LG First to Bring AirPlay 2 and HomeKit to 2019 Smart TVs

LG Smart TVs with AirPlay 2 and HomeKit
Credit: LG (Image credit: LG)

If you've been eagerly waiting for a TV that will work with your Apple iPhone or HomePod, the wait is over, because LG's top 2019 TVs now support AirPlay 2 and HomeKit, starting today. Available on most of LG's newest OLED and NanoCell 4K TVs,  all you need to do is update your TV's firmware to unlock the new abilities.

At CES 2019, Apple snagged the TV spotlight, with several manufacturers announcing that their 2019 smart TVs would include compatibility with Apple AirPlay 2 for content streaming from iPhones and iPads – including 4K titles with Dolby Vision HDR – as well as HomeKit compatibility for Apple-infused smart home devices

Now, LG has jumped to the front of the pack as the first TV manufacturer to roll out the new capability. With today's firmware updates, the Apple-friendly features will be available on most 2019 ThinQ AI smart TVs, including OLED and NanoCell LCD TVs (with the exception of the SM8100 series).

And while LG may be the first to put these Apple-compatible features into the world, it won't be the last. Sony and Vizio are expected to bring similar functionality to their smart TVs this year, and Samsung may have one-upped them all with an exclusive app that offers iTunes and Apple TV capability directly on Samsung smart TVs.

However, while Samsung has already brought AirPlay 2 capability to its SmartThings smart TVs, support for HomeKit is nowhere to be seen. This means that HomeKit-powered products, like Apple's HomePod, or the array of Apple-compatible smart plugs, locks, thermostats and lighting solutions and more, won't be controllable from your Samsung smart TV, despite Samsung's prominently positioned smart home dashboard.

It also means that anyone who prefers Siri to whatever Google/Alexa/Bixby voice interaction is offered on their smart TV will also want to turn to LG, which will now support Siri via a connected device, like an iPhone or HomePod smart speaker. For the moment, that capability will only be found on LG TVs.

Brian Westover

Brian Westover is currently Lead Analyst, PCs and Hardware at PCMag. Until recently, however, he was Senior Editor at Tom's Guide, where he led the site's TV coverage for several years, reviewing scores of sets and writing about everything from 8K to HDR to HDMI 2.1. He also put his computing knowledge to good use by reviewing many PCs and Mac devices, and also led our router and home networking coverage. Prior to joining Tom's Guide, he wrote for TopTenReviews and PCMag.