Access AirPlay from the Lock Screen of iOS Devices to Stream Music

Mar 29, 2013 - Leave a Comment

You can quickly access AirPlay streaming right from the lock screen of any iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch. The only requirement is that you have some form of audio (or video) playing with the lock screen active, and that can be playing from a default app like Music or from something like Pandora or Spotify.

AirPlay from Lock Screen on the iPhone

  • Start playing audio from any app (Music, Pandora, Spotify, Rdio, etc)
  • Double-tap the Home button to summon the lock screen controls
  • Tap the AirPlay button and choose the receiver to send the stream

Lock Screen AirPlay controls on iPhone

This is much faster than the multitasking bar approach since it works directly from the lock screen and you don’t need to be in a specific app to activate it either. In fact, some apps that don’t directly support AirPlay will still be able to stream their output by using this lock screen trick, try it by starting music in such an app, then locking the screen, and then using the double-tap method to choose an AirPlay receiver.

AirPlay Button Not Visible on the Lock Screen?

You must have an eligible AirPlay receiver within range for the AirPlay button to be visible on the lock screen. Also, you’ll need to be on an AirPlay supported iOS version (5.1 or newer).

An Apple TV will of course serve as a receiver, but if you don’t have one you’re not out of luck because there are plenty of software-based AirPlay receiver apps too that will work to send the music stream to. Reflector (free to try) and XBMC (free always) are our personal favorites and they are cross-platform compatible, meaning you can run them on a Mac OS X machine, a Windows PC, and with the case of XBMC, even a Linux box or modded Xbox. If the button does not show up and you have those apps running and configured properly for AirPlay support, it’s possible they just haven’t refreshed yet, so try double-tapping the Home button again to hide and then again to show the lock screen controls


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Posted by: Paul Horowitz in iPad, iPhone

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