Peer-to-peer AirPlay turns what we know about mirroring to Apple TVs upside down

We have put in a lot of time in making mirroring to Apple TVs work on our network. You can read about how to use an Apple TV for mirroring in a previous blog post here. This information is still true, but for some devices AirPlay mirroring just became easier. This is both a good thing and a bit disconcerting.

Peer-to-peer AirPlay allows some iOS 8 devices to mirror to an Apple TV without having to be on the same wireless network. You just need to have both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth turned on. This will not work on all devices.

According to Apple it will work on:

* iPhone 5 or later, iPad (3rd generation or later), iPad mini, or iPod touch (5th generation) using iOS 8 or later.

* Apple TV (3rd generation rev A, model A1469 or later) with Apple TV software 7.0 or later

So this leaves out the iPad 2s. However mirrors will continue to work the way it has been for those

The disconcerting part is that any compatible device can now AirPlay to an Apple TV without having to first register on our network and can do so without having the devices Internet filtered if it has a 3G or 4G connection.

I have recommended before that the OnScreen code be used with Apple TVs to prevent users from accidently or misgeviously connecting to an Apple TV. I believe this is now absolutely necessary. See instructions below on how to set this up. Keep in mind, that the OnScreen code is used so that someone who cannot see the Apple TV screen (projector, TV, etc…) cannot connect. It is still possible for students in the classroom to mirror to the Apple TV. If this becomes a problem you may want to use passwords on your Apple TVs. The downside to this is anyone connecting to the Apple TV would need the password.

Turn on On-Screen code security on an Apple TV

  1. Open Settings
  2. Choose AirPlay
  3. Make sure AirPlay is turned on
  4. Choose Security
  5. Put a check mark next to OnScreen Code

In Apple’s latest Apple TV software update (7.0), what’s the difference between “OnScreen code” and “Require Device Verification”?

Both options make you enter a 4 digit code into the iPad when mirroring. HoweverRequire Device Verification only asks to you to verify once. After that your iPad can mirror to the Apple TV without entering a code. Personally I don’t think this is a good idea for use in schools. If users use multiple Apple TVs, this feature does not help to control accidental connections to devices they have already used. OnScreen Code is much more effective.

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