Why Is AirPlay 2 Not Available for the Mac?

Apple released iOS 11.4 last week, which included AirPlay 2, the new version of Apple’s music and video streaming framework. And they yesterday released macOS 10.13.5, but AirPlay 2 is not part of this update. As you can see below, in the AirPlay menu in iTunes, the two HomePods in my bedroom show as two devices.

Airplay mac

But I have connected these two HomePods as a stereo pair, and you can see this in the AirPlay menu on the iPhone:

Airplay iphone

It’s surprising that Apple hasn’t rolled AirPlay 2 into macOS. You have long been able to stream to multiple speakers from the Mac, using iTunes, and that is new on iOS with AirPlay 2, but the inability for the Mac to be able to use AirPlay 2 and see a stereo pair of HomePods is surprising.

4 thoughts on “Why Is AirPlay 2 Not Available for the Mac?

  1. Apple is delusional these days, blinded by the success of the iPhone. iOS is not nearly the OS of macOS in spite of how badly Apple has hammered (diminished) macOS in recent years. iOS is incomplete, a UI nightmare (relatively speaking). It is popular only because it drives Apple’s flagship product, the iPhone. The iPhone with its iOS has its place, but it will never be a Mac, not anytime soon anyhow. macOS gets so little love these days that I haven’t even bothered to update it since El Capitan. The new features undermine the power and flexibility of macOS, introduce yet more bugs, and bring nothing to the table that interests me. And that is when the product is free. Not a good sign, but then again Apple hardware doesn’t interest me either today. I just don’t like the course Apple 3.0 is on and am patiently waiting for Apple 4.0. Maybe some group in a nondescript building will hoist a pirate flag and reclaim the crown for personal computing, where the user is in control of their experience.

  2. It’s driving me crazy. I’ve been using 2 instances of Airfoil to play stereo from my MBP to my 2 Homepods. Now the stereo HP pairing required by AP2 doesn’t work with my Airfoil instances. So I either get stereo via iOS using an AF2 HP pair, or I have to go uncouple the pair in Home so I can play stereo from macOS using Airfoil.

    Then, last night I’d finally gotten my (web-based) internet jazz station (GiantsofJazz!) to play from Safari on my iPhone thru AP2; this morning my HomePods are playing music from God-knows-where (it’s not from my iPad, iPhone, or MBP, and there seems to be no place to go to find out where the HP signal is actually coming from–for all I know, it’s coming from outer space).

    I think of my macOS MBP as a core piece of my integrated home network. It’s a mystery to me why Apple has yet to include macOS in its Home rollout.

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