Articles,iOS March 10, 2014 at 3:19 pm

Hidden AirPlay feature in the AppleTV 6.1 (iOS 7.1) update

Here’s one that will make educators and education network administrators realllllly happy. There’s a hidden gem in the AppleTV 6.1 update that was released today.

In addition to Bonjour over UDP negotiation for AirPlay, iOS 7.1 devices will also look for AirPlay sources using Bonjour over bluetooth when doing its scan! This means you do NOT need bonjour over UDP for AirPlay -discovery-. Once the host is discovered, AirPlay data is then transmitted over the normal network.

UPDATE! This requires devices that support Bluetooth 4.0. See the end of the article for a list.

Requirements:

1) Apple TV with version 6.1 (released 3/10/14)
2) iOS device with version 7.1 (released 3/10/14)
3) IP connectivity between the two devices
4) Bluetooth 4.0 compatible devices

I tried a Mac with 10.9.2 and it didn’t see the AppleTV as an AirPlay source over bluetooth. That may be coming in a future update.

Make sure your AppleTV is updated to 6.1. You can see that this AppleTV is on an ethernet connection with a 10.10.X.X subnet IP Address. Also make sure bluetooth is ON on your AppleTV.
IMG_0675

 

As you can see on my iOS device, it’s on a Wifi network with a 10.6.X.X subnet address. This VLAN does not have bonjour enabled at all. However, it is routable to the 10.10.X.X subnet. Also make sure bluetooth is enabled on your iOS device.
IMG_0002

 

When I click on AirPlay, it sees the AppleTV -over bluetooth-!!!!
IMG_0003

 

iPad running 7.1 airplaying to an Apple TV.
IMG_0676

 

List of iOS devices that Support BT 4.0:
iPhone 4S
iPhone 5
iPhone 5C
iPhone 5S
iPod Touch 5th Gen
iPad 3rd Gen
iPad 4th Gen
iPad Air
iPad Mini 1st Gen
iPad Mini 2nd Gen
AppleTV 3rd Gen
AppleTV 3rd Gen Rev A

About Derick Okihara

Mac and iOS systems integrator for a private K-12 school in Honolulu, Hawaii.

6 Comments

  • Awesome. This really helps us out. Thanks Derick!

    • How did you get it to work? All of the requirements are met (eligible devices with up to date software), but my iPhone doesn’t pick up my apple TV on a 802.11X network…. Please help!

      • jroth1290-

        Make sure you have bluetooth turned on, and you will see the ATV.

        • Yea. bluetooth is on, on both devices. and They are connected to the same network. Doesn’t seem to work whether the aTV is on ethernet or wifi… Any other suggestions?

  • It took a few tries / reboots the first time, but I was able to get it working.

    The trick I found to get the iPad to notice the ATV was to switch to an app that utilizes AirPlay (Youtube for example), and then swipe from the bottom to see the AirPlay options.

  • Nice write-up.

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