I’m one of the first to try Apple AirPlay in a hotel — 5 ways it makes travel better from Mashable

Apple debuted AirPlay, a feature that lets you stream media from your device to another, at IHG hotels today — and I’m one of the first to experience it in all of its glory.

I tested the new AirPlay availability in a swanky suite inside InterContinental New York Times Square, a 4-star IHG hotel. This is one of the 60+ hotels around the U.S., including cities like Tampa and Atlanta, that support the new AirPlay integration.

But the question is, what’s it like using it? And how does it benefit the average traveler?

Apple’s AirPlay debut with IHG hotels: 5 ways it makes travel better

As Apple announced on Thursday, AirPlay made its way over to select IHG Hotels & Resorts, including Candlewood Suites, Hotel Indigo, Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants, and InterContinental Hotels & Resorts.

The partnership harnesses the beloved technology familiar to Apple users, elevating the hospitality experience to new heights.

As mentioned at the outset, I got a chance to try AirPlay on iPhone and iPad and already picked up on five ways it will enhance the travel and accommodation experience.

1. Tackle that backlog of Apple TV+ shows

Vacationing gives you a chance to finally knock off one of the many shows piling up on your “need to watch” list your friends have recommended to you. However, who wants to do that on a small screen?

Credit: Kimberly Gedeon / Mashable

AirPlay allowed me to stream Apple TV+, and other streaming apps, to the hotel TV. All I needed to do was scan a QR code on the TV. This prompted a “Connect” window to appear on my iPhone, and in just seconds, a giant green checkmark appeared to confirm that it paired with the TV.

Credit: Kimberly Gedeon / Mashable

Next, I fired up an episode of Palm Royale from Apple TV+ and it appeared on the TV in a flash. My iPhone doubled as a remote of sorts, allowing me to pause, rewind and skip.

2. No more scrambling for Wi-Fi passwords

It’s also worth noting that once you scan the QR code on the TV (and go through a few short prompts), your iPhone will be connected to the hotel Wi-Fi.

Credit: Kimberly Gedeon / Mashable

I found this process to be convenient and quick. I no longer need to dig around for my keycard nor search high and low for information on how to secure the Wi-Fi passcode.

3. Stay active with the Fitness+ app

If you’re spending more than a week on vacation or a business trip, and you’re accustomed to exercising regularly, not having access to a gym or your kettlebells may be frustrating.

Credit: Kimberly Gedeon / Mashable

AirPlay makes it easy to splash the Fitness+ app to the hotel TV. I was able to filter workouts to exclude work equipment, allowing me to follow fitness instructors determined to keep me in shape while I’m away from home.

4. Share your vacation photos with the room

After countless selfies and photos during a fun excursion, it’s only a matter of time before you want to flip through these pictures and share your great captures with loved ones.

Credit: Kimberly Gedeon / Mashable

Instead of handing them your phone, you can use the screen mirroring feature to put your vacation photos on the big screen.

5. Showing presentations

As a tech journalist, I’m always finding myself in hotels with companies showing off their latest gadgets, products, and services. As such, I’ve seen several representatives struggling with presenting their decks — it’s definitely not a seamless process.

Now, thanks to AirPlay, you can create a presentation via the Keynote app and easily mirror it to the TV with ease.

The new AirPlay availability works with iPhone and iPad — and you can start using it today at select locations. There’s AirPlay support for more than 60 IHG hotels in the U.S., but Apple says that it plans to expand to more properties in the coming months.

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