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(Pocket-lint) - When Apple previewed macOS 12 Monterey at WWDC 2021, it announced the operating system will introduce the ability to AirPlay to Mac.

What is AirPlay?

READ MORE: Apple AirPlay 2 vs AirPlay: What's the difference?

Apple's AirPlay technology allows you to stream videos, images, music, and other forms of media from one Apple device to another compatible device. For instance, you can "AirPlay" content from an iPhone, iPad, or Mac to an Apple TV or AirPlay-compatible smart TVs and speakers. Now, with macOS Monterey, it’s possible to stream content directly to the Mac, which means you can make your iPhone play a song or video on your MacBook or share even share your screen.

Note: AirPlay 2 is the latest iteration of AirPlay, Apple's proprietary wireless streaming protocol. With AirPlay 2, multi-room audio is now possible.

How does AirPlay to Mac work?

There are three main things you can do when using AirPlay to Mac:

  • AirPlay content to your Mac: You can use AirPlay to send content to your Mac from an iPhone, iPad, or another Mac. You can stream videos, view and edit Keynote presentations, and listen to music on your Mac as it’s played from your other device. It works with any Apple device, whether or not they share the same Apple ID.
  • Use as AirPlay 2 speaker: The Mac can be an AirPlay 2 speaker. You can stream music or podcasts to your Mac or use it as a secondary speaker for multi-room audio.
  • Mirror or extend the display: You can mirror your iPhone or iPad on your Mac or extend their display by using a Mac as a secondary display for apps such as Keynote.

What does AirPlay to Mac require?

AirPlay to Mac requires at least two Apple devices running the latest versions of the operating system updates unveiled at WWDC 2021. You need a supported Apple device such as an iPhone or iPad as well as a supported Mac. AirPlay works wirelessly over Wi-Fi, but it also supports a wired connection over USB if you don’t have access to Wi-Fi.

Which devices support AirPlay to Mac?

READ MORE: Apple AirPlay 2: Apple's Wi-Fi streaming tech explained

While some of the features in macOS Monterey are exclusive to the M1-powered Macs, AirPlay is not one of them. Here are the Macs that support AirPlay streaming:

  • MacBook Pro (2018 and later)
  • MacBook Air (2018 and later)
  • iMac (2019 and later)
  • iMac Pro 92017)
  • Mac Mini (2020 and later)
  • Mac Pro (2019)

And here are the devices you can use to AirPlay content to a Mac:

  • iPhone 7 and later
  • iPad Pro (2nd gen and later)
  • iPad Air (3rd gen and later)
  • iPad (6th and later)
  • iPad mini (5th gen and later)

Note: Older iPhone, iPad, and Mac models may be able to share content at a lower resolution to supported Mac models if “Allow AirPlay for” is set to “Everyone” or “Anyone on the same network” in your Sharing preferences.

When will AirPlay to Mac be available?

The ability to add AirPlay to Mac will be available when iOS 15, iPadOS 15, and macOS Monterey roll out to consumers in autumn 2021. Currently, developer betas of those software updates are available for testing, and the public betas are set to arrive this summer. They will officially roll out for consumers to download this autumn.

Want to know more?

Check Pocket-lint's macOS Monterey coverage:

Writing by Maggie Tillman. Originally published on 30 June 2021.