Apple TV 6.1 Update Reveals New AirPlay Discovery Over Bluetooth

If you use an Apple TV in a business or educational setting, the latest 6.1 firmware update (iOS 7.1) contains a feature which allows for AirPlay discovery over Bluetooth without Bonjour, as discovered by AFP548 (via Daring Fireball).

Here’s what you need to get started:

  • Apple TV with version 6.1 (released 3/10/14)
  • iOS device with version 7.1 (released 3/10/14)
  • IP connectivity between the two devices
  • Bluetooth 4.0 compatible devices (iPhone 4S or newer, iPod touch 5th ten, iPad 3 or newer, iPad mini or newer, Apple TV 3rd gen/Rev A)

Derick Okihara from AFP548 says once both devices have Bluetooth enabled and are on the same network your iOS device will ‘see’ the Apple TV when AirPlay is toggled:

IMG 00031

Okihara was able to have his iPad running iOS 7.1 with AirPlay Mirroring enabled to his Apple TV paired up via this Bluetooth discovery feature; he notes the feature doesn’t support Macs yet from his tests.

Why is this a big deal? In educational or business environments, a $99 Apple TV is much cheaper than a projector and the Bluetooth discovery feature for AirPlay allows iOS devices to connect over networks that otherwise would block Bonjour.