AirPlay 2: news of the new streaming protocol and supported devices

AirPlay 2 is the new version of Apple’s streaming protocol. It had to arrive with iOS 11.3, but it was postponed to the next update: here’s how it will change your life, and with which devices you can use it.

AirPlay 2 will introduce greater efficiency, thanks to the reduced latency (the audio part first) and the more generous buffering (no more than a few seconds, but whole minutes of audio stored in the local memory, this implies that even in conditions of poor WiFi coverage or if the iPhone becomes temporarily unavailable, playback does not stop).
The most interesting novelty, however, is the support for synchronized multi-room audio, the one that was once called piped music. In practice, we talk about the possibility of listening to the same song without interruptions in each room. Moreover, the smart and compatible speakers with the protocol will appear in the Casa app along with all the other home automation trinkets.

The feature is not an absolute novelty, in the sense that the old version of AirPlay already supported multi-room audio: the fact is that it worked only if the audio started from iTunes on Mac; now, however, you can also use iPhone and iPad as a multi-channel source.

For magic to work, however, you need dedicated hardware that is updated specifically to support new features; it is evident, for example, that the increased buffer requires a greater amount of memory that must be physically available on the device, otherwise nothing to do. Unfortunately, Apple has not yet announced the definitive specifications of the protocol, so it is said that the accessories currently available on the market will be 100% compatible. And this is a big problem for those who have to plan a purchase now.

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