The HTC 10 is the first flagship Android phone with native Apple AirPlay support

HTC has decided to make its next flagship phone play nicely with Apple’s AirPlay system for audio.

The upcoming HTC 10 will support AirPlay streaming out of the box, letting users send music from their phones to any AirPlay-enabled speaker and to Apple TV set-top boxes.

Here’s how it works: From inside any music app, users can swipe up with three fingers to open HTC Connect, a media sharing feature that’s been built into HTC phones for several years now. AirPlay-enabled devices will then appear alongside other devices that HTC Connect supports, such those using Bluetooth, DLNA, and Miracast.

Technically, this isn’t the first Android phone to support AirPlay. Xiaomi’s Mi 5, for instance, has a Cast button built into its gallery and music apps, letting users send music, video, and photos to an Apple TV. Meanwhile, DoubleTwist has employed a bit of trickery to bring AirPlay support to all Android phones, through Cast-enabled apps such as Google Play Music.

Still, HTC appears to be the first phone maker to have officially licensed the technology from Apple, according to 9to5Mac. By building audio-streaming features into its interface, the HTC 10 should take some hassle out of sending music to external AirPlay speakers.

Why this matters: Okay, it’s hard to imagine many Android diehards are investing heavily in AirPlay speakers, but perhaps that’ll change now that HTC is licensing the tech. (At this point, however, Google Cast-enabled speakers with multi-room audio support might be the better bet.) Either way, it’s a nice capability to have, and could come in handy if you’re visiting someone who has gone all-in on Apple’s audio system.


Jared Newman

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