Why Can't I Share iPhone to Mac with AirPlay Directly?
AirPlay is a wireless streaming proprietary protocol stack developed by Apple Inc. 2012 and the later iPhone and Mac models are all built-in with AirPlay support. Sharing content from iPhone to Apple TV or from Mac to Apple TV is just a matter of course, but it does not naturally support implementing the intersection of iPhone and Mac.
In order to achieve AirPlay, sender (also referred to server) and receiver, both the elements have to be present. However, iPhone and Mac are designed to be the senders, Apple TV is the only device that can receive the streaming content, so you cannot use AirPlay across the two devices that both act as senders. To turn you Mac a receiver to display the iPhone screen, you need a 3rd party program.
AirDrop vs. AirPlay
AirDrop, serving both iOS and macOS, is an ad-hoc service developed by Apple Inc., allowing users to send and receive files, photos, etc., with nearby Apple devices wirelessly by using Bluetooth. It sends the file to the local drive of Mac and takes the storage space. After disconnected, the data will be saved and open on the Mac anytime as you want. To achieve AirDrop, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi are both needed, but it does not require connected the devices with the same network.
Different from AirDrop that sends data itself, AirPlay allows sharing iPhone iPad or Mac screen to display it on Apple TV, as well streaming video from the sender to the receiver, and it does not take storage space. After disconnected, you cannot find the file and open it again.
AirPlay requires Wi-Fi only, but the two devices must be connected to the same network. Compare with Bluetooth, Wi-Fi with a greater bandwidth has faster speed in transferring data, and you can easily share to watch high-res video in large file size.
Conclusion: If you want to send files from iPhone and to be saved on Mac, choose AirDrop, but if you only want to view content in real-time and do not need to save files to take up storage space on your Mac, use AirPlay.
How to Share iPhone Screen on Mac?
Method 1: Share iPhone Files to Be Viewed on Mac by Using AirDrop
It is a little bit different from sharing iPhone screen on Mac, Airdrop from iPhone to Mac is sending local files on the iPhone and to be stored on Mac, so that it can be viewed offline. If you want to share video, music, photos on iPhone, AirDrop can help wireless sending the files without pushing them via email. But as mentioned above, this transmission method relies on Bluetooth to achieve. The distance between the two devices cannot be too far. And if you want to transfer multiple files or large files, it may take you a long time to wait for the Bluetooth bandwidth.
Step 1: Activate AirDrop on both iPhone and Mac. First, call out "Control Center" on your iPhone, tap Bluetooth icon and Wi-Fi icon to open them, and make sure Wi-Fi is connected then. Go to your Mac, click on the Bluetooth icon in the menu bar and also make sure have your Mac connected with the Wi-Fi network.
Step 2: Open the file that you want to share to Mac on iPhone, then tap the sharing icon on the lower-left corner, then your iPhone will automatically discover the nearby devices. After then, tap to select you Mac.
Step 3: On your Mac, it shows a message to notice that your iPhone is going to send the file to you, then click on "Accept".
Note: If you cannot see Bluetooth icon in the menu bar on Mac, go to Mac "System Preferences" settings to find it.
Method 2: Share iPhone Screen on Mac by Using QuickTime
Sharing iPhone screen by QuickTime is not for data backup, it is actually the thing we called "streaming" that can sync iPhone to Mac. By using QuickTime, you can show you whole iPhone screen content one to one on Mac, including opening local files, playing online videos, and the process of operating the APPs.
Also, using QuickTime to share iPhone screen to Mac could be the fastest way to streaming data, because it uses the lightning cable for wired transmission, and it is more efficient and stable than wireless transmission.
Step 1: Connecting your iPhone and Mac with a lightning cable.
Step 2: Open QuickTime on your Mac. Click on "Go" icon in menu bar and select "QuickTime", or click on "Finder" icon in the menu bar, type in "QuickTime" and select it.
Step 3: On the user interface of QuickTime, click on the downward triangle icon next to the red round recording button.
Step 4: After your iPhone is recognized, select it, and then you can start screen sharing iPhone to Mac.
Note: QuickTime is the default media player that is pre-installed on Mac, but if you cannot find it anywhere on your system, please go to the Apple official download site to get it. If you perform screen recording while using wired transmission, remember to keep the cable connected, otherwise the screen recording will be terminated.
Method 3: Share iPhone Screen by Using 3rd Party Program – 5KPlayer
Although wired transmission has the advantages of fast and stable, it is not convenient. The existence of cable, to a great extent, has limited the distance between the two devices. Therefore, wireless sharing is a better choice for most people.
Using AirPlay to reflect iPhone on Mac, usually we called it "screen mirroring". As mentioned above, sharing iPhone screen to Mac by using AirPlay needs the help with a 3rd party program to turn Mac an AirPlay receiver. Here we recommend 5KPlayer, the best free video tool with built-in AirPlay feature that helps you using screen mirroring on iPhone to share screen on Mac.
5KPlayer is an all-in-one multimedia tool that has incorporated Apple's AirPlay wireless streaming tech. With 5KPlayer installed on Mac, it can act as a screen mirroring receiver, as well as recording iOS, iPadOS screen videos with sound on Mac end, so that you can make APP tutorials, show off gaming skills and make sound books as easy as possible.