In early January, Apple announced that AirPlay 2 and HomeKit would be coming to Samsung, LG, and VIZIO Smart TVs later this year. Later that month, those with VIZIO SmartCast TVs could apply to a beta program, and some of those customers today received invitations to start testing the new functionality on their TV. You can still apply for the beta program here.
With AirPlay 2, you can share your iOS device or Mac directly to your Smart TV. This means you can play music, movies, podcast, or display photos on your screen without the need for an Apple TV.
By adding HomeKit support, customers will now be able to use their iPhone or iPad to control their Smart TV. This means you can pause, rewind, fast-forward, change volume, and power the TV from your Lock Screen, Control Center, Home App, or by voice with Siri.
With AirPlay2 and HomeKit, customers will also be able to send a video to their TV by voice. For instance, “Hey Siri, play Game of Thrones on my living room TV” will AirPlay the show to a compatible Smart TV.
Apple’s renewed interest in partnerships with TV manufacturers comes as Apple is launching Apple TV+, their subscription streaming service later this year. They plan to mix original programming and the ability to subscribe to other services like HBO and Showtime called Apple TV Channels. Besides Smart TVs, Apple will roll out their new Apple TV App on Roku and Fire TV streaming players later this year.