Apple’s AirPlay media streaming is one of the few reasons left for Android lovers to see green with envy. There are dozens of third-party speakers and receivers which include AirPlay support, plus super-easy media sharing and screen mirroring with Apple TV.
Surely there must be some way to take advantage of AirPlay from an Android phone or tablet? The short answer is yes (happily), while the long answer will take some fiddling about.
Your own photos, videos and music
If the reason you want AirPlay compatibility is to be able to show off media you have stored on your phone, then AllCast is the best way to go. A premium app license will set you back about $5, but it is well worth it for the easy of connection and use, and the app’s great design.
As soon as you open the app (and you’re connected to the same Wi-Fi network as your Apple TV) you should see your Apple TV (or other AirPlay receiver) in the connections menu.
Once connected, you just select which photos, videos or music you want to stream, and AllCast does the rest. Best of all, this app isn’t designed to only work with AirPlay devices. It also connects to Google’s Chromecast, plus a number of other media sharing devices that use the DLNA protocol (Roku, Xbox, etc).
AllCast can also stream from cloud services, including Google Drive and Dropbox, so even if you back up all your photos and videos online, you can still include them in your slideshow.
Spotify, Rdio or Pandora?
OK, so if you want to stream audio from one of the many popular streaming music sites, this is where things get a little tricky. There are a couple of apps available on the Play Store which let you stream just about any audio (excluding phone calls), which means you can turn on your favourite music streaming app, like Spotify for example, and the audio will stream to AirPlay speakers.
The problem is that you need to have Root access on your phone to let these streaming apps gain access to Media audio, and as you may or may not know, getting Root access means voiding your manufacturer’s warranty. The process is fairly simple, but your warranty might be worth more to you than the ability to stream music.
If Root is no obstacle, our pick of the apps is Allstream Cast+Airplay+DLNA by Kinetic Game Studios. It’s not a pretty app, but it gets the job done painlessly, and a premium license will only set you back a few dollars (plus there is a free trial to make sure it works for you).
Movie buffs lose out though, as Allstream only sends the audio information to Apple TV, so watching streaming videos from your phone isn’t an option. You can still hear the audio of the videos though, which is great for if you wanted to create a YouTube playlist of music for a party.