One of the older Mac features has received an update in macOS Monterey. With previous versions of macOS, you could only stream audio and video using AirPlay on the iPhone, iPad, and Apple TV, but not on the Mac.
That has changed, thanks to AirPlay for Mac. This function makes it possible for your Mac to receive content using the AirPlay wireless communication protocol from other devices that support it.
If you want to AirPlay from an iPhone to a Mac (and also from an iPad), this is what you have to do.
What is AirPlay to Mac?
AirPlay to Mac is a new feature in macOS Monterey that allows you to share, play, and present content from other AirPlay-compatible devices on your Mac, such as your iPhone or iPad.
This can be visual content, such as a local video file or a YouTube stream. If you want to use your Mac as an AirPlay speaker, you could play music through your Mac speakers from Apple Music or Spotify. It is also possible to mirror your other Apple devices to your Mac using AirPlay.
However, you will have to make sure they use the same Wi-Fi network and the same iCloud account for this to work. The devices involved will also have to run the latest versions of iOS, iPadOS, and macOS.
AirPlay compatibility with Mac
AirPlay to Mac works on the following Macs with macOS Monterey (and later) installed:
- MacBook Pro (2018 and later)
- MacBook Air (2018 and later)
- iMac (2019 and later)
- iMac Pro (2017)
- Mac mini (2020 and later)
- Mac Pro (2019)
You can use the function with these mobile devices:
- iPhone 7 and later
- iPad Pro (2nd generation and later)
- iPad Air (3rd generation and later)
- iPad (6th generation and later)
- iPad mini (5th generation and later).
Using AirPlay on your Mac to play music
In the following example, we will use AirPlay to share Apple Music content from an iPhone to a Mac. The process works the same for other compatible multimedia applications.
To play music using AirPlay to Mac:
- Playing Apple Music app on your device.
- Starts to play the content.
- Select the streaming icon at the bottom of the screen.
- Choose the Mac compatible with AirPlay.
How to use AirPlay on your Mac to play YouTube content
In this example, we are using AirPlay to stream a video from another Apple device to a Mac using YouTube. However, this feature may work with other video streaming or playback applications.
To play YouTube content using AirPlay to Mac:
- Playing YouTube app on your device.
- Starts to play the content.
- Select the broadcast icon.
- Choose the AirPlay compatible device.
Mirror your device using AirPlay on Mac
Before macOS Monterey, you could only mirror or extend your iPhone or iPad to an Apple TV. However, it is now possible to mirror to a Mac using AirPlay.
To mirror your device using AirPlay to Mac:
- Swipe down to see the Control center on your iPhone or iPad.
- Then press the checkbox Screen Mirroring.
- Select your Mac of the list.
- When done, select Stop Screen Mirroring.
Older methods to mirror your Apple devices
AirPlay to Mac isn’t the only method to play other Apple devices on your Mac. For example, you can use Reflector 3 or Apple QuickTime to do the job.
With Reflector 3, you can wirelessly mirror one or more devices to your computer. By doing so, you can also record what happens on the screen of your mobile device, add voice audio and customize the recording to suit your needs.
If you don’t need to mirror your mobile device over a wireless connection, please consider the QuickTime application Apple’s built-in Mac. The process here isn’t as slick as Reflector 3’s, but it’s free.
Use your Mac efficiently
Thanks to macOS Monterey, you can now share content via AirPlay from an iPhone to a Mac. You can also use the same functionality with iPads to a Mac. Apple is constantly adding new features like these to macOS, making it a more effective competitor to Windows.