The iPhone and iPad have evolved a lot since their beginnings in the previous decade. They are now packed with features—enough to keep you busy for hours.
But there is one thing about these devices from Apple that keeps them from being the end-all and be-all for entertainment: the screen size isn’t very large.
But if you have a smart TV, you can take advantage of the power of your iPhone or iPad and use it in tandem with your TV.
Here’s What You Need to Know about Smart TVs and iOS Devices, Such as the iPhone:
Smart TVs can bring entertainment into your home from a variety of sources, including iOS devices like iPads and iPhones. You can connect your iOS device to your smart TV using wireless or wired technology in order to display or stream content.
1. What Can You Do with Your iPhone or iPad Connected to a Smart TV?
When you connect your iPhone or iPad to a smart TV, you can use it in a variety of ways.
- You can display content from your iOS device onto your smart TV.
- You can use it to stream content from platforms like Netflix or YouTube.
- You can use your iPhone or iPad for presentations you may have at work. If the venue of your presentation uses a smart TV or you have a Chromecast dongle, you can mirror your slide deck onto the screen from your iPad or iPhone instead of lugging around a laptop.
- You can also use your iPhone or iPad as a remote control for your smart TV.
2. How Do I Connect My iPhone/iPad to My Smart TV?
There are two ways you can connect an iPhone or iPad to a smart TV using Wi-Fi: AirPlay or Chromecast.
AirPlay is Apple’s proprietary system for mirroring content from iPhones and iPad. Some smart TVs feature built-in AirPlay support, so you don’t need any external hardware to mirror your iPhone’s content.
You can also use Chromecast to connect your iOS device and your smart TV.
- You can connect an iPhone or iPad via Chromecast by installing the Google Assistant on your phone or tablet, which you need to connect with Chromecast.
- Note that most smart TVs nowadays come with Chromecast built-in. But if your TV does not have Chromecast built-in, you can buy the dongle for around $50.
You might be wondering which system you should go for.
AirPlay 2 is the most obvious choice since it’s native to Apple, and you’re looking to connect an Apple product. But not all smart TVs have AirPlay 2, which is why Chromecast is a great option, whether as a dongle or a built-in feature.
Chromecast also has advantages over Airplay 2, despite not being native to the Apple eco-system.
- For one, Chromecast will continue displaying your content even when you exit the casting app. That means you can do other stuff on your device. AirPlay 2, meanwhile, will exit the app on the TV once you switch apps on your iPhone or iPad.
- Second, AirPlay 2 is heavily reliant on the Wi-Fi connection on your iPhone or iPad when it comes to connectivity. So if you move rooms with a weaker Wi-Fi signal while carrying your iPhone or iPad, it will also affect what is on the screen of your TV.
With all things considered, Chromecast is a more reliable choice when it comes to connecting your iPhone or iPad to your smart TV.
As already mentioned, many major smart TV manufacturers have Chromecast built into their TVs. The most notable brands with Chromecast on-board are Sony, Vizio, select LG Smart TVs (including the crowd-favorite CX series), and some Samsung smart TVs, such as the Q80T.
3. Can I Connect My iPhone/iPad to My Smart TV without Wi-Fi?
If you are looking to display content from your iPhone or iPad to your smart TV without using Wi-Fi, you can plug your phone into your smart TV with an HDMI cord.
Apple’s Lightning Digital AV adapter is made specifically for connecting iOS devices to an HDMI cord.
This device lets you plug your Apple device into your smart TV through the HDMI port.
4. Can You Stream or Cast from your iPhone/iPad to Smart TVs?
You can cast or stream content from your iPad or iPhone to your smart TV using Chromecast or Airplay 2.
5. How Do You Mirror an iPhone/iPad to Your Smart TV?
There are two systems you can use to mirror your iPhone or iPad to a smart TV.
Here’s how to set up AirPlay 2.
- The first thing you need to do is make sure your AirPlay 2-enabled smart TV and iPhone or iPad are connected on the same Wi-Fi network.
- Go to Control Center, which you can access by swiping down from the upper right corner of the screen for devices using iOS 12 or later or swiping up for devices using iOS 11 or earlier.
- Open Screen Mirroring and look for your compatible smart TV on the list.
