In yet another surprise amid Apple’s sudden expansion of AirPlay 2 across popular TV brands here at CES, Sony has announced that it will add support for the feature to its own televisions. Here’s the really interesting bit: in case you’re unaware, Sony TVs run Android TV software. Hence, Android TV is soon going to be capable of playing content — music, movies, screen mirroring, and more — via AirPlay 2. To start, the just-announced A9G OLED 4K and Z9G 8K LCD are set to receive AirPlay 2 and HomeKit support, as is the X950G Series.
Here’s what Sony says:
Sony Z9G Series, A9G Series, X950G Series TVs will be compatible with Apple AirPlay 2 and HomeKit. AirPlay 2 lets you effortlessly stream content from your iPhone, iPad and Mac right to your Sony TV. Watch movies and TV shows from iTunes and your other video apps, and view photos directly on your Sony TV. Listen to Apple Music, your iTunes music library, podcasts and your other music services on your television and AirPlay 2 speakers throughout the home — all in sync. HomeKit lets you easily and securely control smart home products using the Home app or by asking Siri on your Apple devices. These TVs can be added to the Home app and included in scenes or automations with other HomeKit accessories. For example, users can create a “Movie Night” scene in the Home app to easily turn on their TV and dim the lights, and simply ask Siri to launch the scene. AirPlay 2 and HomeKit support will launch in Z9G Series, A9G Series, X950G Series later this year.
That’s not a thing I expected to see as we arrived at CES this year. But I guess after Samsung got on board with AirPlay 2 for its own TVs and jointly announced with Apple that an iTunes movies and TV shows app is coming, I should have realized that anything is possible.
And there is actually precedent for this. This isn't the first time an Android device has natively supported AirPlay. The HTC 10 included it as a built-in feature; HTC actually licensed it from Apple for that purpose.
So far, Samsung, LG, Vizio, and now Sony have signed on to add AirPlay 2 integration to their TVs. LG, Vizio, and Sony are also adding HomeKit support to go along with it, making it simpler to include their TVs in routines alongside your smart home gadgets and other devices. Samsung has not made any promises to work nicely with HomeKit, so it might be the outlier.