AirPlay, Apple’s method for streaming content form one device to another, is reportedly getting an overhaul for iOS 9 which will bring enhanced security.
Speaking to 9to5Mac, development house Squirrels was distracted by some new functionality in AirPlay. The team makes an app named Reflector 2, which is “a wireless receiver for mirroring and streaming phones or tablets.”
A lot of the pairing setups (like how your mobile device interacts with a receiver) have changed. A lot of the exchanges between an iOS device and an Apple TV or any of the receivers have changed. The actual mechanism through which a mirroring connection is established was entirely overhauled. So, many underlying AirPlay components and protocols are entirely different in iOS 9. Not only at a security level but also with the way the two devices talk to each other.
We discovered AirPlay has improved security, it’s faster and it improves overall performance. Using some of the new security features Apple implemented, the whole stack moves a lot faster. It allows for more interesting things like one-time pairing. That means less battery drainage and faster encryption and connection.
It’s not clear what may have prompted these changes, but HomeKit is likely a good catalyst. We’d previously heard the reason for HomeKit’s delay was security related. There’s also Apple TV, which is a hub for HomeKit.
One-time pairing is interesting, and seems to keep qualified devices quickly accessible without the need to exchange keys each time you want to cast content. That’s probably where improved power efficiency comes into play as well.