If you want to stream content from an iOS or OS X device, or mirror the display, via AirPlay to an Apple TV you must ensure that both the device and the Apple TV are on the same network. There’s no way around this for now but iOS 8 is going to change things. Apple didn’t talk about this feature on stage at WWDC 2014 but a perusal of the extensive iOS 8 feature list reveals that the upcoming software brings peer-to-peer discovery and playback. Basically iOS 8 AirPlay to Apple TV is going to be a lot easier.

Hints about peer-to-peer AirPlay connectivity were discovered in iOS 7.1 and that’s when we knew that there was a possibility of this feature being announced in the future. Yesterday Apple unveiled iOS 8 and its laundry list of new features, which as previously mentioned, includes peer-to-peer AirPlay discovery and playback.

What this means is that users won’t have to connect an iOS device to the same network as the Apple TV. So it would be possible to stream content without having to ask for someone’s network credentials. Its also great for the hosts who aren’t comfortable with giving out their network credentials or even if the Apple TV is in an enterprise environment.

Peer-to-peer discovery and playback would simply allow a presenter to use an organization’s Apple TV for a presentation without actually have to connect to their network. Its not entirely clear what technology this feature is based on but its highly likely that it works in the same way as AirDrop, by first discovering device using Bluetooth and creating a Wi-Fi Direct connection for transfer.

It is also not known at this point in time if this feature will be added to OS X Yosemite as well, but it would certainly make sense to do so.

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