- In some cases, an AirPlay PIN will appear on the TV, which you need to input on your iPhone or iPad.
- The smart TV uses the same screen orientation and aspect ratio as your iPhone or iPad. You can opt to change the aspect ratio to fill the screen or adjust your smart TV’s zoom settings.
- If you want to stop screen mirroring, go to the Control Center, open Screen Mirroring, and select Stop Mirroring.
If you want to screen mirror to your smart TV via Chromecast, you will need to install a third-party app that will link your iPhone or iPad and your TV.
There are two highly recommended apps for this purpose: the Streamer App and the Replica App. Both of these apps are available in the App Store.
The Streamer App is pretty straightforward.
- Make sure your iPhone or iPad and Chromecast are connected to the same Wi-Fi network.
- Once connected, you can open Streamer and let it scan for compatible devices. You should see your Chromecast on the list.
- Click on your Chromecast in the list, and select Connect.
- Once it connects, you can close Streamer and use your device as usual, with the screen mirrored onto your smart TV.
The Streamer App comes with a seven-day free trial period. After the trial, you have the choice to pay $4.99 monthly or go for a one-time payment of $17.99.
You can download the Replica app from the App store.
- Once you download it, make sure your Chromecast and iPhone or iPad are connected to the same Wi-Fi network.
- Open the app and select Continue.
- You will be asked to select your plan from Replica.
- Click the X on the upper right corner to continue to the free trial.
- Replica will then ask your permission to scan for devices it can connect to. Click Ok to proceed.
- Once your Chromecast appears on the list of devices, click on it.
- Select Cast Screen Mirror, then tap on Start Broadcasting to begin mirroring your iPhone or iPad screen on your smart TV.
Streamer or Replica?
Between the two services, Streamer is a better choice, money-wise. Its one-time fee comes out much cheaper than Replica’s monthly cost.
The good thing about these two apps is that they both have trial periods, which lets you try the features before buying. Performance may vary, and it’s up to you to decide which is better, given performance and cost.
6. What Smart TVs Work Best with iPhones/iPads?
There are a good number of smart TVs that work remarkably well with iPhones and iPads.
If you are looking at the best option available, you should go for the LG CX. This smart TV is a crowd-favorite and has been recognized by many tech blogs for its stellar features.
It comes with both Chromecast and AirPlay, giving you options for sending content from your iPhone or iPad. Its image quality is also superb since it uses an OLED display.
Vizio V Series
If you are on a budget, you can also check out the Vizio V Series.
Like the CX smart TV, the V Series also comes with both Chromecast and AirPlay for more connectivity options. Picture quality is also good, although its viewing angles can be limited or narrow.
If you want to know more about smart TVs that have good compatibility with iPhones and iPads, you can check this article.
7. Can You Control Your Smart TV with Your iPhone/iPad?
You can use your iPhone or iPad to control some functions of your smart TV.
Most modern smart TVs now come with apps that you can download from the App Store that let you navigate through the different your smart TV using your phone.
- To use this function, make sure the iPhone or iPad are connected to the same Wi-Fi network.
- Open your chosen remote control app and let it scan for your smart TV, then tap on your smart TV on the list to connect.
- Note that some smart TVs limit the number of remote controls connected.
8. Can iPhones or iPads Connect to Fire Sticks or Roku Streaming Sticks?
You can connect an iPhone or iPad to a Fire Stick or Roku Streaming Stick. But there will be some limitations when compared to connecting an iPhone or iPad with a smart TV.
On its own, the Fire Stick can only link to your iPhone or iPad over a handful of apps.
You might not get the same results compared to using AirPlay or Chromecast natively or through a dongle.
As it is, Chromecast is not fully supported yet by the Fire Stick.
Meanwhile, the Roku Streaming Stick has native support for screen mirroring with the iPhone and iPad. But the Roku Streaming Stick does not support casting from the iPhone or iPad.
Depending on the results you are after, linking an iPhone or iPad with dongles like the Fire Stick or Roku Streaming Stick may or may not work for you.
Taking advantage of the connectivity between an iPhone or iPad and a smart TV is a great way to get the most out of your devices.
You have options to connect with AirPlay, Chromecast, or via HDMI and take advantage of the large screen real estate of your TV.
So if you use iOS devices, you ought to take advantage of these features.