen, an app that offers streaming support for audio and video to Chromecast, Fire TV, Apple TV and others, although the free nature of the app may reflect on the overall performance and build quality.
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Stream audio to Apple TV running tvOS 10.2 using doubleTwist Pro
As mentioned above, doubleTwist Pro is one of the only options currently available for Android users that want to stream audio to a fourth-generation Apple TV running tvOS 10.2 or later. There’s a catch too: while there is a free version of the app, those that want to stream to Apple TV must pay out for the ‘Pro’ version of the app. It’s not the cheapest app either at £7.99.
But what do you get for the price? Apart from the ability to stream from Android to Apple TV, it also offers high quality FLAC file playback, a 10-band EQ and even offers AirSync, allowing you to sync your iTunes library to your Android smartphone. There are other features too, simply head over to Google Play to find out more information about the app.
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