tvOS/iOS 13.2 to include AirPlay 2 support in HomeKit, new AirPlay TV features

Cupertino, October 11, 2019
The next Apple software updates, tvOS 13.2 and iOS 13.2, will introduce "Automatically AirPlay on TVs," "Transfer to HomePod" and support for AirPlay 2 devices in HomeKit scenes and automations.

AirPlay automatically on TVs

Apple will soon introduce new AirPlay features to make it easier to send videos from an iPhone or iPad to Apple TV and AirPlay compatible TVs from LG, Sony, Samsung and Vizio. A new "Automatically AirPlay on TVs" feature will allow an iPhone / iPad to "automatically discover and connect to AirPlay TVs that you use frequently when playing content from apps you regularly use with AirPlay" . The option can be set to automatic, ask and never.

AirPlay & Handoff iOS 13.2

In addition, Apple says that when Siri suggests watching a movie or TV show on the lock screen, it now allows you to transfer videos to Apple TV or a compatible TV with one click. We expect to see a lot of "suggestions" for Apple TV + shows in the near future. There is also a new "Transfer to HomePod" feature that allows you to "bring the iPhone closer to the top of the HomePod to transfer the contents being played". These new features are found under "AirPlay & Handoff" in the general settings menu on iOS.

Support for AirPlay 2 in HomeKit

Support for AirPlay 2 devices, including compatible TVs, speakers, and Apple TVs, in HomeKit automation and scenes is a potentially interesting development. The feature briefly appeared in iOS 13 beta but was removed before the public release. He came back in iOS 13.2 and tvOS 13.2. With HomeKit automation, you can set the speakers to automatically turn off when you or everyone leaves the house. You can also set up lights and classical music to activate them at a specific time of day or when you enter a specific room in your home. In addition, AirPlay automations can be triggered when a compatible HomeKit sensor detects something. It is not yet possible to set the AirPlay device as a trigger for anything else. To use AirPlay 2 devices in HomeKit, you need a HomeKit hub such as Apple TV or HomePod. The latter has not yet been updated, Apple TV would send music to the AirPlay 2 speakers without turning on the connected TV.

Support for AirPlay 2 in HomeKit

With HomeKit scenes, you can create a custom scene such as "Relax" that dims the light, dims the blinds, and plays music on your AirPlay 2 devices when you press the Relax button, as shown above. At the present time, only audio and music are supported, but it's easy to see how Apple could extend support for video, allowing a user to start playing videos from Apple TV, Netflix or another service automatically (automation), by simply pressing a button. (scene) or by a Siri voice command. Or turn on the TV automatically and tune into a sports match at a specific time. The 2018 and 2019 Samsung TVs only support AirPlay 2, while some TVs from LG, Sony (update pending) and Vizio, as well as Apple TVs support both AirPlay 2 and HomeKit. Apple has not yet announced release dates for iOS 13.2 and tvOS 13.2, but we expect them to appear in October or November.

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